PHIL 203

PHIL 203 B1: Islamic Philosophy
Instructor: Hassan Masoud

This course covers the main figures and the main schools of thought raised in the Islamic world during the period from 10th to 17th century CE. The figures include Al-Farabi, Avicenna, Ghazali, Averroes, Suhrawardi, Ibn Arabi, Rumi, and Mulla Sadra. Islamic philosophy, especially its formative period, is a crucial link between Greek philosophy and Western medieval philosophy. Much of the writings of medieval philosophers like Maimonides and Aquinas can be considered as dialogues between them and Muslim philosophers such as Avicenna and Averroes.

The readings of the course include both primary literature (English translations of the original Arabic or Persian writings) and contemporary secondary literature. The discussion will chiefly focus on metaphysical and epistemological theses, but occasionally moral and political thoughts might also be addressed. No knowledge of Arabic or Persian is assumed. All the concepts are explained from the scratch.

This course would be interesting not only to philosophy students, especially those who study medieval philosophy, but also to students of history, religious studies, and political science who are willing to investigate the intellectual/philosophical background that underlies the contemporary worldviews of the Muslim societies.