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Islam, concept of philosophy in

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-H006-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved April 18, 2024, from

Article Summary

There is no generally accepted definition of what Islamic philosophy is, and the term will be used here to mean the sort of philosophy which arose within the culture of Islam. There are several main strands to Islamic philosophy. Peripatetic philosophy follows broadly the Greek tradition, while Sufism uses the principle of mystical knowledge as its leading idea. Some would argue that Islamic philosophy has never lost its concentration on the Qur’an and other significant Muslim texts, and that throughout its history it has sought to understand the essence of the realities both of the Sacred Book and of the created world. The decline of Peripatetic philosophy in the Islamic world did not mean the decline of philosophy as such, which continued to flourish and develop in other forms. Although it is sometimes argued that philosophy is not a proper activity for Muslims, since they already have a perfect guide to action and knowledge in the Qur’an, there are good reasons for thinking that Islamic philosophy is not intrinsically objectionable on religious grounds.

Citing this article:
Leaman, Oliver. Islam, concept of philosophy in, 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-H006-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2024 Routledge.

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