HSD104 – Introduction to Islamic Philosophy
This module aims to introduce students to the history, major schools and concepts of Islamic philosophy; and explore the question ‘What is Islamic Philosophy?’; investigating the historical emergence and development of this field of study from its earliest stages to the present day. This module will systematically and critically examine the major schools of Islamic philosophy and the issues around which these schools have built their intellectual edifice. Throughout the course, emphasis is placed on combining historical and modern, problemoriented approaches, thus providing an opportunity for students to relate philosophical concepts that have been developed over centuries to present-day issues.
The module traces back philosophical thinking to its earliest period in the Islamic era. It examines such towering figures of Islamic philosophy as Kindi, Farabi, Ibn Sina, Ghazali, Ibn Rushd, Ibn Hazm, Ibn Tufayl, Ibn Bajjah, Suhrawardi, Ibn al-Arabi, Nasir al-Din Tusi and Mulla Sadra. The course discusses the central issues and concepts of Islamic philosophy, including existence and essence, God’s existence and knowledge of the world, knowledge and its foundations, cosmology and causality. These concepts are examined from the point of view of different philosophical perspectives, most notably those of the Peripatetic, Illuminationist and Transcendental schools. The module also explores the relationship between philosophy and religion and the attitude taken by Muslim philosophers towards Greek philosophical texts.