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date: 19 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The chapter is a first step on the way to classify the earliest Muslim theologians according to their position and role in the history of natural theology and philosophy. It argues that Jahm b. Ṣafwān and Ḍirār b. ʿAmr represent an empiristic theory according to which the sensible reality outside the mind corresponds one-to-one to the perception inside the human mind. God’s creation is by composition of bundles of properties; man’s knowledge is by decomposition of the property bundles into their parts by means of perception. The perceptions of substantial and qualitative change supply the empirical data by which the intuition of God as the cause of all generation, corruption, and change in corporeal things happens. They refuse a principle of form and essence in things as well as natural causes and powers of generation and alteration in the created cosmos.

Keywords: Jahm b. Ṣafwān, Ḍirār b. ʿAmr, Gregory of Nyssa, thing, property, characteristic, composition, generation, corruption, change, corporeality, inseparable and separable accidents

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