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date: 29 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter argues against the prevalent reductionist reading of Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī’s criticism of Avicennan doctrines in his philosophical works as a mere theologically motivated refutation. It proposes that when read in context, his famous commentary on Avicenna’s Pointers (Ishārāt) emerges as a confluence of the two classical genres of exegetical commentary (sharḥ, tafsīr) and aporetic commentary (shukūk), and as such perfectly typifies its author’s method of critical investigation. Al-Rāzī contrasts this method with both the uncritical traditionalism promoted by mainstream Avicennists and the fixation on refutation among contemporary counter-Avicennists. To support this new reading, the chapter examines two discussions in the commentary: one on Avicenna’s theory of prime matter and corporeity, and another on his concurrentist account of creation.

Keywords: Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī, Avicenna, Pointers and Remarks, Sharḥ al-Ishārāt wa-l-tanbīhāt, philosophical commentary, aporetic commentary, Sharaf al-Dīn al-Masʿūdī, Prime Matter, concurrentism, efficient causation

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