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date: 17 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

In his Incoherence of the Philosophers (Tahāfut al-falāsifa) al-Ghazali (d. 505/1111) addresses in twenty discussions teachings of the falāsifa and tries to show that these are not proven demonstratively. The falāsifa in al-Ghazālī’s book are mostly Ibn Sīnā (Avicenna, d. 427/1037) and his followers. By exposing the nondemonstrative character of these teachings, al-Ghazālī aims at destroying the conviction of the falāsifa that their sciences are superior to revelation. Al-Ghazālī argues that many teachings handed down from one generation of falāsifa to the next are merely based on the blind emulation (taqlīd) of authorities such as Aristotle. Thus he creates the impression of falsafa as a quasi-religious tradition that lies outside of Islam. In the Incoherence of the Philosophers he applies numerous strategies of integrating the movement of falsafa into Islam. Part of that strategy is his condemnations of three key teachings as unbelief and apostasy from Islam. Incoherence

Keywords: tahāfut, demonstration, burhān, condemnation, unbelief, kufr, apostasy from Islam, rule of interpretation, qānūn al-taʾwīl

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