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Jim S.

This book sounds very interesting. I did one of my theses on Ibn Rushd (Averroes) but it doesn't really give you an opening into Islamic theology since he was ignored by Muslims. I've been told many times about the ubiquitous fatalism of the Muslim world though. You have fatalism in Christianity too, but it's the exception to the rule, while in Islam denying fatalism is the exception to the rule.

I'd love to do an analysis to see whether the Mu'tazalite positions can be justified from the Qur'an and Hadith. I've read the Qur'an (in Arabic! Yay!) and it certainly seems to fit more with the view that God completely transcends our rational and moral categories. (I wrote about the latter on my blog here and here.)

Jim S.

Oy, the links didn't work. Here they are:



John Pepple

Boy, it sounds like you are much better placed to give a review than I am, especially if you can read the Qur'an in Arabic. I'm lucky to be able to translate a headline from an Arabic newspaper. And all I've read of philosophical works from that part of the world are about 30 pages of al-Ghazali.

I look forward to whatever you come up with.

Jim S.

I'm way out of practice with my Arabic. I read the Qur'an nearly 20 years ago. Right now I'm lucky to get through Kalila wa Dimna.


Ideology is a far more powerful WMD than anything physicists have managed to dream up.

I had no idea it was that bad, though.

I'm crediting his view because it seems to fit. It's incomplete, but then any single account is going to be.

God loves the good because it's intrinsically good. On the other hand he's also responsible for the laws saying that it's intrinsically good in the first place.

robert reilly

Many thanks for these most interesting comments, which I have only now just seen.

By the way, damir -- for conscience in Arabic -- is a neologism.

John Pepple

And many thanks for getting me interested in Islamic philosophy. I avoided it for years, but it's more interesting than I thought it would be.

As for Dameer, it may well be a neologism. My dictionary doesn't say when it was coined. Still, I would wonder about what the early Arabic-speaking Christian and Jewish communities used for this concept, if not Dameer.

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