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Title: Al-Ghazali's views on logic
Author: Ahmad, Azmi T. al-Sayyed
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1981
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Greek logic was transmitted to the Islamic World within the Greek philosophical tradition. Although various Greek books on logic had been translated into Arabic several times, logic remained, up to the time of Al-Ghazali, suspected as dangerous for religious belief and confined to the circles of the philosophers. It was not able to enter overtly into religious education. Al-Ghazali found many schools of thought in his time, each one claiming that truth and certainty were confined to it. He was acquainted with all these different schools of thought. At first, he was not able to determine which was right or wrong. Thus he searched for a criterion by which he could distinguish between certain and non—certain knowledge. After a comprehensive quest, he found that logic was the only criterion of knowledge and its methods of inference are the onlymethods of research by which one can achieve new certain knowledge. Thus he adopted Aristotle's theory of certainty. Furthermore, he tried to build his concept of certainty and certain knowledge on epistemological bases. After becoming completely convinced of the great importance of logic, al-Ghazali, in an attempt to restore the system of religious education, worked out a plan aiming to introduce logic into the curricula of religious education. In the first stage, he declared the neutrality of it while at the same time attacking the philosophers. Then he claimed that logic was found in the Qur'an. After that he wrote books on logic, in which he was interested mostly in the formal parts of logic, and he endeavoured to clothe logic with an Islamic clothing. All that was not sufficient to make his attempt successful. So he showed the scholars and students in religious education how logic could be used in the Islamic sciences - this was clear in his books on kalam and usul al-fiqh, where he applied definition and the methods of inference in Aristotelian logic. In doing this, he was the first Muslim scholar to mix, overtly, logic with the Islamic sciences, and to Islamicise Greek logic (Aristotelian).
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available