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The Leaven of the Ancients: Suhrawardi and the Heritage of the Greeks

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Overview

The twelfth-century Persian philosopher Suhrawardi was the key figure in the transition of Islamic philosophy from the neo-Aristotelianism of Avicenna to the mystically oriented Islamic philosophy of later centuries. Suhrawardi's "Illuminationist" philosophy was a vigorous reassertion of Neoplatonism at a time when Sufism was becoming a major presence in Islamic thought and society.. "This book traces the intellectual background of Suhrawardi's thought and of the Greek roots of non-Aristotelian philosophy in the Islamic world.. "The Leaven of the Ancients provides a translation of Suhrawardi's famous dream, in which Aristotle reveals the epistemological foundations of Suhrawardi's Illuminationist system. The book also analyzes the role played by Suhrawardi and his approach to philosophy in turning Islamic civilization away from physical science toward a subtle mystical psychology, thus offering a new explanation for the decline of science in Islam.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Suhrawardi, a 12th-century Persian philosopher, was a key figure in the transition of Islamic thought from the neo-Aristotelianism of Avicenna to the mystically oriented philosophy of later centuries. Walbridge (Near Eastern languages and philosophy, Indiana U.) traces the intellectual background of his thought and of the Greek roots of non-Aristotelian philosophy in the Islamic world. He finds an approach to philosophy characteristic of Neoplatonism in which Pythagoras is the key pre-Socratic, Plato is the central figure, Aristotle is respected but corrected by the earlier two, and philosophy is ultimately an eclectic revelation known symbolically by different nations. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780791443590
  • Publisher: State University of New York Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/1999
  • Series: SUNY series in Islam Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 305
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Abbreviations
Preface
Pt. 1 Suhrawardi as a Non-Peripatetic
Ch. 1 The Problem of Suhrawardi and Illuminationism 3
Ch. 2 Suhrawardi's Life and Works 13
Ch. 3 A Summary of the Illuminationist Philosophy 19
Ch. 4 Suhrawardi on the History of the Ancient Philosophy 27
Pt. 2 The Divine Philosophers
Ch. 5 Empedocles: The Philosopher as Mystic and Magus 39
Ch. 6 Pythagoras: The Brotherhood of the Lovers of Wisdom 55
Ch. 7 The Divine Plato 83
Ch. 8 Aristotle and the Peripatetics 127
Ch. 9 Plato versus Aristotle (i): The Critique of Peripatetic Logic 143
Ch. 10 Plato versus Aristotle (ii): Platonic Epistemology 157
Ch. 11 The Stoics: The Heirs of Plato's Esoteric Teachings 187
Pt. 3 Aftermath
Ch. 12 Politics, Plato's Seventh Epistle, and the Failure of Suhrawardi's Political Ambitions 201
Ch. 13 The Philosophical Heritage of Suhrawardi 211
App. I Henry Corbin and Suhrawardi Studies 223
App. II Suhrawardi's Dream of Aristotle 225
Notes 231
Bibliography 273
Index 285
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