The Philosophy of the Kalam

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Harvard University Press, Jan 1, 1976 - Philosophy - 779 pages
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In this long-awaited volume, on which he worked for twenty years, Mr. Wolfson describes the body of doctrine known as the Kalam. Kalam, an Arabic term meaning "speech" and hence "discussion," was applied to early attempts in Islam to adduce philosophic proofs for religious beliefs. It later came to designate a system of religious philosophy which reached its highest point in the eleventh century; the masters of Kalam, known as Mutakallimun, were in many respects the Muslim equivalent of the Christian Church Fathers. Mr. Wolfson studies the Kalam systematically, unfolding its philosophic origins and implications and observing its repercussions in other religions. He scrutinizes the texts of Muslim writers for their treatment of such crucial problems as the attributes of God, the Creation, causality, predestination and free will. In the process he shows how the teachings of the Koran were constantly interwoven with ideas from Greek and Oriental philosophies, Judaism, and Christianity as Islamic thought developed.

As lucidly written and intellectually stimulating as all the author's earlier books, this volume is a fitting capstone to a notable career.

Harry Wolfson spent sixty-six years at Harvard University, as undergraduate, graduate student, teacher, and professor emeritus. From 1925 until his retirement in 1958 he was Nathan Littauer Professor of Hebrew Literature and Philosophy at Harvard. He died in September 1974 at the age of 86.

The Philosophy of the Kalam is the last major work of one of the great scholars of our age. Harry Wolfson was renowned throughout the world for the depth, scope, and wisdom of his monumental volumes on the structure and growth of philosophic systems from Plato to Spinoza. It was not only his extraordinary erudition that commanded respect, his awesome mastery of all the primary sources, Greek, Christian, Judaic, and Muslim; it was also his penetrating insight and his original and groundbreaking interpretations.

  

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Contents

CHAPTER I
1
The salaf 3 Fikh and Kalam 3 The existence of a pre
8
Views of two groups of Innovators 10 Origin of
19
The methods of the philosophers and the methods of
31
The three postMihnah orthodox groups 32 The rise
41
INFLUENCES
58
IRANIAN AND INDIAN RELIGIONS
66
that of the Kalam 57
79
WORLD
392
Bakillani 393 Ibn Suwar
400
How the various presentations of this argu
408
ARGUMENT FROM PARTICULARIZATION
434
As presented by Juwayni in his Irshad 434 As presented
443
How the argument from preponderation is presented by
451
CHAPTER VI
466
AN UNKNOWN PSEUDODEMOCRITEAN FRAGMENT
472

Halevis statement on Karaite followers of the Kalam 86
86
Discussion of that statement 87 References by other
108
DENIAL OF THE REALITY OF ATTRIBUTES
132
CREATED ATTRIBUTES
143
ABU HASHIMS ahwdl
167
OPPOSITION TO ABU HASHIM
197
THE SEMANTIC ASPECTS OF THE PROBLEM
205
THEKORAN
235
THE UNRAISED PROBLEM OF INLIBRATION
244
tion
251
How though unlike Ibn Hanbal he maintains that the Word
259
THE DENIAL OF A PREEXISTENT HEAVENLY
274
THE TERMS MUHDATH HADATH AND HADITH
291
CHAPTER IV
304
TRINITY AND INCARNATION IN THE KALAM
310
AN UNKNOWN SPLINTER GROUP OF NESTORIANS
337
MUSLIM ATTRIBUTES IN MEDIEVAL CHRISTIANITY
349
CHAPTER V
355
THE KALAM CONTROVERSY OVER THE NON
359
Suggestion that underlying this controversy is the problem
372
Platonic basis of this argument 382 As presented by
385
Problem of the origin of the unextendedness of atoms
483
Existence position or turning shape order or intercontact
490
CHAPTER VII
518
AVERROES CRITICISM OF THE DENIAL OF CAUSAL
551
AFFIRMATION OF CAUSALITY
559
IMPOSSIBILITIES
578
REPERCUSSIONS IN CHRISTIANITY
589
CHAPTER VIII
601
THE LIBERTARIANS
613
THE HATIRANI IN THE KALAM AND GHAZALI AS INNER
624
GENERATED EFFECTS almutanoalladdt
644
THE ANTINOMIES OF FREE WILL
655
THE THEORY
663
the relation of Gods power to mans freedom 664 Shah
672
Nashl 676 Jub
679
How Asharis views on acquisition are in agreement with
694
His first discussion
705
CHAPTER IX
720
BIBLIOGRAPHICAL NOTE
741
INDEX OF REFERENCES
755
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About the author (1976)

Harry Austryn Wolfson was Nathan Littauer Professor of Hebrew Literature and Philosophy, Emeritus, Harvard University.

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