On Tuesday 21st March 2017, Dr. Wahid M. Amin, AMI faculty member and research fellow in Muslim Philosophical and Theological traditions, delivered a talk at the Centre for Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Birmingham. In his talk he explored medieval reactions to the theory of Active Intellects controversially proposed by the Islamic philosophers al-Farabi and Ibn Sina.
His analysis focused on the commentary tradition around Nasir al-Din al-Tusi’s (d. 672/1274) classical work on theology, the Tajrid al-i’tiqad, and a number of other writings by the same author to demonstrate Tusi’s “methodological perspectivism” towards the opinions of previous thinkers. In his paper, Dr. Amin argued that although Tusi both supports and criticises the theory of active intelligences in different works, this seeming inconsistency can be resolved by a better and more sophisticated understanding of the nature of medieval Islamic scholarship and its different literally genres. The bulk of the paper was devoted to Tusi’s unique and unprecedented proof for the existence of a separated substance on the basis of truth-maker theory, and the metaphysical conclusions that can be drawn from a particular theory of correspondence in ancient and medieval philosophy. The paper was warmly received and discussed in a lively question and answers session attended by specialists and non-specialists in the field of Islamic philosophy.
The Birmingham Centre for Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies specialises in Islam as a spiritual and historical reality, and the contemporary Middle East.
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