Series Editor’s Preface

Series Editor’s Preface
   Islamic philosophy is like all philosophy when tied in with a religion in having indistinct parameters and requiring an understanding of the religion as well as of philosophy. Peter Groff explains a good deal about Islam in his book, and in particular the range of theoretical issues that arose in the religion. Many of these are more theological than philosophical, or so one might think, but really the distinction is rather arti- ficial in Islamic philosophy. So many of the theological debates had and indeed continue to have profound philosophical significance. Over time philosophy was often under attack in much of the Islamic world and went to ground, as it were, in the guise of theology, and it is important for those coming to the subject for the first time to bear in mind the strong links that exist between Islamic philosophy and Islam itself. This book is designed to be appropriate for those coming for the first time both to the religion and to the philosophy, and the entries are linked to other entries and to further reading to help those readers broaden their understanding of what they find here. The Arabic terms are carefully explained and it is important to know the context in which Islamic philosophy flourished. But it would be a mistake to represent Islamic philosophy as exotic. Readers familiar with philosophy in general will recognize many of the issues debated here, and readers familiar with Islam will also see how that religion quite naturally can be taken to raise and then deal with philosophical issues. Readers familiar with neither will be interested to discover what an intriguing form of theoretical thought is represented by Islamic philosophy.
   Oliver Leaman

Islamic Philosophy. . 2007.

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