Revised edition 1998. 8vo xviii 204pp. Paperback. Slight crease to front cover, inscription on inside of front cover otherwise very good.
Averroes was born in 1126 AD in Cordoba, Andalusia. His education comprised a thorough grounding in the Maliki approach to jurisprudence and an Ash’arite introduction to theology. The Ash’arites put forward an interpretation of shari ‘a and Islam which emphasizes the power and influence of God over all things, an emphasis which leads them to abandon the objectivity of causality, ethics, and the world as an eternal entity. Averroes spent most of the rest of his life arguing against this approach. Despite his important stature in the history of philosophy, Averroes is a thinker whose work has been left largely unexplored in this century. It is the aim of this book to rectify this omission, and to argue that his philosophical output is of considerable philosophical as well as historical significance. Averroes’ metaphysics is discussed, with particular emphasis upon the issues which were controversial in his time, such as the apparent denial of the immortality of the individual soul, the necessity of causality, and the distinction between essence and existence. The unity of his thought is stressed, and its source is discovered not in his religious views but in his theory of meaning.
The development of the Averroist movement is interpreted as an accurate extension of his ideas, rather than a distorted reflection. The emphasis lies mainly on Averroes and his philosophical thought, with some attention to his influence on other thinkers and the context within which his work attracted so much attention and controversy.