Necessary Existence and the Doctrine of Being in Avicenna’s Metaphysics of the Healing Daniel De Haan explicates the central argument of Avicenna’s metaphysical masterpiece. De Haan argues that the most fundamental primary notion in Avicenna’s metaphysics is neither being nor thing but is the necessary (
wājib), which Avicenna employs to demonstrate the existence and true-nature of the divine necessary existence in itself. This conclusion is established through a systematic investigation of how Avicenna’s theory of a demonstrative science is employed in the organization of his metaphysical science into its subject, first principles, and objects of enquiry. The book examines the essential role the first principles as primary notions and primary hypothesis play in the central argument of Avicenna’s metaphysics.
A foreign saying on marriage became widely known in China through Qian Zhongshu’s 1947 novel Fortress Besieged. As the novelist tells us, this saying has its source in both English and French literature, and in its different versions, marriage is either likened to a besieged fortress or a bird cage. This paper examines the origin and transmission of the saying in Greek, Arabic and Syriac sources, and argues that this saying originated in the so-called literature of the Christianized Socratic-Cynic philosophy, which once flourished in Syria. It became popular in the Byzantine and Arabic world after having been included into several famous Greek and Arabic gnomologies. Then it was introduced into modern languages, developed into different versions, finally came to China and became a household word among Chinese people.
Ibn Taymiyya on Reason and Revelation, Carl Sharif El-Tobgui offers the first comprehensive study of Ibn Taymiyya’s ten-volume magnum opus,
Darʾ taʿāruḍ al-ʿaql wa-l-naql. In his colossal riposte to the Muslim philosophers and rationalist theologians, the towering Ḥanbalī polymath rejects the call to prioritize reason over revelation in cases of alleged conflict, interrogating instead the very conception of rationality that classical Muslims had inherited from the Greeks. In its place, he endeavors to articulate a reconstituted “pure reason” that is both truly universal and in full harmony with authentic revelation. Based on a line-by-line reading of the entire
Darʾ taʿāruḍ, El-Tobgui’s study carefully elucidates the “philosophy of Ibn Taymiyya” as it emerges from the multifaceted ontological, epistemological, and linguistic reforms that Ibn Taymiyya carries out in this pivotal work.