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David Reisman

Abstract

In reaction to earlier scholarship on the role of Aristotelian political theory among medieval Arabic-writing intellectuals, this paper argues that another approach of those intellectuals might more profitably be followed: that of the role of rhetorical speech. That political speech is investigated in Aristotle's Rhetoric makes it a suitable candidate for such a pursuit. However, what the present investigation concludes is that even this aspect of political theory by way of the Rhetoric also was not perceived to warrant investigation among medieval Arabic-writing intellectuals. In a review of all constituents of Greek political theory as it is now understood, this paper finds that there was one aspect of rhetorical speech that captivated the attention of these writers: the use of the enthymeme in speech patterns. Drawing on the writings of Avicenna, the author concludes that, instead of the application of the enthymemic construction of political rhetoric, Avicenna perceived yet another arena for its applicability: the training of philosophy students.

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Edited by Felicitas Opwis and David Reisman

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Edited by Felicitas Opwis and David Reisman

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Islamic Philosophy, Science, Culture, and Religion

Studies in Honor of Dimitri Gutas

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Edited by Felicitas Opwis and David Reisman

Islamic intellectual thought is at the center of this collection of articles honoring Dimitri Gutas by friends, colleagues, and former students. The essays cover three main areas: the classical heritage and Islamic culture; classical Arabic science and philosophy; and Muslim traditional sciences. They show the interconnectedness between the Islamic intellectual tradition and its historical predecessors of Greek and Persian provenance, ranging from poetry to science and philosophy. Yet, at the same time, the authors demonstrate the independence of Muslim scholarship and the rich inner-Muslim debates that brought forth a flourishing scholastic culture in the sciences, philosophy, literature, and religious sciences. This collection also reflects the breadth of contemporary research on the intellectual traditions of Islamic civilization.

Contributors include: Amos Bertolacci, Kevin van Bladel, Gideon Bohak, Sonja Brentjes, Charles Burnett, Hans Daiber, Gerhard Endress, William Fortenbaugh, Beatrice Gruendler, Jules Janssens, David King, Yahya Michot, Suleiman Mourad, Racha Omari, Felicitas Opwis, David Reisman, Heinrich von Staden, Tony Street, Hidemi Takahashi, Alexander Treiger, and Robert Wisnovsky.
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The Making of the Avicennan Tradition

The Transmission, Contents, and Structure of Ibn Sīnā's al-Mubāḥaṭāt (The Discussions)

David Colum Reisman

Presenting a detailed analysis of the manuscripts, contents, structure and historical transmission of The Discussions, this volume is a collection of correspondence written by eleventh-century philosoher Avicenna, his students and colleagues.
The first chapter contains a study of the extant manuscripts complete with palaeographical and codicological details. The second chapter traces the transmission of the texts that now constitute The Discussions and offers convincing arguments for their posthumous collection. The third chapter presents biographical studies of Avicenna's students Bahmanyar and Ibn Zayla, and his colleague Abū l-Qāsim al-Kirmānī, in order to develop the historical and intellectual contexts of these philosophical discussions. The fourth chapter develops theories for the dating and original sequence of the individual letters on the basis of textual evidence.
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Before and After Avicenna

Proceedings of the First Conference of the Avicenna Study Group

Edited by David Colum Reisman

This volume contains the proceedings of the first meeting of the Avicenna Study Group. Each of the papers presents the most recent research conclusions in its respective topic.
These conclusions include new insights into Avicenna's revision of Aristotle and Plotinus, specific areas of his theories of psychology and metaphysics, his intellectual interaction with the theologians of his period, the historical and social context in which Avicenna worked, the reception of his thought among Syriac-writing authors, among later Ishraqi philosophers, and in Shi'ite peripatetic philosophy. These insights range from new interpretations of his extant corpus, to compelling theories on the factors contributing to his philosophical innovations. In many cases, these papers present hitherto unexamined textual evidence that will contribute greatly to a new methodology in Avicenna studies, and Arabic-Islamic philosophy in general.