The incoherence of the philosophers

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“ Tahafot al- Falasephe” ( The incoherence of  philosophers) is the name of  an Arabic work composed by “ Qazali”. In this book “ Qazali” strongly criticizes the Greek and Muslim philosophers such as: Socrate, Plato,  Aristotle, Farabi, Avicenna, and negates their philosophical views.

The author

Abumed Imam Muhammad Ghazali Toosi, outstanding Muslim philosopher, jurisconsult, mystic and theologian. He was born in 1059 in Toos –Iran.

After learning primary sciences, he travelled to Gorgan –Iran to continue his edeucation. At the age of 23 travelled to Neishabour and studied under "Imam al- Haramain Joweini". Then at the age of 34 he was so expert that he could teach at "Nezamiyeh university" in Baghdad.
300 scholars attended his classes. He had also political activities.

Actually, Ghazali was not a philosopher and was against philosophy and philosophers especially "Avicenna".
He did not study philosophy under masters but studied philosophy for 3 years and then wrote the books: "Purposes of philosophers" and "self-contradiction of philosophers" which are the important Islamic books.
There have been many in the Islamic world who were opposed to philosophy but no one has been as strict as Ghazali.
If there were not the great philosophers "Suhrawardi" and "Khajeh Nasi Toosi", Ghazali would abolish philosophy.
We call him a philosopher because his negative and positive ideas had noticeable effects on philosophy.

"Muhammad Shahrestani" (theologian), "Abu Hatam Muzaffar" (mathematician), "Meimun Ibn Najib Waseti" (mathematician) are in the same category as Ghazali.

    After acquainting with different sects, he quited teaching and became a Sufi.
In 1094, he wrote his most famous book "Revival of the religious sciences".

Other works:
1- The alchemy of prosperity
2- Criterion of science
3- Advice of kings
4- Yaqut al –Ta;wil fi tafsir al –Tanzil (on exegesis of the Quran)

Ghazali died in 1111.

The book structure

The book includes 4 prefaces and 20 subjects on philosophy

The 1st preface:
"Aristotle" as the master of  philosophers,  and  the one who summarized philosophers, views.

The 2nd preface:
Same of philosophical views of philosophers have no relation with religion but with natural sciences, and some others, protest against region (for example: the priority of the universe)

The 3rd preface:
The in coherences among philosophers

The 4th preface:
Philosophers deal more with mathematics and   logic, in comparison with religious principles
The twenty philosophical issues rejected by the author:

20   philosophical subjects which have been criticized by Qazali, are rejected in “The in coherence of in coherence”.
1. The connection between God and universe (including 4 subjects)
2. Uniqueness of God and inability of philosophers in proving
 (including 4 subjects)
3. The Attributes of God (including 7 subjects)
4. The Divine knowledge about details (1 subject)
5. The celestial and natural problems (including3 subjects)
6. Causation (1 subject)
7. Human spirit (2 subjects)
8. Resurrection of bodies and souls (1 subject)

The book was published in 1927 in Beirut.  



The incoherence of the philosophers

Persian Encyclopedia


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