Averroes' Tahafut Al-Tahafut (The Incoherence of the by Averroes, Simon Van Den Bergh

By Averroes, Simon Van Den Bergh

The Incoherence of the Incoherence, Volumes I and II, translated from the Arabic.

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Additional info for Averroes' Tahafut Al-Tahafut (The Incoherence of the Incoherence) Volumes I and II

Example text

He too Kometimes teaches the fundamental theory of the philosophers which lie tries to refute so insistently in our book, the theory that from the one supreme Agent as the ultimate source through intermediaries nil things derive; and he himself expresses this idea (in his Alchemy qf Happiness and slightly differently in his Vivification of Theology) by I lie charming simile of an ant which seeing black tracings on a sheet of paper thinks that their cause is the pen, while it is the hand that moves the pen by the power of the will which derives from the heart, Itself inspired by the spiritual agent, the cause of causes.

It has already been shown in the science of logic that this is a weak rhetorical or sophistical kind of argument. 1 The answer is that what we* claim to be necessarily true is objectively true, whereas whatj>OK claim as necessarily absurd is not as you claim it to be. For this there is no other criterion than immediate intuitive apprehension, 2 just as, when one man claims that a line is rhythmical and another denies it, the criterion is the intuition of the sound understanding. As for the thesis of a numerical plurality of immaterial souls, this is not a theory acknowledged by the philosophers, 3 for they regard matter as the cause of numerical plurality 4 and form as the cause of congruity in numerical plurality.

IN T H E NAME O F T H E M E R C I F U L AND COMPASSIONATE 3 G O D : AND A F T E R PRAISE T O GOD AND B E N E D I C T I O N U P O N ALL H I S MESSENGERS AND P R O P H E T S : T H E aim of this book is to show the different degrees of assent 1 and conviction attained by the assertions in The Incoherence of the Philosophers, and to prove that the greater part has not reached the degree of evidence and of truth. THE FIRST DISCUSSION Concerning the Eternity of the World Ghazali, speaking of the philosophers' proofs for the eternity of the 4 world, 2 says: Let us restrict ourselves in this chapter to those proofs that make an impression on the mind.

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