Dr. Kostelecky - Philosophy 249 - 10

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Matthew Kostelecky

PHILOSOPHY 249 AL-GHAZALI periodization of philosophy. so roughly hewn: ANCIENT to the 4C AD MEDIEVAL 5 TO 16C MODERN 17 to 19C CONTEMPORARY (ANALYTIC & CONTINENTAL) 20C to now periodization doesn't really do justice to anyone, but they are useful for navigating to what extent is medieval distinguished? not really, it is just a place in the conversation. AL-GHAZALI has some features similar to HUME (18C Scotland) we can look at a medieval philosopher and compare them to their analogues in other 'periods' from ancient to medieval - aristotle is mostly lost because of boetheus' execution. they are limited to the aristotle they have, and it limits the questions of the latin west. BUT ARISTOTLE DOESN'T DISAPPEAR, HE PERSISTS IN THE BYZANTINE EMPIRE! they speak greek, keep their greek texts. then ARAB THOUGHT comes on the scene with the emergence of the islam and its caliphs. THE PHILOSOPHY THAT GOES ON THERE IS EXTRORDINARILY NUANCED. THEY TRANSLATE ARISTOTLE INTO ARABIC, the west was more platonist. they in fact use aristotle to understand plato. for ISLAM, ARISTOTLE IS MOST IMPORTANT. AL-GHAZALI... big arabic names to center us AL-KINDI - directs the translation movement in bhagdad and damascus from greek into arabic (the father of arabic philosophy) AL-FARABI - part of what he does is the way in which he interprets aristotles metaphysics definitively for the future AVICENNA (IBN SINA) - reformulates metaphysics. extrordinarily brilliant. takes the hodge podge of aristotle's metaphysics, he looks at it as a text, and reorders it and reorients it and tries to ground metaphysics as a science. subject of metaphysics is being as being (as opposed to god) AL-GHAZALI - writes the incoherence of the philosophers. he critiques philosophy and says avicenna sinned greatly in saying that the subject of metaphysics is being as being. AVERROES (IBN RUSHD) - writes the incoherence of the incoherence (primarily commenting back to aristotle. correcting al-ghazali and reformulating avicenna). so medieveal phil is not one big umbrella topic... IS AL-GHAZALI AN OCCASIONALIST? occasionalism - god is the cause of all change. he is both proximate and remote cause. for all theists the question is: is god the proximate cause, or the remote cause? most would think that god is the remote cause (he sets up the processes that allow for the proximate causes to work) IN OCCASIONALISM, GOD IS PROXIMATE AND REMOTE... you have to believe in god to get that off the ground aquinas or scotus or avicenna say that god is only the remote cause. WE ARE JUST GOING TO DEAL WITH THIS QUESTION: is there a NECESSARY relation between proximate cause and proxima
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