AL-GHAZALI Biography - Educators, philosophers & public speakers


Biography » educators philosophers public speakers » al ghazali


Al-Ghazali (c.1055–1111) was one of the most prominent and influential                 
philosophers, theologians, jurists, and mystics of Sunni Islam. He was active at         
a time when Sunni theology had just passed through its consolidation and entered         
a period of intense challenges from Shiite  theology and the Arabic                     
tradition of Aristotelian philosophy (falsafa). Al-Ghazâlî understood the             
importance of falsafa and developed a complex response that rejected and                 
condemned some of its teachings, while it also allowed him to accept and apply           
others. Al-Ghazali's critique of twenty positions of falsafa in his Incoherence         
of the Philosophers  is a significant landmark in the                                   
history of philosophy as it advances the nominalist critique of Aristotelian             
science developed later in 14th century Europe. On the Arabic and Muslim side al-Ghazali's
acceptance of demonstration (apodeixis) led to a much more refined and precise           
discourse on epistemology and a flowering of Aristotelian logics and metaphysics.       
With al-Ghazâlî begins the successful introduction of Aristotelianism or rather       
Avicennism into Muslim theology. After a period of appropriation of the Greek           
sciences in the translation movement from Greek into Arabic and the writings of         
the falâsifa up to Avicenna (, c.980–1037), philosophy and the Greek                 
sciences were “naturalized” into the discourse of kalâm and Muslim theology (Sabra 
1987). Al-Ghazâlî's approach to resolving apparent contradictions between reason       
and revelation was accepted by almost all later Muslim theologians and had, via         
the works of Averroes (Ibn Rushd) and Jewish authors a significant                       
influence on Latin medieval thinking.