•Ibn Rushd, known to Europeans as Averroes, was an Arabian philosopher, astronomer and writer on jurisprudence who was born in Cordoba in what is now Spain in 1126. He died in Morocco in 1198. •He was educated in Cordoba where his father and grandfather were judges in the court of civil affairs and both had played an important part in the political history of Andalusia. •Ibn Rushd was influential in the fields of jurisprudence, medicine and mathematics. •He is mostly remembered for his insights into philosophy and theology. •Under the Caliphs Abu Jacob Yusuf and his son, Jacob Al Mansur, he was entrusted with several important civil offices in Morocco, Seville and Cordoba. However, he fell into disfavor and was banished with other representatives of learning. •Shortly before his death, the decree was cancelled, but by this time many of his works in logic and metaphysics had been burned. •By the end of the Moorish domination of Spain, which occurred shortly after his death, he had left no school, forcing his work to be studied in Hebrew and Latin. Thus, his work was better known in Europe than it was in the Arab world, and his thought has influenced Europe until today. • Ibn Rushd was the greatest thinker in the history of Andalusian philosophy. His writings demonstrate Islam as a religion of tolerance that was willing to borrow from non-Islamic elements. •At the time he was writing, Europe was living through the Dark Ages where cultural works were suppressed. In the midst of ignorance and intolerance, Ibn Rushd who translated several of the Greek philosophers into Arabic, which were then introduced into Europe, kept the flame of free inquiry and thought alive in these dark times. •His theory of government was also enlightened, and based on his religious belief that the goal of religion and politics was the same: to make people happy. His Method
•Ibn Rushd used the mental process of syllogism, or deduction. This is a logical theory that presupposed that as humans we deduce certain things from other things. Thus: o1. If A=B; and
•We come up with a “premise”, an indisputable proposition that we obtain from studying the world. Philosophy is an attempt to understand the world, and to know our place in the world. Once established, a premise is indisputable. •Philosophers are commanded to study the “laws” of the world, which are all in the end religious laws. The resulting knowledge (laws) is not something that we impose on the Koran, but rather the Koran invites us to come up with such laws. •The Koran does not want us to become intellectuals blindly, and this is why we should use whatever knowledge we have. •Religious law requests human beings to be interested in philosophy; however, not all human beings are equally interested. Philosophy is similar to logic or math. •Although Ibn Rushd taught that there was no “double truth”, but rather one unitary truth, he did say there are many ways to reach the truth about God, and other matters such as the immortality of the soul. For those who wished their beliefs to remain unquestioned, this argument was naturally threatening. •This was especially threatening for many theologians because Ibn Rush thought that one could reach the truth via philosophy because philosophy does not contradict religion. If we were not supposed to think, why did God give us a brain? •However, Ibn Rushd understood that if one did not have the necessary mental capacities to understand philosophy, then one reached God through religion. The goal of philosophy, like the goal of religion, is to attain true knowledge of God. •Knowledge is attained through three ways: demonstrative reason, dialectical argument and rhetorical argument. oFor every Muslim, the Law has provided a way to truth suitable to his nature, through demonstrative, dialectical or rhetorical methods. oDemonstrative reason: used by philosophers is based on primary principles....