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What Made Western Scholars Think Philosophy in Islam Died Out After 1200?

  • Knox Hall, Room 208 606 West 122nd Street New York, NY, 10027 United States (map)

Join us on Tuesday, February 28th (4:30-6:30 in Knox 208) for the next installment of the ongoing workshop series sponsored by the Middle East Institute, “Rethinking Arabic Canons: Critical Conversations.” Professor Frank Griffel (Yale) will be presenting a talk and workshopping a chapter from his current book project, tentatively entitled “The Formation of Post-Classical Philosophy In Islam.” In addition to mapping the changes that affected philosophy in the eastern Islamic world during the 12th century, Professor Griffel’s talk critically re-visits the history of Orientalism, particularly Western scholars’ construction of the post-Averroes “death of philosophy in Islam” thesis and its role in colonialist projects. Please email Angela Giordani ( if you would like to read the chapter before attending the event, and she will send you a copy.

What Made Western Scholars Think Philosophy in Islam Died Out After 1200?

Rethinking Arabic Canons Series Featuring Yale Historian Professor Frank Griffel

After an almost two hundred years of focusing on authors of Islam’s classical period (al-Kindi, al-Farabi, Avicenna etc.), the academic study of philosophy in Islam has finally moved toward the post-classical period, which begins in the 12th century. Those who engage in this field, however, realize that there are reasons why our predecessors neglected this literature. It is hard to penetrate and hard to understand. This talk will explore those difficulties and offer suggestions on how and why post-classical philosophy in Islam is different from the one in its classical period.

Join Professor Griffel (Yale University) as he discusses his current book project forming the title of this workshop. This event will be co-sponsored by the Middle East Institute and the Institute for Comparative Literature & Society at Columbia University.