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Arabic Canons | Robert Wisnovsky



"Compared to his Risālat al-Tawḥīd, which has received massive scholarly attention and been translated into several European languages, ʿAbduh’s more technically complex works of philosophical commentary – his Ḥāshiyah on Jalāl al-Dīn al-Dawānī’s Sharḥ on the ʿAqāʾid Aḍudiyyah of ʿAḍud al-Dīn al-Ījī, and his Taʿlīqāt on the Baṣāʾir Naṣīriyyah fī ʿIlm al-Manṭiq of Ibn Sahlān al-Sāwī – remain in the shadows. By focusing on ʿAbduh’s take on a central debate in the interpretation of Avicenna’s metaphysics, this paper will bring to light ʿAbduh’s direct engagement with the Avicennian tradition, and show how these two philosophical texts fit within his larger intellectual project."


Dr Robert Wisnovsky is James McGill Professor of Islamic Philosophy at the Institute of Islamic Studies, McGill University. He received his BA (1986) in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from Yale, and an MA (1990) and PhD (1994) in Near Eastern Studies from Princeton, where his supervisor was Prof. Hossein Modarressi. He then took up a Postdoctoral Research Assistantship (1994–1996) in Prof. Richard Sorabji’s Ancient Commentators on Aristotle project, in the Philosophy Department of King’s College London. Dr Wisnovsky's first teaching job was in the Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations Department at Harvard, where he was Assistant Professor (1996-2002) and then Associate Professor (2002-2004) of Islamic Intellectual History. In 2004 he came to the Institute of Islamic Studies at McGill, where he is currently James McGill Professor of Islamic Philosophy, having served as Director of the Institute from 2005-2008. Professor Wisnovsky is one of the leading scholars in the world working on the preservation and cataloguing of Islamic manuscripts in theology and philosophy