Arabic Philosophy

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Arabic Philosophy

  • Host University

    Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

  • Location

    Amsterdam, The Netherlands

  • Area of Study

    Islamic Studies, Philosophy

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Students who complete the course should have acquired a fundamental knowledge of the main philosophical theories elaborated by the thinkers active in the Arabic-Islamic world (including al-Kindī, al-Fārābī, Avicenna and Averroes). They also should have developed a general understanding of the main issues of classical Arabic philosophy.

    The course on Arabic Philosophy (or – as we might call it from another perspective – Arabic-Islamic Philosophy) is intended as an introduction to the philosophical tradition of the Islamic world and its heritage in the Latin medieval world. The time under consideration is what could be considered the ‘classical period’ of Arabic-Islamic thought, roughly from the 9th to the 12th century, i.e. from the era of the great translations of Greek texts into Arabic (and the first interpretations of the translated texts), to the philosophy of Averroes. If possible, some attention will also be paid to subsequent developments (the philosophical tradition of Persia, from the 10th to the 17th century).

    Lectures, Writing and reading assignments, discussions and active participation

    Written exam

    No requirements but A general knowledge of the Islamic Culture and of the history of ancient philosophy (Pre-Socratic Philosophy, Plato, Aristotle and Neo-Platonism in particular) is certainly an advantage for those who are about to attend this course. Those who have not attended a course on these topics and/or are not familiar with them, are therefore invited to read an introductory text about them (Islam and the history of Ancient Philosophy) in addition to the primary and secondary literature for this course.

    Students of Philosophy (2nd year), but also students of Culture, Literature, religious studies etc. can be inetersetd in this course; attendance is compulsory (students who cannot attend regularly have to inform the teacher)

    Each class (or unit) will deal with a particular aspect and /or a particular author of the philosophical tradition in Islam (see below ‘reading assignments’ and ‘themes’), but also with the meaning of some fundamental issues of Arabic philosophical terminology (see ‘Terms’).

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Some courses may require additional fees.


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