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Monthly Public Lectures

This lecture argues against the dominant narrative that the debate on ethical theory in classical Islamic thought can be reduced to a conflict between ethical rationalism and ethical anti-rationalism, or more simply put, a conflict between reason and revelation. Focusing on the Ash‘arī and Mu‘tazilī schools of thought, the speaker will analyse the concept of ‘intellect’ (‘aql) and examine its complex theoretical contexts, chronological development, and application in ethical and legal epistemology. He will argue that when earlier theologians and jurists spoke of ethical judgement (al-taḥsīn wa-l-taqbīḥ) as ‘aqlī or non-‘aqlī, they referred primarily to the metaphysical status of ethical value, and that rationality per se was not at stake. It will be shown that the debate was at heart one between ethical realism and ethical anti-realism. 

Update: The lecture will be hosted online via Webex:

Webinar password: Qatar1234



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