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Critical Thinking within Islam #5: Lecture and text by Ali Benmakhlouf

video text

In his lecture Philosophy in Andalusia from the 11th to the 14th centuries Ali Benmakhlouf focuses on the most widespread models of knowledge among Andalusian philosophers and their relationship to religious thought. In his text which accompanies the lecture, Averroes, a witness to truth (1126-1198), he demonstrates the rigour of Averroes' thought and action and his influence on philosophical thought in the Muslim and Latin worlds. The text is available in French, Dutch and English under 'Downloads'.

Ali Benmakhlouf

Ali Benmakhlouf is professor at the Department of Philosophy of the University of Paris East Val de Marne and a Senior Member of the Institut Universitaire de France. The guiding thread of his research is logic, history and the philosophy of logic. After focusing his attention on G. Frege (1848-1925) and on Bertrand Russell (1872-1970), two logicians to whom he devoted many works, he set out to explore the history of medieval Arab logic, rich in commentaries on Aristotle's Organon. In this capacity he undertook the translation of the works on logic of Al-Farabi (10th century) and Averroes (12th century), to whom he also devoted monographic studies. As a UNESCO expert for philosophical dialogue between the Arab world and the Asian world (2004-2011), he participated in numerous training sessions in Asian countries (South Korea, Thailand, Japan) and in Arab countries (Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt). He is currently involved in the debates on bioethics after being a member of France’s National Consultative Committee on Ethics and of the Committee for Ethics and Professional Conduct of the French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development. He is a member of the French Society of Philosophy, of the International Institute of Philosophy, of the Society for the History of Pharmacy and a permanent member of the National Academy of Pharmacy. 

Critical Thinking within Islam

VUB Crosstalks and Moussem set up a lecture series on critical thinking within Islam. In their ideas about Islamic civilisation both Muslim extremists and Islamophobes go back to an originally 'pure' Islam, which was supposedly born 1400 years ago, but in reality did not really exist. Islam was never one block, one movement. On the contrary, it has always been a very diverse culture, strengthened by acculturation and by coming in contact with the Greek, Persian, Indian, African culture etc. A history that is also full of dissidence, heresy and rebellion. These sects and alternative theological currents are at the root of a fascinating culture of debate. Philosophers from the golden age of Islam such as Al Farabi, Averroës, Avicenna, Abu Al Alaa Al Ma'ari Abu Bakr Al Razi, Omar Khayyam, Abu Hayyan Al Tawhidi... are founders of a culture based on reason and science. In today's complex world, attention to these forgotten thinkers is more than necessary.
In this context, we present a series of online lectures and publish a new text by the speaker that relates to the theme.


Lectures and publications are protected by copyright, but may be used in an educational context, provided the name VUB Crosstalks and Moussem are mentioned and the authors are notified in advance.

Thoughts and opinions expressed in the lectures and publications belong solely to the author, and not necessarily to the organizations presenting this programme.

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