Medieval Jewish Philosophy in Arabic

Charles Manekin

in The Oxford Handbook of Medieval Philosophy

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780195379488
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Medieval Jewish Philosophy in Arabic

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This article covers some of the prominent philosophers who wrote in Judeo-Arabic or Arabic, and who were Jewish. Unlike most of their counterparts in Christian lands, Jewish intellectuals under Muslim rule were familiar with Arabic culture and read Arabic works in Arabic characters, and, occasionally, Hebrew characters. Jewish intellectuals felt no need to create a separate corpus of philosophical and scientific texts translated from another language. The discussion begins with Isaac Israeli, who wrote works of pure philosophy in Judeo-Arabic, and ends with Ibn Kammūna, who wrote works of pure philosophy in Arabic, presumably for a Muslim audience. While much of the Arabic tradition of philosophy among the Jews of al-Andalus dealt with works of religious philosophy and theology, some Jewish intellectuals in the East in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries participated in current trends in Arabic philosophy.

Keywords: Judeo-Arabic philosophers; Judeo-Arabic language; Isaac Israeli; Ibn Kammūna; al-Andalus

Article.  8759 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; History of Western Philosophy

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