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On Life, Death, and Languages: An Arabic Critical Edition and English Translation of Epistles 29-31
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On Life, Death, and Languages: An Arabic Critical Edition and English Translation of Epistles 29-31 (Hardback)

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The Ikhwan al- safa' (Brethren of Purity), the anonymous adepts of a tenth-century esoteric fraternity based in Basra and Baghdad, hold an eminent position in the history of science and philosophy in Islam due to the wide reception and assimilation of their monumental encyclopaedia, the Rasa'il Ikhwan al- safa' (Epistles of the Brethren of Purity). This compendium contains fifty-two epistles offering synoptic accounts of

the classical sciences and philosophies of the age; divided into four classificatory parts, it treats themes in mathematics, logic, natural philosophy, psychology, metaphysics, and theology, in addition to didactic fables.

The three epistles in this volume are among the most accessible and appealing of the Brethren of Purity's treatises. In their down-to-earth yet elegant style, they present age-old teachings on three fundamental issues: the nature of death, the truth about pleasure and pain, and the multiplicity of human languages and their origins, beginning with a discussion of natural and mechanical sounds and proceeding to human speech. Here we find outstanding examples of adab in the Arabic

literary tradition, refined and genial philosophical discourses that reveal a high degree of sophistication and considerable literary flair.

Philosophy, Psychology & Social SciencesNon-Western philosophyIslamic & Arabic philosophyPhilosophy, Psychology & Social SciencesWestern philosophyWestern philosophy: Medieval & Renaissance, c 500 to c 1600Religion & BeliefsIslamIslamic theology Publisher: Oxford University Press Publication Date: 01/12/2020 ISBN-13: 9780198858140  Details: Type: Hardback Format: Books
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Eric Ormsby was educated at Columbia University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Princeton University (PhD, 1981). He has had a varied and distinguished career, teaching for twenty years at McGill University, Montreal, where from 1996 he was Professor and Director of the Institute of Islamic Studies. From 2005 until 2013, he worked at the Institute of Ismaili Studies, London, first as a Senior Research Associate and then as Chief Librarian. In addition to his extensive publications on Classical Arabic literature and Islamic thought, and his translations from Arabic, Persian, French and German, he has published seven poetry collections. He is also an essayist and reviewer and the author of critical works on poetry and translation.

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