Stanford Encyclopedia article: al-Razi

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Pleased to say that my article on Abū Bakr al-Rāzī (known in Latin as Rhazes) is now available on the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy!
Eduardo on 22 May 2021

Doubts about al-Razi

An amazing article professor Adamson! Just one question. Concerning al-Razi´s alleged denial of the necesity or even convenience of profets, what do you think in the end? Was he really a freethinker as meny have claimed, was he only misrepresented? Perhaps something in between? 

From the article I get the impression that, though realizing we can´t have certainty on the matter, you lean towards the view that it was all just an exageration due to al-Razi´s ismailies enemies. Am I correct in interpreting you that way?

I understand it´s impossible to give an absolute statement about such a matter, but I would love to know what you think is the most plaussible answer.


In reply to by Eduardo

Peter Adamson on 22 May 2021

Razi on prophecy

Yes, that's exactly my view: he was attacking imamism, the idea that one should follow specifically inspired interpreters of revelation, as found especially in proto-shiite groups like the Ismailis. And they, especially Abu Hatim al-Razi, misrepresented him as attacking prophecy in general. I think his view was just that revelation confirms the findings of reason and that the two are in perfect harmony; what he didn't like was the idea that the meaning of revelation would be inaccessible to reason and have a meaning available only to the select, inspired few. Thus his view was more like that of other falāsifa like Farabi, Ibn Rushd, etc. I argue for this at length in the book I just published on him.

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