The Flying Man, Aristotle and the Philosophers of the Golden Age of Islam: What is their relevance today? | Book Club - The New Arab

Book Club: Professor Akbar Ahmed invites us to survey the ideas of some of the great Muslim, Christian and Jewish philosophers from a remarkable period of history. 

In a recent article, noted Moroccan literary writer Abdelfattah Kilito asked rhetorically: "What is the point of reading the ancients? 

Photo: Getty Images

They are not of our world. They are peacefully asleep and do not want us to wake them. Let the dead bury their dead. We may hesitate a moment in our judgement and suppose that there are, perhaps, benefits and advantages to be gained from their company."

Why indeed?  Well, there are many incentives for modern people to engage with the writings of the great philosophers and thinkers of the past – not least for the perennial human search for truth and “love of wisdom” – the literal meaning of philosophy: a commodity in scarce supply in our challenging times.  

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