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Shihadeh, Ayman (2021) 'Psychology and Ethical Epistemology: An Ashʿarī Debate with Muʿtazilī Ethical Realism, 11th-12th C.' Journal of Arabic and Islamic Studies, 21. pp. 81-102.

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This article examines a hitherto unstudied debate, turning on the epistemology of value judgements, between Ashʿarīs and Baṣran Muʿtazilīs of the late eleventh and twelfth centuries. Al-Ghazālī and al-Rāzī countered Muʿtazilī ethical realism, here defended by al-Malāḥimī, by developing an emotive subjectivism underpinned by increasingly sophisticated psychological accounts of ethical motivation. Value judgements, they maintained, arise not from knowledge of some ethical attributes of acts themselves, but from subjective inclinations, which are often elusive because they can be unconscious or indirect. We also argue against the widespread notion that Ashʿarīs espoused an anti-rationalist ethics, and we show that they were not only ethical rationalists, but also the more innovative side.

Item Type: Journal Article
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > School of History, Religions & Philosophies > Department of History
Departments and Subunits > School of History, Religions & Philosophies > Department of Religions & Philosophies
ISSN: 0806198X
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Sep 2020 11:30

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