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The holistic approach to knowledge and education in Imām Abū Hāmid al-Ghazālī’s system of thought
AuthorCebeci, Ahsen Nimet
MetadataShow full item record
CitationCebeci, A. N. (2017). The holistic approach to knowledge and education in Imām Abū Hāmid al-Ghazālī’s system of thought. (Unpublished master's thesis). Ibn Haldun University Alliance of Civilizations Institute, İstanbul.
The purpose of this thesis is to explore the means of knowledge acquisition put forward in Imam Abu ?amid al-Ghazali’s theory of knowledge, with particular focus on those elements that would, today, be deemed prelogical in light of modern epistemic convictions. I will argue that such means are not prelogical or irrational, as they have been described in several places, but are the natural epistemic dimension of an extensive and sophisticated metaphysical theology that differs significantly from the metaphysical outlook (or lack thereof) that motivates such pejorative labeling. I will further argue that Imam al-Ghazali’s inclusion of these means is not a symptom of intellectual weakness or ritualistic bias, but a valuable illustration of the wholistic nature of Islamic thought, in which the metaphysical, the physical, the epistemological, and the ethical are all treated as inextricable facets of existence whose separating boundaries are, in many cases, impossible to delineate. Thus, Imam al-Ghazali’s conviction that seekers of knowledge should conduct their search through metaphysical, spiritual, and ritualistic means does not detract from, but rather lends coherence and strength to his theory of knowledge, which has become canon within the vast intellectual tradition of his faith.