Global and Islamic approach to the philosophy highlighted


The move towards a holistic philosophy may signal a shift towards the decolonization of knowledge, particularly in the study of the humanities, freeing it from the shackles of colonialist epistemology, Dr. Sajjad Rizvi said during his speech at the Habib University.

Dr Sajjad, Professor of Islamic Studies and Director of the Institute of Arabic and Islamic Studies at the University of Exeter, gave a lecture on world philosophy, intellectual history and asceticism: what is is philosophy in Islamic traditions?

During the lecture, Dr. Sajjad highlighted the ways and importance of rethinking the nature of philosophy in Islam and aimed to place it within the sphere of global philosophy to overcome traditional Western philosophical boundaries.

He argued that he himself may be a little “too optimistic” about the ability of Anglo-American philosophy departments to adapt to a more holistic philosophy and instead proposed that the people should wait and see if this is a “passing fad”.

Dr Sajjad, however, argued that the change was something noticeable in philosophy departments.

Strengthening the arguments for world philosophy, he said that “no European philosophical tradition”, including Islamic philosophy, has contributed to what “we understand by philosophy by means of arguments by ontology, experiences of thought, mutex or narratives of mutual exclusion and even politics”.

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He claimed that global philosophy dislodged individuals from their “parochial and highly specialized, perhaps insignificant concerns”, and instead moved people to the idea that the “true task of philosophy” was to consider, to debate and keep alive the pressing issues that we face and embody. From there, attempts could be made to address these issues and assess the success of “possible solutions”, he said.

After highlighting the issues underlying the way philosophy is currently studied and emphasizing the need for the globalization of philosophy through decolonization, the professor then discussed how to bring Islamic philosophy and traditions in conversation, without “falsifying” these traditions. Speaking about Islamic tradition and philosophy, Dr Sajjad argued that there are questions regarding methodology, boundaries and “internal boundaries that exist in Islamic traditions”.

He stressed that philosophy should be more than traditional philosophers such as Aristotle and Kant and transcend other “exclusive practices”, and that attention should be paid to more holistic forms of discourse designed to search for meaning. and the comprehension.

He further stated that by opening up Islamic philosophy, people could advance the process of decolonization and eventually abandon the old Eurocentric philosophical education and replace it with a broader pedagogy of life and being.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 13and2022.

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