Abstract

abstract:

The present study investigates the atomism of Muḥammad ibn 'Abd al-Karīm al-Shahrastānī (c. 1075–1153). After a survey of traditional Islamic atomism and Avicenna's devastating critique of it, I argue that Shahrastānī developed a new form of atomism in light of Avicenna's critique. Briefly, unlike earlier forms of atomism, which viewed atoms as actualized and discrete entities within the body, Shahrastānī's atoms have possible existence within the body, which is actualized only when separated from the whole. What makes this position particularly interesting is how Shahrastānī exploits and incorporates elements of Avicenna's own theories of the continua and natural minima into a new theory of the atom.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1538-4586
Print ISSN
0022-5053
Pages
pp. 595-619
Launched on MUSE
2019-10-15
Open Access
No
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