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Introduction: The Life and Qiyās of Abū Isḥāq al-Shīrāzī (393H/1003 CE-476H/1083 CE)

  • Shahid Rahman
  • Muhammad Iqbal
  • Youcef Soufi
Chapter
Part of the Logic, Argumentation & Reasoning book series (LARI, volume 19)

Abstract

In the chapters that follow, Shahid Rahman and Muhammad Iqbal provide us with a comprehensive logical analysis of Abū Isḥāq al-Shīrāzī’s two forms of qiyās-based argumentation, which they aptly translate as inference by parallel reasoning. Their painstaking labour is bound to interest both the Islamic studies historian and the contemporary logician. For the former, among whom I include myself, their methodological approach of embedding qiyās argumentation within its proper historical dialectical context sheds new light on Islamic legal argumentation. Building upon Walter Young’s thesis that Islamic legal rules and argumentative principles were “forged” through debate itself, Rahman and Iqbal demonstrate the series of steps al-Shīrāzī deemed necessary to secure a successful deployment of qiyās while in a debate gathering. In marked contrast to typical scholarly treatment of qiyās which (implicitly) assumes a solitary jurist whose monological comparison of like-cases goes unquestioned, they show how the successful deployment of qiyās often depended upon a jurist offering a deeper defense of his background assumptions about two cases. The juristic use of qiyās therefore necessitated a wider exploration of the legal system. For the logician, Rahman and Iqbal suggest that the Islamic tradition can enter into conversation with the modern study of dialectical argumentation. Like Amira Mittermaier, whose study of contemporary dreams in Egypt, argues that Ibn ‘Arabī and al-Ghazālī are just as valuable as Freud or Sartre to our understanding of dreams and the imagination, Rahman and Iqbal show that al-Shīrāzī and the Islamic legal tradition are worthy interlocutors of Wittgenstein and other contemporary logicians. In particular, they show that meaning and knowledge are immanent or internal to dialogical exchanges insofar as the reasons justifying claims depend on a set of propositions embraced by both participants.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shahid Rahman
    • 1
  • Muhammad Iqbal
    • 1
  • Youcef Soufi
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of philosophyUniversité de LilleLilleFrance
  2. 2.Department of Classical, Near Eastern, and Religious StudiesUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

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