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Al-Ghazālī’s Mīzān Al-ʿAmal: an Ethical Summa Based on Ibn Sīnā and Al-Rāghib al-Iṣfahānī

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Chapter Summary

This chapter presents an overview of all passages that deserve to be characterized as a 'source' for the Mīzān al-ʿamal. Before presenting a list of comparison, it shows that the work of Ibn Sīnā that influenced al-Ghazālī’ in the Mīzān is not really al-Najāt, but rather Aḥwāl al-nafs. Furthermore, special mention has to be made of the recent discovery of a new ethical tract of Ibn Sīnā, which turned out to be the direct source of al-Ghazālī’'s discussion of the virtues and vices. Before this tract became known, it seemed plausible enough that al-Ghazālī’ had somewhat modified the ethics of al-Rāghib al-Iṣfahānī, or Miskawayh, while remaining faithful to a Neo-Platonic basis. Finally, it is obvious that al-Rāghib al-Iṣfahānī and Ibn Sīnā have many ideas in common and that one of them clearly influenced the other in several respects.

Keywords: Aḥwāl al-nafs; al-Ghazālī’; al-Rāghib al-Iṣfahānī; ethical tract; Ibn Sīnā; Mīzān al-ʿamal; Neo-Platonic basis



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