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Abbasid History Podcast

Aug 21, 2021

Abū Bakr Muḥammad ibn Zakariyyāʾ al-Rāzī (865–925 CE), also known by his Latinized name Rhazes, was one of the greatest figures in the history of medicine in the Islamic tradition, and one of its most controversial philosophers. While we have ample surviving evidence for his medical thought, his philosophical ideas mostly have to be pieced together on the basis of reports found in other authors, who are often hostile to him.

To discuss with us the life, work and legacy of al-Rāzī is Prof. Peter Adamson. Prof. Adamson is professor of philosophy in late antiquity and in the Islamic world at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich as well as professor of ancient and medieval philosophy at King's College London. Aside from articles, monographs, and edited books, he is known for hosting the weekly podcast "History of Philosophy without any gaps".


02.10: Al-Rāzī was born in the city of Rayy near modern-day Tehran before moving to Baghdad to practise medicine. What do we know about his life?

06:13: The metaphysical doctrine of Razi derives from the theory of the "five eternals", according to which the world is produced out of an interaction between God and four other eternal principles. Tell us more about this.

11.40: He has been accused of heresy by Muslims for denying prophecy, or perhaps he was misunderstood?

20.10: There is a statue of al-Rāzī donated by the Islamic Republic of Iran outside the United Nations Office at Vienna. How can his philosophical heritage still be relevant to us today?

24.15: And finally before we end tell us where listeners can turn next to learn more about today's topic and what are other current projects that listeners can anticipate?

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