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The philosophy of Abu' L-Barakat al-Baghdadi with special reference to his concept of time

Dag, Mehmet (1970) The philosophy of Abu' L-Barakat al-Baghdadi with special reference to his concept of time. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



Abu'l-Barakat's philosophy is determined by his critical attitude against the Aristotelian philosophy on one hand and by his appeal to the immediate perceptions of the mind on the other. He was born at Balad nearby Bagdad in 465 A.H./1074 A.D. Having studied at Bagdad, towards the end of his life, he became a Muslim either out of wounded pride or out of fear. He classified sciences into the sciences of existing things which include Physics and Metaphysics; and the sciences of mentally related forms, i.e., Psychology; and the science of sciences, i.e. Logic. Space, according to him, is conceived in the mind prior to everything else as tridimensional, and as capable of being full or empty. The prime matter is identical with the corporeal body. In his theory of motion, his originality lies in his explanation of the motion in the void, accelerated motion, and the quies media. His revolutionary attitude is perhaps best exemplified in his Psychology. According to him, we have an immediate perception of our soul together with existence and time. Every theory which explains soul in terms of faculties or forces is repugnant to him in the Metaphysics, Abu'l-Barakat identifies universals with the mental form. The forms that exist in the mind of God are the causes of the things existing in external reality. God is the direct existentiating cause of everything. Existence, which forms one of our primary apperceptions, is superadded to the things that are existent. Existence, and existent are identified in God. His conception of God is determined by his human psychology. The difference between God and man is one of degree. He identifies celestial bodies with ' angels'. They are the preserver of the species, guides and instructors, Avicenna, having eliminated the difficulties inherent in time, held that time is a measure of motion with respect to prior and posterior. He stressed the continuous nature of time,. Time, eternal duration, and perpetuity belong to the different domains of the universe, Avicenna, by identifying time with the continuity itself, however, may have prepared the way for the identification of time with duration. I n Hellenistic philosophy, this trend started as a reaction against the Aristotelian view. In al-Kindl, we find the traces of Abu'1-Barakat's theory. According to him, the time of a corporeal body is the duration of its existence. Iranshahrl, and al-Razx, under the influence of Galenidentify time with duration, and divide it into absolute and limited. This trend culminates in Abu'l-BaraJcat's theory of time. He puts time, existence, and soul on the same plane in so far as our primary consciousness of them is concerned. Time, being inseparable from existence, must be defined as the measure or the dimension of existence rather than as that of motion. God, being the existence per se, cannot be beyond time. Time, duration, and perpetuity are all one and the same thing. By discarding these distinctions, he unifies the visible and spiritual worlds. The difference between them is only one of degree, otherwise they are closely related to each other.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Date:1970
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:18 Sep 2013 10:32

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