The summary of rhetoric

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The book “The summary of rhetoric” (Talkis   al- khatabeh ) is an Arabic work composed by the celebrated  philosopher “ Averroes” (Ibn Rushd) .

It concerns the work of “Aristotle” called “Rhetoric” (al- khatabeh).

In this book, Averroes explains the subjects  presented  by “ Arisotle” : the author stars  any subject with he said  referring  to Aristothe, and continues the sentence , but  it is  not clear that the phrase is presented by Averroes himself or Aristotle.

The method applied by Averroes (in summaries) is different from the commentaries written on Aristotle’s   works.

In commentaries, he explains the phrases, sentence by sentence; therefore it is easy to recognize if the phrase said by Averros or by Aristotle.

 In “summary of rhetoric”, Averroes eliminates the Greek examples presented by Aristotle , and replace the Islamic ones, he offers the examples  corresponding with Islamic atmosphere, as a result  he examples of Islamic history  and jurisprudence, in Arabic Definitely Averroes  makes a great   effort in writing this book .


The author

Abū 'l-Walīd Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad ibn Rushd, better known just as Ibn Rushd and in European literature as Averroes (1126 – December 10, 1198) in Córdoba, was an Andalusian Muslim polymath; a master of Islamic philosophy, Islamic theology, Maliki law and jurisprudence, logic, psychology, politics, Arabic music theory, and the sciences of medicine, astronomy, geography, mathematics, physics and celestial mechanics.

Ibn Rushd’s education followed a traditional path, beginning with studies in Hadith, linguistics, jurisprudence and scholastic theology. Throughout his life he wrote extensively on Philosophy and Religion, attributes of God, origin of the universe, Metaphysics and Psychology.

Ibn Rushd began his career with the help of Ibn Tufail ("Aben Tofail" to the West), the author of Hayy ibn Yaqdhan.

He was also a student of Ibn Bajjah ("Avempace" to the West), another famous Islamic philosopher who greatly influenced his own Averroist thought. However, while the thought of his mentors Ibn Tufail and Ibn Bajjah were mystic to an extent, the thought of Ibn Rushd was purely rationalist. Together, the three men are considered the greatest Andalusian philosophers.


Ibn Rushd's works were spread over 20,000 pages covering a variety of different subjects, including early Islamic philosophy, logic in Islamic philosophy, Arabic medicine, Arabic mathematics, Arabic astronomy, Arabic grammar, Islamic theology, Sharia (Islamic law), and Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence). In particular, his most important works dealt with Islamic philosophy, medicine and jurisprudence. He wrote commentaries on most of the surviving works of Aristotle. These were not based on primary sources (it is not known whether he knew Greek), but rather on Arabic translations.
His most important original philosophical work was The Incoherence of the Incoherence (Tahafut al-tahafut), in which he defended Aristotelian philosophy against al-Ghazali's claims in The Incoherence of the Philosophers (Tahafut al-falasifa). In medicine, Averroes wrote a medical encyclopedia called Kulliyat ("Generalities", i.e. general medicine). This encyclopedic work was completed at some time before 1162 and elaborated on physiology, general pathology, diagnosis, materia medica, hygiene and general therapeutics. He argued that no one can suffer from smallpox twice, and fully understood the function of the retina.

Ibn Rushd was the last major Muslim logician from Andalus. He is known for writing the most elaborate commentaries on Aristotelian logic.
According to Ibn Rushd, there is no conflict between religion and philosophy, rather that they are different ways of reaching the same truth. He believed in the eternity of the universe. He also held that the soul is divided into two parts, one individual and one divine; while the individual soul is not eternal, all humans at the basic level share one and the same divine soul. Ibn Rushd has two kinds of Knowledge of Truth. The first being his knowledge of truth of religion being based in faith and thus could not be tested, nor did it require training to understand. The second knowledge of truth is philosophy, which was reserved for an elite few who had the intellectual capacity to undertake this study.

In the West, Averroes is most famous for commentaries on Aristotle's works, most of which had been inaccessible to Latin Europe during the Early Middle Ages.


The book structure

The book includes 3 articles:

The first article:

1- On praise and disparagement

2- On apology and complaint

3- On faith

The 2nd article

1- On anger

2- On affection

3- On fair

4-On shame and stringiness

5- On effort

6- On jealousy

7-On fineness

8- On manners

9- On old age

10- on the morals of youth

The 3rd article

1- On single   words

2- on the parts of rhetoric



The summary of rhetoric


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