- 東洋文化研究所紀要 (ISSN:05638090)
- vol.87, pp.17-50, 1981-11
Al-Ghazali wrote several works on (Aristotelian) logic (mantiq).
The fact shows the importance of logic in his whole system of thought.
This is particularly and uniquely so, except Islamic philosophers (failasūf), in the general negative attitude of the traditional Muslim scholars against logic.
Nevertheless, these writings have not adequately been studied in an attempt to clarify the significance of al-Ghazali's logical study and thought in the history of Islamic theology as well as in the development of his personal religious thought.
The aim of the present article is to analyse these works of al-Ghazali with a view to clarify his attitude to logic and point out some problems for further study.
We come to the conclusion that al-Ghazali not only baldly accepts Aristotelian logic totally, but goes so far as to islamicize it in the Qur'ānic terms.
This leads us to the questions:
(1) What is the reason for this attitude of his? My tentative answer is: the usefullness of logic and its superiority to the traditional (legal) method of reasoning (qiyās).
(2) The influence of al-Ghazali's logical study in later development of Islamic theology, with particular reference to Ibn Khaldun's comments on it in his al-Muqaddimah.
(3) The problem of apparent contradiction of al-Ghazali's positive reliance on reason (‘aql) shown in those logical works and his negative attitude to reason in his autobiography, al-Munqidh min al-Dalāl.