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Peter Adamson's Top Book Recommendations

Want to know what books Peter Adamson recommends on their reading list? We've researched interviews, social media posts, podcasts, and articles to build a comprehensive list of Peter Adamson's favorite book recommendations of all time.


Using hitherto unstudied sources, this monograph provides a comprehensive interdisciplinary study of the ethical theory of al-Rāzī, one of the most complex and influential medieval philosophers and theologians. It reveals remarkable and previously unidentified aspects of ethical thought in Islam.

Recommended by Peter Adamson, and 1 others.

Peter AdamsonIt is the best book about this figure, Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī, who died in 1210.He was extremely influential. (Source)

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While the great medieval philosopher, theologian, and physician Maimonides is acknowledged as a leading Jewish thinker, his intellectual contacts with his surrounding world are often described as related primarily to Islamic philosophy. Maimonides in His World challenges this view by revealing him to have wholeheartedly lived, breathed, and espoused the rich Mediterranean culture of his time.

Sarah Stroumsa argues that Maimonides is most accurately viewed as a Mediterranean thinker who consistently interpreted his own Jewish tradition in contemporary multicultural...
Recommended by Peter Adamson, and 1 others.

Peter AdamsonMaimonide was probably the most important Jewish philosopher ever. (Source)

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In the 12th century the Book of the Soul by the philosopher Avicenna was translated from Arabic into Latin. It had an immense success among scholastic writers and deeply influenced the structure and content of many psychological works of the Middle Ages. The reception of Avicenna's book is the story of cultural contact at an imipressively high intellectural level. less
Recommended by Peter Adamson, and 1 others.

Peter AdamsonDag Nikolaus Hasse talks about the translations: who did them, and how they were done. (Source)

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Ibn Sina (980-1037), known as Avicenna in Latin, played a considerable role in the development of both Eastern and Western philosophy and science. His contributions to the fields of logic, natural science, psychology, metaphysics, theology, and even medicine were vast. His work was to have a significant impact on Thomas Aquinas, among others, who explicitly and frequently drew upon the ideas of his Muslim predecessor. Avicenna also affected the thinking of the great Islamic theologian al-Ghazali, who asserted that if one could show the incoherence of Avicenna's thought, then one would have... more
Recommended by Peter Adamson, and 1 others.

Peter AdamsonThe best introduction to all aspects of his thought. It’s a very readable, solid, reliable introduction that is also very interesting. (Source)

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From the middle of the eighth century to the tenth century, almost all non-literary and non-historical secular Greek books, including such diverse topics as astrology, alchemy, physics, botany and medicine, that were not available throughout the eastern Byzantine Empire and the Near East, were translated into Arabic.
Greek Thought, Arabic Culture explores the major social, political and ideological factors that occasioned the unprecedented translation movement from Greek into Arabic in Baghdad, the newly founded capital of the Arab dynasty of the 'Abbasids', during the first two...
Recommended by Peter Adamson, Amira Bennison, and 2 others.

Peter AdamsonAbout an enormous movement when Greek works of science and philosophy were translated into Arabic. (Source)

Amira BennisonGutas is very keen to flag up the role of the caliphs as patrons committed to an intellectual project. (Source)

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