Middle East Studies

Lidia Gocheva – Three Refutations of the Philosophers’ View on Divine Knowledge

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Wednesday, February 27, 2019

12:00 – 1:00 p.m.

McKinney Conference Room, Watson Institute
111 Thayer St.

Registration will be required and will open up closer to the date

As a response to Avicenna’s growing influence, the twelfth century (C.E.) marks the emergence of the genre of refutation of the philosophers. The focus of this talk are al-Ghazālī’s (d. 1111), al-Shahrastānī’s (d. 1153), and Ibn al-Malāḥimī’s (d. 1141) refutations, with special attention to their treatment of the subject of God’s knowledge. While all three authors criticized the philosophers, they did so in accordance with their own ideological commitments. A look at their chapters on divine knowledge offers an insight into the highly controversial question of the nature and extent of God’s knowledge, and sheds light on the characteristic features of the genre of refutation.  

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Lidia Gocheva is a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Philosophy, where she teaches courses in Islamic Philosophy. She earned her PhD in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from Harvard University. She holds an MA from Harvard and a BA from Yale, both in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations. Her current research focuses on Islamic epistemology and metaphysics. She is also interested in the intersection of Islamic intellectual history and classical Arabic philology. She is working on revising her dissertation, entitled "The Problem of God's Knowledge of Particulars in Avicennan and Post-Avicennan Thought," and preparing it for publication.