The "story of Islamic philosophy" argues Bashier (Van Leer Jerusalem Institute, Israel), is the story of the move from a rationalistic phase through to a recognition of the limits of the rational faculty and openness to mystical illumination, or liminal philosophy. It is, in other words, the move from the rationalistic conceptualization of Farabi (d. 950) to the illuminative philosophy of Ibn Tofayl (d. 1185) and Ibn al-Arabi (d. 1240) (and others), which, like the similar understanding found in Plato's Seventh Letter, allows for the articulation of a synthetic vision of the naturalistic and religious accounts of epistemological and ontological reality. Annotation c2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Salman H. Bashier is a Polonsky Postdoctoral Fellow at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute in Israel. He is the author of Ibn al-Arabi’s Barzakh: The Concept of the Limit and the Relationship between God and the World, also published by SUNY Press.