Faculty of Arts

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2015 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
Organisational UnitCentre for Religious Studies
OfferedNot offered in 2015


This unit examines the origins and development of Islamic philosophy within the broader context of the Islamic intellectual tradition. It defines Islamic philosophy, discusses its relation to Western and particularly Greek philosophy. Focus will be on al-Kindi, al-Razi, al-Farabi, al-Ghazzali, Ibn Rushd (Averroes), Ibn Sina (Avicenna), Ibn Arabi, Ibn Khaldun and Qunawi. This unit explores different philosophical schools that emerged within the Islamic world, including contemporary philosophers like Said Nursi, Syed Hussein Nasr, Fethullah Gulen and Muhammad Iqbal, and their philosophies regarding the West. This unit will explore the influence of Greek philosophy on Muslim philosophy in the medieval era, and the influence of Islamic philosophers on 12th century and later philosophers who relied on Latin translations. A basic knowledge of Greek philosophy, Islam and the history of Muslims would be useful for this unit. Each student will present a topic related to the tutorial that week, and each week, two students will cover the discussion relevant to that week.


  1. To learn the fundamental principles of Islamic philosophy;
  2. To identify major schools of Islamic philosophy, their most important figures and learn the most important issues in the field;
  3. To learn how to make use of the major reference works on Islamic philosophy;
  4. To develop an ability to read, analyse and interpret Islamic philosophical texts;
  5. To understand the influence of Greek philosophy on Muslim philosophers in medieval times;
  6. To examine the influence of Islamic philosophy on post-12th century Western philosophers who relied in Latin translation of texts;
  7. To understand and analyse the views of prominent contemporary Muslim philosophers.


Within semester assessment: 70%
Exam: 30%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study