Page:Alchemy of Happiness - Field.djvu/11

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PREFACE

Renan, whose easy-going mind was the exact antithesis to the intense earnestness of Ghazzali, calls him "the most original mind among Arabian philosophers."[1] Notwithstanding this, his fame as a philosopher has been greatly overshadowed by Avicenna, his predecessor, and Averroes, his successor and opponent. It is a significant fact that the Encyclopædia Britannica devotes five columns to each of the others and only a column and a half to Ghazzali. Yet it is doubtful whether it is as a philosopher that be would have wished to be chiefly remembered. Several of his works, it is true, are polemics against the philosophers, especially his Tehafot-al-falasifa, or "Destruction of the Philosophers," and, as Solomon Munk says in his Mélanges de philosophie Juive et Arabe, Ghazzali dealt "a fatal blow" to Arabian philosophy in the East, from which it never recovered, though it revived for a while in Spain and culminated in Averroes. Philosopher and sceptic as he was by nature, Ghazzali's chief work was that of a theologian, moralist, and

  1. Renan: Averroes et Averroisme.

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