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Al-Razi’s Conception of the Soul: Psychological Background to His Ethics

Al-Razi’s Conception of the Soul: Psychological Background to His Ethics

Druart, Thérèse-Anne (The Catholic University of America)

Medieval Philosophy and Theology, vol. 5, no. 2 (1996)

Abstract

Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Zakariyya ibn Yahya al-Razi (865-925 or 932?)-I am listing all his names to distinguish him clearly from several other famous writers with the name al-Razi-the Latin Rhazes referred to in the prologue of the Canterbury Tales, was one of the greatest medieval physicians.’ On the one hand, most of his medical works were translated into Latin, and his medical fame is universally acknowledged. His philosophical standing, on the other hand, is rather controversial.* His own apology, The Philosophic Life, which he wrote rather late in life, already indicates that some contemporaries were disputing his right to call himself a philosopher. Like Galen, another philosopher-physician and one of his main sources, he was considered by many an excellent physician but a poor philosopher.

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