Striving for Coherence: Readings in Averroes' Incoherence of the Incoherence

Conference Venue:



The Seminary consists of four lectures spread over the academic year, two of which are helt in Cologne, two in Paris. During the year 2014/15 we will discuss Averroes’ Incoherence of the Incoherence (Tahāfut al-tahāfut), one of the most prominent yet, curiously, least studied works of Ibn Rušd. Each of the four lectures will deal with a systematic topic from among the issues covered by Averroes in his defence against al-Ġazālī’s criticism. A „workshop style“ discussion concludes each meeting. We hope the seminary will function as an impulse for further studies in the Tahāfut. On a larger scale, the seminary is meant to promote the historically informed but philosophically oriented reading of Arabic philosophical texts: „Striving for coherence“ – this also means making sense of Arabic philosophy today.


The Seminary is organized by Jean-Baptiste Brenet, professor of Arabic Philosophy at the University Paris I Panthéon - la Sorbonne, and David Wirmer, assistant professor of Arabic and Jewish Philosophy at the University of Cologne. It is our joint aim to raise awareness for the part Arabic philosophy has played in the intellectual history of Europe, and to read this heritage much in the same way that we study today Ancient, Modern, or even Contemporary Philosophy.

November 7, 2014, Cologne: Jean-Baptiste Brenet (Paris I): Relation as Key to God's Knowledge of Particulars in the Tahāfut al-tahāfut: a Cross-Talk between Averroes, al-Ġazālī and Avicenna
December 12, 2014, Paris: David Wirmer (Univ. of Cologne): Intellect in Averroes' Tahāfut
April 17, 2015, Paris: Cristina Cerami (CNRS, Paris): Generation and Creation in the Tahāfut al-tahāfut
June 26, 2015, Cologne: Peter Adamson (LMU Munich): Averroes on God's Causality

Friday, November 7, 2014