Professor Khaled El-Rouayheb, James Richard Jewett Professor of Arabic and Islamic Intellectual History, Chair of the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations and Alwaleed Program Steering Committe Member, has come out with a new book, The Development of Arabic Logic (1200-1800). In this work, he explores the significant developments in logic that took place in different regions of the Islamic world that were previously often overlooked or dismissed by Western scholarship on the subject. Professor El-Rouayheb builds on and responds to the work, The Development of Arabic Logic (1964), by Princeton University’s Nicholas Rescher, who played an important role in the modern rediscovery of later Arabic logic in the 1960s and 1970s but, like his predecessors, maintained the assumption that Arabic logic steeply declined after the 13th century. In the Development of Arabic Logic (1200-1800), as in other books such as Islamic Intellectual History in the Seventeenth Century (2015) and Relational Syllogisms and the History of Arabic Logic 900-1900 (2005), Professor El-Rouayheb challenges this narrative of decline to reveal the vibrant intellectual activity that took place during this period, much of it in the form of commentaries and glosses.
As a standard component of madrasa curricula starting in the 12th century, logic served as a foundational discipline in Islamic education in much of the Islamic world in the late medieval and early modern periods. Through The Development of Arabic Logic (1200-1800), Professor El-Rouayheb provides a much-needed study of previously unexamined developments and figures in the study of logic during this time, thereby making an important contribution to scholarship on Islamic intellectual history in the centuries leading up to modernity.