Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Mantiq [Logic]- The western approach to accurate arguments

'A Rulebook for Arguments'

This comprehensive books gives guidelines on how to articulate an accurate argument that is overall unbreakable and concinving. The author's unique method of approach to the subject proves to be an asset for anyone, in general, who wants to know 'how to think right' and put a strong argument forward, and for students, in particular.

For many centuries, scholars of the subcontinent have served the areas of philosophy and Logic in great deal. Students of the renowned Dars-e-Nizami Course, until know, are taught the art of debate, Logic and Philosophical doctrine that was transmitted by the prominent scholars of this domain in the early-mid century hijris after the demise of the Prophet (May Allah be pleased with him). Ghazali, Razi, Aristotle, Farabi, Ibn Sina and Taftazani are great names in this area. Books such as 'Qala aquwl', 'Isa Guwji', 'al-Mirqat', 'Tehdheeb', 'Sullam', 'Risalah Qutbiyah', 'Meer Qutbi', 'Mulla Hassan', 'Mantiq kubra', 'Sadrah', 'Hamdullah', 'Qadhi Mubarak', 'Umur-e-Aamah', 'Meibzi' and 'Risalah Rasheediyah' are popular names amongst the students of the traditional Dars-e-Nizami course. I, having studied some of these, for sometime was unclear about the usage and implemenation of these instructions in practical life. That was not the only problem. Usage of terminology and rendering the instructions into English was a negative facet to the whole story.

However, getting hold of books in English on the subject was very helpful, and i beleive it is more than imperative that western students of the sacred deen grab hold of texts that will help them use their classical methods of mantiq in a modern perspective. To name a few, 'Good Reasons for Better Arguments: Introduction to the Skills and Values of Critical Thinking' by Jerome E. Bickenbach and Jacqueline Davies, 'Argumentation: Understanding and Shaping Arguments' by James A. Herrick and Robert S. Iltis, and 'A rulebook for arguments' by Anthony weston.

How important is Mantiq?
More to come...