Medieval Islamic Economic Thought: Filling the Great Gap in by S.M. Ghazanfar PDF

By S.M. Ghazanfar

ISBN-10: 0415297788

ISBN-13: 9780415297783

This ebook is a suite of papers at the origins of monetary proposal chanced on within the writings of a few famous Islamic students, through the 5 centuries ahead of the Latin Scholastics, who comprise St. Thomas Aquinas. this time period was once labelled via Joseph Schumpeter as representing the 'great hole' in financial historical past. regrettably, this 'gap' is easily embedded in such a lot proper literature. in spite of the fact that, in this interval the Islamic civilization was once some of the most fertile grounds for highbrow advancements in a number of disciplines, together with economics, and this e-book makes an attempt to fill that blind-spot within the heritage of monetary concept.

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This period has been called by one author “the real age of translations” (mainly Arabic to Latin, but also to Hebrew), when in Europe “translation was the main intellectual task” (Myers 1964, 78). Unfortunately, Schumpeter’s “gap” thesis reinforced an al-ready stubborn tradition in all contemporary literature on economic thought (see Ghazanfar 1991). These larger perspectives aside, we aim here to sketch Ghazali’s life and the environment in which he lived, offer a brief perspective on his socioeconomic outlook, and provide detailed discussion of his ideas on several major economic themes.

Stages of production, specialization and linkages Ghazali is also aware of the various production stages before a product’s final consumption. Further, he is conscious of the “linkages” that often exist in the production chain—a notion well recognized in present-day discussions. Thus, he says, “the farmer produces grain, the miller converts it into flour, the baker prepares bread from the flour”. As to interdependence in production, he says: “Further, the blacksmith makes tools for farmer’s cultivation, and the carpenter manufactures tools needed by the blacksmith.

A substantial body of contemporary economics is traceable to medieval Arab Scholastics such as Ghazali and others (see Islahi; for other Arab Scholastics see Essid, Spengler; some are also listed by name in this present volume’s bibliography). For now it suffices simply to refer to another distinguished economic historian, Karl Pribram, who, in tracing the European Renaissance, stresses that the Scholastics “derived their intellectual armory from the works of Arabian philosophers” (Pribram, 21).

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Medieval Islamic Economic Thought: Filling the Great Gap in European Economics (Islamic Studies) by S.M. Ghazanfar


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