Online Course: The Beginnings & History of Western Philosophy until modern day (a sharh of Bertrand Russell’s History of Western Philosophy)

“And they will say, “If only we had been listening or reasoning, we would not be among the companions of the Blaze.” Surah Al-Mulk. ayah 10

‘And We certainly sent into every nation a messenger, [saying], “Worship Allah and avoid Taghut [false idols/false basis for judgement]” And among them were those whom Allah guided, and among them were those upon whom error was [deservedly] decreed. So travel through the earth, and see what was the end of those who denied (the Truth)’ Surah al-nahl, ayah 36

This online course explores the history of Western civilisation and the principles of western philosophy and political thought based around, and going more in-depth, the themes covered in Bertrand Russell’s book ‘History of Western Philosophy’.

This historic journey into Western philosophy starts in the unlikely places of Ancient Mesopotamian and Egyptian civilisation and explores its influence on a then backwater on the outskirts of civilisation called Greece. The course explores the very first Greek philosophers, the rise of the early Greek schools of thought, the rise of the great systematic thinkers of Plato and Aristotle that changed Western philosophy forever, Greco-Roman thought and its indelible effect on early Christianity causing Christian theology to radically diverge from its Jewish origins.

The course delves into medieval Christian philosophy during long “Dark Ages” after the fall of the Western Roman Empire, and the Christian encounter with Muslim philosophical texts, that caused the European renaissance (revival of thinking and inventing). The course charts how the birth of materialist political philosophy (called by Western historians as “The Enlightenment”) was an unintended accident of the renaissance, and how “The Enlightenment” led to the modern philosophies and political thought we see in the West today.

The course is a must for those seeking to understand the key thoughts of the founding fathers of the modern Western intellectual tradition and how their thought formed the basis of what has shaped the sociological, political and economic landscape of modern Western civilisation today.

The course is divided into 11 chapters (each 2-3 hours long) on the following topics:

  1. History and Science of Mesopotamia and the beginnings Greek philosophy
  2. The Pre-Socratics (Part 1) introducing first European philosophers
  3. The Pre-Socratics (Part 2), rise of the Greek schools of thought
  4. The challenge of Socrates, and the first systematic philosophy of Plato
  5. The student becomes the teacher: Aristotle’s divergence from Plato and the foundation of Logic
  6. After-Aristotle (Hellenic Philosophy): battle of the Cynics, Sceptics, Epicureans and Stoics
  7. Greco-Roman Philosophy & its profound influence on Christian theology
  8. Christian Philosophy – from the end of the Western Roman Empire until the “Dark Ages”
  9. The revival of Western thought, the end of the Dark Ages leading up to the Renaissance
  10. The birth of materialism, how the renaissance caused the “Enlightenment”
  11. Materialism matures, from the “Enlightenment” up to the 20th Century

The trailer and the full course can be accessed here:

All proceeds go towards helping The Quran Institute continue its vital work

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