The Centrality of Central Asia

The Wilson Quarterly has an excellent short article, “Rediscovering Central Asia,” by S. Frederick Starr, that offers an overview of contributions to human culture that emerged from Central Asia and some speculation on the causes of its decline. A prime culprit, the intellectual influence of Abu Hamid Muhammad ibn Muhammad ­al-­Ghazali, author of The Incoherence of the Philosophers. (Al Ghazali’s book was rebutted by Ab? ‘l-Wal?d Mu?ammad ibn A?mad ibn Rushd, usully known just as “ibn Rushd” or as “Averroes,” in his The Incoherence of the Incoherence, but it seems that, however fine ibn Rushd’s philosophical responses were, his view lost out, with terrible consequences for Islamic civilization.)

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