The Dialectical Forge

Juridical Disputation and the Evolution of Islamic Law

  • Walter Edward Young

Part of the Logic, Argumentation & Reasoning book series (LARI, volume 9)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiv
  2. Walter Edward Young
    Pages 1-18
  3. Walter Edward Young
    Pages 19-45
  4. Walter Edward Young
    Pages 47-84
  5. Walter Edward Young
    Pages 85-216
  6. Walter Edward Young
    Pages 217-377
  7. Walter Edward Young
    Pages 435-489
  8. Walter Edward Young
    Pages 555-563
  9. Back Matter
    Pages 565-643

About this book


The Dialectical Forge identifies dialectical disputation (jadal) as a primary formative dynamic in the evolution of pre-modern Islamic legal systems, promoting dialectic from relative obscurity to a more appropriate position at the forefront of Islamic legal studies. The author introduces and develops a dialectics-based analytical method for the study of pre-modern Islamic legal argumentation, examines parallels and divergences between Aristotelian dialectic and early juridical jadal-theory, and proposes a multi-component paradigm—the Dialectical Forge Model—to account for the power of jadal in shaping Islamic law and legal theory. In addition to overviews of current evolutionary narratives for Islamic legal theory and dialectic, and expositions on key texts, this work shines an analytical light upon the considerably sophisticated “proto-system” of juridical dialectical teaching and practice evident in Islam’s second century, several generations before the first “full-system” treatises of legal and dialectical theory were composed. This proto-system is revealed from analyses of dialectical sequences in the 2nd/8th century Kitāb Ikhtilāf al-'Irāqiyyīn / 'Irāqiyyayn (the “subject-text”) through a lens molded from 5th/11th century jadal-theory treatises (the “lens-texts”). Specific features thus uncovered inform the elaboration of a Dialectical Forge Model, whose more general components and functions are explored in closing chapters.


Aristotelian Dialectic Dialectical Forge Theory Islamic Dialectical Theory (Jadal / Munāẓara) Islamic Legal Theory (Uṣūl al-Fiqh) Legal Argumentation Theory al-Shāfiʿī, Muḥammad b. Idrīs

Authors and affiliations

  • Walter Edward Young
    • 1
  1. 1.Alexander von Humboldt Kolleg for Islamicate Intellectual HistoryUniversität BonnBonnGermany

Bibliographic information