Professor, Arabic and Islamic Studies, Graeco-Arabic Studies
Dimitri Gutas, Professor of Arabic and Graeco-Arabic (Ph.D. Yale 1974) did his undergraduate and graduate work at Yale in classics, history of religions, and Arabic and Islamic studies.
Dimitri Gutas studies and teaches classical Arabic and the pre-modern intellectual tradition in Islamic civilization from different aspects. At the center of his concerns lies the study and understanding of Arabic in its many forms as a prerequisite for the proper appreciation of the written sources which inform us about the history and culture of Islamic societies. He also has an abiding interest in the transmission of Greek scientific and philosophical works into the Islamic world through the momentous Graeco-Arabic translation movement in Baghdad during the 8th-10th centuries AD (2nd-4th Hijri).
Within Arabic philosophy, Gutas has concentrated in particular on its greatest exponent, Ibn Sina (known as Avicenna in the medieval Latin world), on whom he wrote the fundamental Avicenna and the Aristotelian Tradition. Introduction to Reading Avicenna's Philosophical Works (Leiden 1988; second, revised and augmented edition, including an inventory of Avicenna’s authentic works, Leiden 2013). Gutas has continued work on Ibn Sina and has recently published an article on “The Empiricism of Avicenna” (Oriens 40, 2012, pp. 391-436) in which he traces the development of ideas on the subject that found their eventual formulation with John Locke. The study of Ibn Sina and other Arabic philosophical texts forms a regular subject of his graduate seminars.
Greek Wisdom Literature in Arabic Translation. A Study of the Graeco-Arabic Gnomologia (New Haven 1975)
Greek Philosophers in the Arabic Tradition (Aldershot, Hampshire 2000)
Greek Thought, Arabic Culture (London and New York 1998)
“The Study of Arabic Philosophy in the Twentieth Century. An Essay on the Historiography of Arabic Philosophy,” British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies 29 (2002) 5-25
“The Heritage of Avicenna: The Golden Age of Arabic Philosophy, 1000 - ca. 1350,” in Avicenna and His Heritage, ed. by J. Janssens and D. De Smet (Leuven 2002), 81-97.
Avicenna and the Aristotelian Tradition. Introduction to Reading Avicenna's Philosophical Works (Leiden 1988; second, revised and augmented edition, including an inventory of Avicenna’s authentic works, Leiden 2014).