A study of Tawfiq al-Hakim’s Equilibrium doctrine and philosophical narratives

Shaw, Shereen
A study of Tawfiq al-Hakim’s Equilibrium doctrine and philosophical narratives. PhD thesis, University of Liverpool.

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Tawfiq al-Hakim is known across the Arab world as a pioneer dramatist. He is one of many misunderstood writers and philosophers. My aim is to introduce him to the English-speaking public in order to shed some light on a specific period known to be one of the best in Egypt intellectually and culturally. Former President Nasser’s ideologies, and those of former President Sadat such as his “open-door” policy to the West, have contributed positively to the forming of an intellectual renaissance in Egypt. This rich period in Egyptian history is one that can directly shed light on the literary and philosophical contributions of al-Hakim, and on the social and cultural issues that should be revisited in order to gain an understanding of the problems that face Egyptians today. With this said, it is my hope that by reviving al-Hakim’s philosophical doctrines and by examining the major issues he addresses in his texts, I will be able to explain and clarify some misconceptions about this author, his philosophy and his work. I would also like to show ways in which his distinctive doctrine of equilibrium can be of use to us both in the East and the West. The objectives, accordingly, are twofold: (1) To introduce and critically examine al-Hakim’s equilibrium doctrine; and, (2) To identify the philosophical traits and Western influences that had an impact on his character and philosophy. The core problem that this work will indirectly address is the problem of how philosophy in the Arab world, according to Sari Nusseibeh’s article “The Arab World: What role for philosophy?” has been blatantly used as a tool in order to defend one version or another of the religious beliefs of those who pursued it. I ask what specific role a philosopher or intellectual can play in his or her society and how his philosophy can be put to use. This question is one that has been long forgotten in the Arab world. Freeing the Arab world from the colonizer, back in the 1930s, was clearly a goal for many intellectuals. Today, freeing the Arab mind by introducing a philosophy or an ideology that can be of use to the Muslim world as well as to the West would be a great task to accomplish.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: Date: 2005-07-05 (completed)
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Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2016 16:42
Last Modified: 17 Dec 2022 00:49
DOI: 10.17638/02034659
URI: https://livrepository.liverpool.ac.uk/id/eprint/2034659