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Virgi, Sarah (2022): The Mouse's Tale: al-Jahiz, Abu Bakr al-Razi, and Fakhr al-Din al-Razi on Animal Thinking. In: British Journal for the History of Philosophy, Vol. 30, No. 5: pp. 751-772

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The present article explores the views of al-Jahiz, Abu Bakr al-Razi, and Fakhr al-Din al-Razi - three pre-modern thinkers of the Islamic world outside the Peripatetic tradition - on the question of animal thinking. It proposes to look at this from the angle of a peculiar example, which all three evoke to discuss this topic: a mouse using its tail to scoop oil out of a narrow-mouthed bottle. The three thinkers reframe the image of the mouse within the context of animal thinking, employing it to discuss the cognitive processes and abilities that are implied by the mouse's behaviour. This article examines how each author develops the example of the mouse, and their explanation of the mouse's actions, in light of their own argumentative goals. These different approaches are analysed and evaluated in relation to other aspects of the thinkers' thought, as well as to other authors in the Arabic philosophical tradition, such as Avicenna, thus shedding light not only on their contribution to the debate on animal thinking, but also on the continuities and discontinuities between their approaches and those of the falsafa tradition.

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