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This article deals with Chapter V of Kitāb al-Ṭibb al-Rūḥānī of Abū Bakr al-Rāzī (Rhazes) which is concerned with ˓ishq (love) and entitled Fī al-˓Ishq wal-Ilf wa-Jumlat al-Kalām fī al-Ladhdha or “On Love and Intimacy and a Summary Account of Pleasure”. In this chapter, al-Rāzī propounds the idea that love is an unfortunate condition that leads to subservience and surrender, madness and enervation. Previous studies on Kitāb al-Ṭibb al-Rūḥānī show that al-Rāzī based his work on the maladies of the self on Plato, Galen and the tradition of Hedonism. In this article, however, I intend to explore al-Rāzī’s views on ˓ishq and aim to contextualise them within the framework of mediaeval Arabic love theory. I propose to show, moreover, that al-Rāzī’s psychology, or more specifically his argument over ˓ishq, is based not only on “a blend of materialistic and Platonic elements”, as Lenn Evan Goodman asserts, and on “lively debates typical of Hellenistic philosophy”, as Thérèse-Anne Druart claims, but his contemplation which derives from his perception of the vicissitudes of the society and his endeavours to demolish what he considers mistaken ideas of love which were promulgated by some works of mediaeval Arabic literature. By doing so, Chapter V could be considered an exemplar of a form of mediaeval applied ethics which “addresses the moral permissibility of specific actions and practices” as it occurred in the society.

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