The 19th issue of Tabayyun, the ACRPS' long-standing journal covering the social sciences and humanities, was published in Beirut in February, 2017. English abstracts for the articles which appear in the latest edition are available below. For the full print articles, visit the ACRPS' electronic bookstore (link in Arabic).

Tabayyun 19: English Abstracts


The Anthropology of the Fallible Human: Evil’s Radicalism, Banality and Symbolism, by Brahim Mjidila

Orientalist Effects and their Role in the Formation of Mohammed Iqbal’s Philosophical Thought in his Renewal of Religious Thinking in Islam,  by Zahid Mohammed Taha

Islamo-Arabic Identity: Confusion between Culture and Identity, byLoui Ali Khalil

Science Fiction: Between Characteristics of the Genre and the Discourse of Reception, Rasha Abed Al-Fattah Jalees

Anticipation and Temporality in Arabic Mentality, by Khaled Kammouni

Philosophy and Desire: Jean-François Lyotard, Translation by Essaid Labib

We and the Other: The Conflict of Identity in Arabic Popular Folktales, Amr abd el Aziz Moneer



The Anthropology of the Fallible Human: Evil’s Radicalism, Banality and Symbolism

Brahim Mjidila

In this study, the concept of evil is addressed from a philosophical perspective. Despite the numerous references and varied interpretations of this concept, the ultimate goal here is to focus on what is human, or build an anthropological reading of humans from the perspective of action, freedom and responsibility. Human beings are sinful, fragile, fallible and commit evil out of their free will or their misuse of freedom. Evil thus determines the nature of their existence in the world and their relationship to others. In addition, a discourse about evil implies a call for good, dissemination of peace, tolerance, acknowledgement of pluralism, and renunciation of violence and terrorism.


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Orientalist Effects and their Role in the Formation of Mohammed Iqbal’s Philosophical Thought in his Renewal of Religious Thinking in Islam

Zahida Mohammed Taha

The Orientalist institution had a significant impact on the thinking of renowned Indian philosopher and poet Muhammad Iqbal (1877-1938), and left a clear imprint in some aspects of Iqbal’s thinking, especially when it comes to his stance on intellectual trends in the contemporary Islamic world, and the growing trends calling for the modernization of our world. One can clearly see the impact Orientalist thinking had on his work in his famous book Renewal of Religious Thinking in Islam, issued in 1928, which addresses aspects related to renewal of religious thought in Islam. In dealing with these questions, Iqbal deliberately surveyed the views of many Orientalists discussing this aspect, and was keen to refute some of the Orientalist theories that he believed were groundless.


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Islamo-Arabic Identity: Confusion between Culture and Identity

Loui Ali Khalil

This study attempts to differentiate between two identity concepts or points of view, the first based within Western culture and the other within Arab culture. It questions the feasibility of the concept of mainstreaming of one identity on the different and varied cultural formats.


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Science Fiction: Between Characteristics of the Genre and the Discourse of Reception 

Rasha Abed Al-Fattah Jalees

Today, the relationship between science and literature seems coherent and effective due to its variables and consequent scientific discoveries. The results of the scientific revolution have thus reflected on the genre, and have also crystallized in the emergence of science fiction. Here, human knowledge is no longer considered as cumulative, but also built on scientific and technological innovation and achievement. This study aims to shed light on the concept and characteristics of science fiction, and tackles its relationship with reality and contingent scientific variables, as well as its association with cinematic art and the concept of myth. Moreover, it investigates the problematic of science fiction in the Arabic context, specifically with regards to the intellectual and practical aspects and the hindrances to its development. 


Anticipation and Temporality in Arabic Mentality

Khaled Kammouni

This study is an attempt to understand how Arab people explain their space and time at the moment of the knowledge of their being in existence. Arabic temporality rests on the verb of anticipation, an essential verb for the being of the Arab person. It has two aspects since it bears the possibility of entrance and exit simultaneously and is anticipated and manifest. The concept of the sense of anticipation is what links them with the foundational temporal moment of the now, and the present imperfect verb is the original verb in terms of temporality, for it is the intermediate moment capable through its intuition to enable the past and future to become present. The elements of this image are completed in the past, but the possibility of their existence is only possible through elements of future time, while the present is the constant starting point.


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Philosophy and Desire: Jean-François Lyotard

Translation by Essaid Labib

The first question of philosophers, and those who wish to learn philosophy, is to ask what the word philosophy means and the areas it deals with. According to Lyotard, however, this question, is itself a philosophical question, because it expects an answer by returning to the beginnings of philosophy and how it was perceived by the early thinkers, since philosophy means love and desire for wisdom. By means of an analysis of the concept of desire, we must realize that at heart philosophy is the search for an absent subject, yet it is present as a desired subject (which is how Lyotard reads Plato’s Symposium and the search for lost times—the Albertine disparue of Proust and psychoanalysis). In this fashion, those who desire philosophy have to realize that they desire something unknown, and that philosophy (in its Socratic form) is no more than the quest for wisdom and not its possession.


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We and the Other: The Conflict of Identity in Arabic Popular Folktales

Amr abd el Aziz Moneer

This paper concerns the popular interpretation of the struggle between Islam and Byzantium during the Islamic conquest of Egypt, as reflected in the literary sources comprising the Arab folk epics and the popular interpretation of that event. The study attempts to observe its dimensions and gauge the extent of its effect on the popular imagination and to what extent the popular epics provide us with a different interpretation of the traditional sources. The popular mentality was little interested in the facts of the events, places, and historical characters, and the chronology of events in their real historical context, but rather made use of all of those things to serve its artistic goal with its social/cultural content, since this gave prominence to the role of the ordinary people in shaping their history.


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