Knowledge as a mental state in Muʿtazilite Kalām

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It is commonly accepted that the definition of knowledge is not among the main epistemological concerns of the period between Plato and Edmund Gettier. Kalām is an exception to the rule. Kalām scholars provide a detailed philosophical analysis of the difference between knowledge and mere true belief. In this article, I am focusing on the analysis of knowledge in one tradition of kalām, Bahšamite Muʿtazilism. I will argue that knowledge is a factive mental state for the Bahšamites. I will also show that the Bahšamite definition of knowledge is a combination of internalism and externalism with respect to justification.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-36
JournalOriens: Journal of Philosophy, Theology and Science in Islamic Societies
Issue number2
Early online date7 Jul 2022
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • analysis of knowledge
  • Muʿtazilism
  • internalism and externalism (justification)
  • factive mental states


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