Monthly Seminar

​​​​​Such seminars are intended to provide the opportunity to scholars to present and discuss research projects or works in progress in the fields of Islamic Philosophy and Science. Held once a month they aim at creating a space/ forum for discussion among researchers, graduate students and professors. 

SPRING 2019 – 2020

Thursday, February 20, 2020 at 6:00pm, Farouk Jabre Center Seminar Room, Lower level of the Lee Observatory building (backyard entrance)​

Sense-Perception and Spiritualized Senses. The Case of Taste in Ghazali's Corpus

Loumia Ferhat, PhD


The talk investigates the intersection of epistemology and aesthetics through the concept of “taste" (dhawq) in Islamic thought, particularly in Ghazālī's corpus, both as a sense perception and as a means to achieve the highest kind of knowledge. My point is neither to argue for a literal meaning of “taste" nor to discard it as a mere placeholder for an otherworldly experience but rather to investigate what remains from its original meaning by paying attention to its singularity as a sense-perception.


Loumia Ferhat is currently Fellow of the Arab Council for Social Sciences and postdoctoral fellow at the Farouk Jabre Center, AUB. She obtained a PhD in Comparative Literature from the Humanities Center at Johns Hopkins University, and an MA in modern philosophy from the University of Sorbonne Paris I. Ancienne élève of the Ecole Normale Supérieure Ulm in philosophy, she also minored in Islamic Studies and Media Studies and has been working on a documentary on spoken word poetry in Baltimore for which she received the Saul Zaentz incubator. 

At the Farouk Jabre Center she is working on a book manuscript titled Ghazālī's Heart: Between Epistemology, Ethics and Aesthetics, which focuses on the notion of heart. Going beyond the body-soul dichotomy she contends that highlighting the operative function of the heart, at once the seat of cognition, insight and divine illumination – enables one to appreciate Ghazālī's original position at the crossroads of Sufism, theology and philosophy and highlights a conception of epistemology inseparable from ethics and aesthetics.

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