Terry Kleven is a Visiting Scholar from Central College, Iowa, USA, where he teaches in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies. His graduate education was in Religious Studies at McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada. His research is in Arabic philosophy, with particular attention to the relation between political philosophy and religion in Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. He is also interested in political thought and religion in Asia.
Kleven's research focus is on the logical and political treatises of Alfarabi (d. AH 338/AD 950). He is preparing critical Arabic editions and English translations of several of Alfarabi’s logical treatises. Alfarabi’s logic consists in the rules for five syllogistic arts, rhetoric, dialectic, sophistry, demonstration, and poetry. Amongst these arts, Alfarabi emphasizes the importance of dialectic since it is both a necessary preparation for demonstration and it distinguishes demonstration from sophistry. Terry is a member of Katja Krause’s “Experience in the Pre-modern Sciences of the Soul and Body, c. 800–1650.” His specific project with the MPIWG is a study of the Alfarabi’s and Averroes’ accounts of the sources of pre-scientific sources of knowledge—received tradition, generally accepted opinion, perception and first intelligibles—in order to show that they are more essential to our understanding of our experiences and to demonstration than we often recognize. He has published numerous articles and book reviews in Arabic philosophy. He has also taught at Memorial University in Newfoundland, Canada, and at the Near Eastern School of Theology in Beirut, Lebanon. He has received research fellowships from the Bradley Foundation, the Yad Hanadiv Foundation, Fulbright, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Moore Family Foundation and the Earhart Foundation.