The Arab Mind


By Alexander Abdennur

The Arab Mind is intended neither as a recipe for resolving the protracted conflict between the West and the Arab-Islamic world nor as a plea for tolerance and peace. It is primarily an attempt at something more fundamental – understanding. Abdennur argues that the clash of Western and Arab cultures is rooted not only in the conflicting positions that each culture has taken on moral, religious, territorial, and political issues but also in the different styles of thinking that underlie such issues.

Abdennur's analysis of the literature on Arab thinking and his own original empirical research provides evidence that the predominant characteristic of the Arab Mind is a "rational epistemic style". Arab thinking is characterized by a fundamental and overriding drive for abstraction and ideology combined with strong affect, radicalism, two-dimensionality, isolation, awareness of the rights of society, and a need to integrate ultimate values with political administration. The author argues that a state of decline may occur if Arabs lose touch with abstract thinking and he identifies three conditions that may catalyze a retreat into self-centered utilitarianism, compromise, and demoralization.

Kogna Publishing Inc.