Capitalism and Consumerism: A New Critique from the Perspective of Islamic Philosophy

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Dr. Ahmed Abdel Meguid
Department of Religion, Syracuse University


From its emergence in the late 18th century through the present, capitalism has evolved into a mode of being and weltanschauung in its own right. The metamorphosis of industrial capitalism into corporate capitalism and the post-WWII emergence of financial markets that was in turn associated with new forms of commodification and irrational patterns of consumerism calls for new revisions of modern and post-modern critiques of capitalism alike.

But what could Islamic philosophy contribute in this regard? There is increasingly growing literature on Islamic finance and economics. However, little or no effort has been made to bring the fundamental theses of Islamic philosophy in epistemology, ethics, philosophical anthropology and aesthetics to critically bear on how capitalism affects our moral, intellectual and even aesthetic choices.

This course explores these questions laying special emphasis on how Islamic philosophy can offer new ways of reconstructing our social, familial and individual choices against the many impasses corporate capitalism forced upon us.


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