The International Society for
the History of Arabic and Islamic Science and Philosophy (SIHSPAI) was
founded in 1989 at the International Colloquium on the History of
Arabic Science and Philosophy held in Paris on November 22 25, 1989.
Since then, seven other international meetings have been held:
- March 31-April 3, 1993 in Paris at both
the Institut du Monde Arabe and the UNESCO headquarters
- March 28-30, 1996 in Washington, D.C. in
conjunction with the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the
opening of the Middle East Section in the Library of Congress, USA
- December 8-11, 1998 in Cordoba, Spain
- November 28-December 2, 2000 in Carthage,
- January 9-11, 2003 in Namur and Brussels,
- February 16-18, 2006 in Florence, Italy
- December 3-5, 2010 in London, UK.
The Society has, as resources permitted, published the proceedings of
The Society currently has 108 members. It is important to note that
SIHSPAI counts among its members both numerous internationally renowned
authorities and young scholars whose contributions have attracted
While the timing of the decision by the Society's founders to launch
SIHSPAI was opportune, it should be borne in mind that its success was
hardly assured from the outset. Two barriers in particular had to be
overcome. The first has been the automatic resistance within the field
to any new initiative of this nature for fear of reproducing the work
of already existing institutions. The second has been the refusal of
some to accept the possibility of historians of science and historians
of philosophy collaborating fruitfully within the same organization.
Thus, SIHSPAI represents a two fold gambit on the part of its founders,
whose hope is to open up these sometimes insular intellectual
disciplines to the currents of universal history. At the same time,
part of SIHSPAI's mission is to contribute to the development of a
history of science which is not rigidly "technical" in nature and the
development of a history of philosophy which explores philosophy as a
Members of SIHSPAI are entitled to a special subscription rate for the
scholarly journal, Arabic Sciences and
Philosophy : A historical journal. To date, 23
volumes have been published.
Finally, SIHSPAI holds an International Colloquium every two or three
original website design, including the SIHSPAI web logo and the map
motif on the homepage, were created by former SIHSPAI web editor G.A.
Russell with the help of M. Russell.