“Blessed are the cheese makers” Reflections on the Transmission of Knowledge in Islam

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Michael G. Carter



Editor’s note: Presidential Address delivered at Portland, Oregon on March 17, 2013 on the occasion of the AOS annual meeting. The submission was not edited, at the insistence of the author; this was granted as a prerogative restricted to his Presidential Address, for reasons that will be understood by a perusing of the subject matter. All infelicities are in keeping with the original submission.

Author’s note: In keeping with the theme of this Address the published text aims to reproduce exactly the words that were read out. The version presented here is based on a scanned image of the only copy of the original typescript with the author’s hand-written changes, retrieved from a member of the audience to whom it was given after the proceedings. Transliteration (with two corrections) follows the conventions of the Journal, and the source references have been moved into the footnotes. Bibliographical attributions are minimal: colleagues will easily distinguish between sweeping statements which could be documented if need be, and the private opinions of the writer.

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