This chapter explores what it means for al-Jāḥẓ’s readers to appreciate design according to the theories he presents in The Book of Living. The chapter does this by reverting to a consideration of al-Jāḥẓ’s dispute with the Addressee which was explored in Chapters 3 and 4. A translation of the debate that rounds off the Introduction to The Book of Living is provided, with commentary and analysis of the principal arguments involved. Chapter 6 unearths one of the fundamental features of the disagreement — the tendency of some Kalām Masters to debate the principal topics of theology by means of subjects which seem at first sight to have nothing to do with these topics. It emerges from this argument that the maligned Debate of the Dog and the Cock that so upset the Addressee and that dominates the first two volumes of The Book of Living was really a debate about human responsibility and capacity for action.
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