Humanities & Future Studies

  • Born in 1905 in Mait Al Khouli village, Damietta, Egypt.
  • Spent a part of his childhood in Khartoum with his family
  • Obtained his BA in Literature and Education from the Higher School of Education in 1930.
  • Worked in the field of education until 1943.
  • Worked in the Public Culture Department of the Ministry of Education from 1943-1944.
  • Obtained his PhD in philosophy in 1944.
  • He returned to Egypt in 1944 and joined the teaching staff of the Philosophy Department, at the Faculty of Arts, Cairo University.
  • In 1952, he became visiting lecturer at Colombia University, USA.
  • Worked as a cultural attaché at the Egyptian Embassy in Washington, 1954-1955.
  • Launched ‘Al Fikr Al Mouaser’ magazine in 1965, and was its Editor-in-Chief until he moved to Kuwait in 1968.
  • Received an Honorary Doctorate from the American University of Beirut in 1985.

Decision of the General Secretariat : 

Dr. Zaki Naguib Mahmoud is considered one of the pioneers who laid the foundation of Arab philosophy and established it within the field of Arab culture.

His early books are still referred to by scholars of philosophy. In 1970, he included heritage in his scope of study and writing, hence enriching the Arab library with a great range of books that combine Arab culture with an understanding of heritage.

His intellectual feats and prolific writings during a long career of more than half a century have earned him a wide reputation in the Arab world. His contribution to Arab culture is widely recognized and he always had the courage, logic and eloquence to stand up for what he believed in.

Awards : 

  • State Encouragement Award in Philosophy, 1960.
  • State Appreciation Award in Literature, 1975.
  • Arab Culture Award from the Arab League, 1984.

Famous Works : 


  • ‘Al Mantiq Al Wad’y’ (On Positivist Logic), 1952.
  • ‘Khurafat Al Metaphisiqa’ (The Myth of Metaphysics), which was renamed ‘Mawqif Min Al Metaphisiqa’ (Approach to Metaphysic) in the second edition, 1953.
  • ‘Hayat Al Fikr Fil Aalam Al Jadeed’ (The Life of Intellect in the New World), 1956.
  • ‘Bertrand Russel’, 1956.
  • ‘David Hume’, 1957.
  • ‘Al Sharq Al Fanan’ (The Artistic Orient), 1961.
  • ‘Jaber Ibn Hayyan’, 1961.
  • ‘Nahw Falsafa Ilmiyya’ (Towards a Scientific Philosophy), 1961.
  • ‘Al Jabr Al Thati’ (Self-Compensation), 1962.
  • Thought and Culture
  • ‘Qushoor wa Libab’ (Peels and Cores)
  • ‘Tajdeed Fil Fikr Al Arabi’ (Renewal of Arab Thought), 1970.
  • ‘Al Ma’qoul Alla Ma’quol Fi Turathina Al Fikri’ (The Illogical Reason in Our Intellectual Heritage), 1971.
  • ‘Thaqafatna fee Muwajahat Al Asr’ (Our Culture in the Modern Age), 1973.
  • ‘Mujtama’ Jadeed Aw Al Karitha’ (A New Society or the Catastrophe), 1974.
  • ‘Ru’ya Islamiyya Fee Tahdeeth Al Thakafa Al Arabiyya’ (An Islamic Approach to Modernizing Arab Culture’, 1987.


  • ‘Hinna Al Abeet’ (Hinna the Idiot), 1947
  • ‘Shurooq Min Al Gharb’ (Sunrise from the West), 1950.
  • ‘Al Comediya Al Ardiyya’ (The Earthly Comedy), 1953.
  • ‘Qissat Nafs’ (A Soul’s Tale), 1964.
  • ‘Ard Al Ahlam’ (The Land of Dreams), 1939.


  • ‘Muhawarat Aflaton’ (Dialogues of Plato), 1936.
  • ‘Al Aghniya’ Wal Fuqara’ (The Rich and the Poor), 1937.
  • ‘Tareekh Al Falsafa Al Gharbiyya’ (History of Western Philosophy’, 1950.
  • ‘Al Mantiq’ (Logic), 1959.
  • ‘Al Falsafa Binathra Ilmiyya’ (Philosophy from a Scientific Point of View), 1958.
  • ‘Funoon Al Adab’ (The Arts of Literature), 1944.
  • ‘Muqaddimat Al Hadara, Al Hind Wa Jiranha, Al Yaban (Introduction to Civilization, India and its Neighbors, Japan: three books derived from Volume I from ‘The Story of Civilization’), 1950.
  • ‘Mu’jam Al Mustalahat Al Falsafiyya’ (The Dictionary of Philosophical Terms – collaboration), 1967.
  • ‘Al Mawsou’a Al Arabiyya Al Muyassara’ (The Arab Encyclopedia, supervision, revision and writing philosophical entries), 1964.
  • ‘Al Mawsou’a Al Falsafiyya’ (The Philosophical Encyclopedia, revision of translation and contribution of Islamic philosophy material), 1963.
  • ‘Qissat Al Falsafa Al Younaniyya, Qissat Al Falsafa Al Hadeetha’ (Story of Greek Philosophy, Story of Modern Philosophy), 1936.
  • ‘Qissat Al Hadara’ (The Story of Civilization- 4 volumes), (1942-1948).

He passed away on September 8, 1993