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The ontology of Mulla Sadr Shirazi


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Šadić, Rusmir. (2017). The ontology of Mulla Sadr Shirazi. PhD Thesis. Filozofski fakultet u Zagrebu, Department of Philosophy.
(Poslijediplomski doktorski studij filozofije) [mentor Veljak, Lino and Hafizović, Rešid].

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Mulla Sadra Shirazi is the most important philosophical phenomena in later Islamic philosophy. His philosophy presents the continuity of Muslim philosophical thought while reversing the thesis of the end of Islamic philosophy with the death of Averroes. Since this region doesn't contain any written studies that systematically analyze and critically present Mulla Sadr's ontology, this paper will point to it's basic principles. The Mulla Sadra ontology advocates metaphysics of the being, meaning the priority of existence in respect of the essence, the unity of being as the reality hidden behind individual forms of existence, considers the gradation of the being as the ontological structure of all beings, reveals the man as a being-in-the-world who in death tempts its own transformation as a new form of existence. Also, this paper will analyze Mulla Sadr's ontology compared to earlier philosophical concepts within the Islamic thought, and point to the importance of his overall philosophical thinking. Islamic philosophical thought, that continued to develop in another geographical area after the death of Averroes, although it offers a variety of ideas and a huge amount of literature, was systematically neglected and denied in the West. The lack of knowledge of the language, culture and views cherished within the east-Islamic intellectual environment, has led the western man to declare them intellectually non-existent. Contrary to such attitudes, we will point out in the example of Mulla Sadra ontology the special philosophical thinking developed in the XVII. and XVIII. century in the territory of ancient Persia. The discovery of Mulla Sadra is important owing to the formation of Western awareness of the vitality of Islamic philosophy after the medieval period. By the beginning of XX. century Mulla Sadra was completely unknown in the West. Die Gottesbeweise bei Schirazi written by Max Horten was the first work devoted to his philosophy and written by a European, followed by another work a year after, entitled Das philosophische System von Schiraz (1913). The first work written in English on the philosophy of Mulla Sadra, which also represent the beginning of a new interest has come from the pen of Fazlur Rahman and titled The Philosophy of MullaSadra (1977). Considering the fact this is a thinker who is referred and who critically analyzes the philosophy of Ibn Sina, Suhrawardija, Ibn Arabi and many other thinkers who have left a significant mark in the history of Islamic philosophical thought, his thought was interesting in the context of previous attempts of approaching theoretical concept but also the creation of new perspective of thinking. This is supported by the fact that in the wake of Mulla Sadra philosophy a whole school of thought was created, whose teaching would later learn to be systematically analyzed in numerous studies and publications. The views of Mulla Sadra was later marked with the term Shirazi himself used - transcendent philosophy (al-hikma almuta'aliyyah). The analysis of the definitions of philosophy by Mulla Sadra (hikma) reveals that it is a view based on pure metaphysical basis attained through intellectual intuition and at the same time presented in a rational rather than rationalistic form, through the use of rational arguments. The analysis also reveals that it is a personal view which is linked to the achievement and transformation of being of the person who perceives the knowledge in question, with the proposed method for achieving the same knowledge related to religion. It is therefore possible to talk about the three basic principles on which the transcendent theosophy of Mulla Sadra Shirazi is based: intellectual intuition (kashf / dhawq) or illumination (ishraq), reason and rational argumentation ( 'aql / istidlal), and religion (shari'). The synthesis achieved on the basis of said principles aims to reconcile the knowledge that is available through the rational philosophy, religious science and intellectual intuition. Although Mulla Sadra dealt with issues of epistemology, ethics, fundamental and mystical theology, the most space in his works is dedicated to the ontological problems, which is a particular challenge for research. The entire second volume of his magnum opus of nine volumes is dedicated to the problem of being (wujud). Mulla Sadra, standing up to Suhrawardi – a representative of the ishraqi school, re-affirmes Ibn Sina's teaching on the primacy of existence in relation to essence, analyzes Ibn Arabi thought and establishes the idea of the unity of being (wahdahal-wujud), and introduces the concept of mental existence (wujud al-dhihni ) as a manifestation of being within thinking. It also deals with the question of God as Absolute Existence and His relationship to the world and man. In this context, it is necessary to point to the idea of trans-substantial motion (harakat al-jawhariyyah), which will be a necessary precondition of the forward said hierarchical observation of total reality. The focus during this research will be on the works of Mulla Sadra Shirazi, and at its most comprehensive and most important philosophical work Al-hikmah al-muta'āliya fi al-Asfar al-'aqliyyat al-arba'ah (The transcendent philosophy in the Four Journeys of Intellect), which offers a valid insight into the ontology of thinkers. Besides, when it comes to the ontology of Mulla Sadra, Kitab al-masha'ir (The Book of Metaphysical penetrations) is an inevitable work. During the writing of this work the critical literature that includes the most important studies made in recent years and that had to be subject to analysis of the thought of philosophers in Shiraz was consulted. By that I mean primarily the following works and authors: Seyyed Hossein Nasr's work Sadr al-Din Shirazi and his Transcendent Theosophy (1978), a study by Alparslan Acikgenc - Being and Existence in Sadra and Heidegger (1993), The Philosophy of Mulla Sadr Shirazi (1975 .) by Fazlur Rahman, a remarkable feat by Ibrahim Kalin - Knowledge in Later Islamic Philosophy: Mulla Sadra on Existence, Intellect and Intuition (2010), Metaphysics and Islamic Philosophy by the author Fadlou Shehadi (1982), a work by Christian Jamba - The Act of Being: The Philosophy of Revelation in Mulla Sadra (2006), Mulla Sadra's Transcendent Philosophy (2006) by Muhammad Kamal, and a study of a Japanese orientalist and philosopher Toshihiko Izutsu - The Concept and Reality of Existence (2007). The most important studies on the history of Islamic philosophy that discuss the overall tradition of Islamic philosophical thought that were unavoidable during this research are as follows: History of Islamic Philosophy (M. Sharif), History of Islamic Philosophy (1987) by Henry Corbin, History of Islamic Philosophy (1996), written in collaboration by Seyyed Hossein Nasr and Oliver Leaman, Islamic Philosophy from Its Origin to the Present (2006), also by Nasr and the work named History of Islamic Philosophy (2004) by Majid Fakhri. The study will also include articles published in the Proceedings of the annual international symposium dedicated to Mulla Sadra's philosophy organized by the Research Institute in Tehran (Sadra Islamic Philosophy Institute Research). In doing so, I particularly emphasize the published works of eminent researchers such as Jawad Charms, Oliver Leaman, Reza Akbarian, Hans Daiber, Hossein Ziai, Gholam Reza A'wani, Ibrahim Kalin, Nequib al-Attas, Sajjad Rizvi, Sayyid Safavi. In this context, special importance belongs to the works of French orientalist Henry Corbin who did plenty on the discovery of Islamic thought and for our use unavoidable are two titles: Islam in Iran (2000) and Islamic Philosophy in Iran XVII. and XVIII. century (2002). Methodologically speaking, a problem solving approach will primarily be applied in this work, which involves identifying, defining and positioning clearly indicated problems from the total Mulla Sadra philosophical and theological thinking, in order to analyze, explication and criticism against them. Although this is an original and extensive scientific oeuvre of a philosopher in Shiraz, which offers the possibility of a deeper introduction to the intellectual heritage of the Muslim philosophical genius as well as an unusual framework for a comparative approach and complete understanding between the East and the West, we should say that his thought unjustifiably remained in the shadow of the classics Islamic philosophy, whereby primarily I mean of al-Farabi, Ibn Sina and Ibn Rushd. We hope that this work will be an important step in discovering the rich intellectual heritage in the later Islamic philosophy and the elimination of stereotypes in the understanding of Islamic philosophy in general.

Item Type: PhD Thesis
Uncontrolled Keywords: ontology, Mulla Sadr Shirazi, islamic philosophy, being, priority of existence
Subjects: Philosophy
Departments: Department of Philosophy
Supervisor: Veljak, Lino and Hafizović, Rešid
Additional Information: Poslijediplomski doktorski studij filozofije
Date Deposited: 15 Mar 2017 12:08
Last Modified: 15 Mar 2017 12:08

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