Chapter One of this book discusses the question of what Transcendent Philosophy' is.
Author: Reza Akbarian
Publisher: Xlibris Corporation
Mulla Sadra, known also as Sadr al-Muta'allihin, the greatest Iranian-Muslim philosopher and founding father of the Transcendent Philosophy', was born in Shiraz, Iran in the year 1571 and died in 1641. His writings focus on philosophy and commentaries on the Qur'an and Al-Usul Al-Kafi. His most important philosophical writings include Al-Asfar Al-Arba at Al- Aqliyyah, Al-Shawahid Al-Rububiyya, Al-Hikamat Al- Arshiyya, Kitab Al-Masha ir, and Al-Mabda' wa Al-Ma ad. The present work consists of five chapters, written on two categories: The Transcendent Philosophy and Mulla Sadra's School, and Comparative Studies of Mulla Sadra and Other Philosophers. Several years of work enabled Dr Akbarian to complete some parts of this project, which concerns the relation of Mulla Sadra to the totality of the Islamic tradition, and the characteristics of his Transcendent Philosophy' being used in its original sense. We hope, therefore, that in this form the work will serve as a complete intro¬duction to the teachings of Sadr al-Muta'allihin in philosophy, as well as aid in making better known the doctrine of Mulla Sadra in synthesising between revelation, illumination and ratiocination in a world which is suffering so grievously as a result of it having separated these paths to the Truth from each other. Chapter One of this book discusses the question of what Transcendent Philosophy' is. When we turn to the writings of Mulla Sadra himself, we do not find any passages in which he explicitly designates his own school as Transcendent Philosophy' (al-hikmat al-muta'aliyah). Mulla Sadra expands the mean¬ing of falsafah to include the dimension of illumination and realisation as implied by the ishraqi and also Sufi understanding of the term. For him, as for his contemporaries as well as most of his successors, falsafah or philosophy was perceived as the supreme science of ultimately divine origin, derived from the niche of prophecy', and the hukama' as the most perfect of human beings, standing in rank only below the prophets and Imams. This conception that philosophy deals with discovering the truth concerning the nature of things, and that it combines mental knowl¬edge with the purification and perfection of one's being, has lasted to this day wherever the tradition of Islamic philosophy has continued; it is in fact embodied in the very being of the most eminent representatives of the Islamic philosophical tradition thus far. Both their works and their lives were testimony, not only to over a millennium of concern by Islamic philosophers with regards to the meaning of the concept and the term philosophy', but also to the significance of the Islamic definition of philosophy as that reality which transforms both the mind and the soul and which is ultim¬ately never separated from the spiritual purity and ultimately, the sanctity that the very term hikmah implies in the Islamic context. Chapter Two, "Being and its various polarizations", consists of four sections: 1. Existence as a Predicate; 2. The Metaphysical Distinction between Quiddity' and Existence' (The Fundamental Principle of Ibn Sina's Ontology); 3. The Principle of Primacy of Existence' over Quiddity' and its Philosophical Results; 4. Mulla Sadra's Proof of God's Existence (Burhan-e Siddiqin/The Argument of the Righteous). The question of existence as a predicate' enjoys an outstanding significance from the historical and comparative point of view. Kant, the eminent German philosopher, claimed that existence could not be a real predicate for its own subject since existence is not a concept that could add anything to an object. According to Kant, existence in its logical sense is, merely, copula (rabit) rather than either of the terms. The copula of the proposition on the other hand, does not indicate something that owns a real referent. Its exclusive role is, rather, to establish a nexus between the predicate and the subject. Mulla Sadra accepts existence as an