Chapter

Mullā Ṣadrā's Theory of Knowledge and the Unification Argument

Ibrahim Kalin

in Knowledge in Later Islamic Philosophy

Published in print April 2010 | ISBN: 9780199735242
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199852772 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199735242.003.0003
Mullā Ṣadrā's Theory of Knowledge and the Unification Argument

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This chapter is devoted to a detailed analysis of Ṣadrā's theory of knowledge. As Ṣadrā insists on the principiality of existence in all philosophical problems, it begins with a survey of his elaborate vocabulary of existence. Ṣadrā revises many of the erstwhile discussions of existence and rejects essence or quiddity (māhiyyah) as having no reality of its own. Instead, he proposes the “gradation” (tashkīk), “primacy”, and unity of existence as the main terms of his analysis. The chapter then turns to the relationship between existence and intelligibility. Ṣadrā holds that existence is intrinsically intelligible and does not need an outside agent such as a knower to be predicated of meaning-properties. Furthermore, existence is value-laden in that it is the source of such axiological qualities as goodness, perfection, and plenitude. His analysis thus ties together the three aspects of classical philosophy: ontology, epistemology and axiology.

Keywords: Mullā Ṣadrā; theory of knowledge; existence; intelligibility; ontology; epistemology; axiology; Islamic philosophy

Chapter.  40111 words. 

Subjects: Islam

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