Notes on Sharh al-Isharat, V.2, 660-663

At Isharat V.2, the shaykh makes the following claim:

Pointer: every temporally originated thing (hadith) is, before its existence, possible of existence (mumkin al-wujud).

Continue reading “Notes on Sharh al-Isharat, V.2, 660-663”


Does occasionalism collapse into pantheism?

Averroes (d. 1198), I think, has a sound argument that it does.  The context is his Long Commentary (ed. Bouyges, Beirut: 1990) on Aristotle’s Metaphysics IX.3, where Aristotle is addressing the Megarian thesis that there are no inactive potencies i.e., powers or abilities to do stuff. Averroes describes that thesis as follows (ibid., 9.5.5, 1126) : Continue reading “Does occasionalism collapse into pantheism?”

From the corporeal to the incorporeal

Bahmanyar – the famous disciple of Avicenna – has a short, little known treatise entitled On the levels of existents (ed. S. Poper, Leipzig: 1851). The work is rather technical, assuming a lot on the part of its reader. It is devoted to issues involving four kinds of immaterial being (i.e., God, the separate intellects, celestial, and human souls). Continue reading “From the corporeal to the incorporeal”

Sirr fi’l-idrak

Allamah Hilli (d. circa 1325) was an important Shi’i philosopher-theologian. He was a student (a critical and perceptive one) of the renowned ‘ustad al-bashar’ (teacher of mankind), the Avicennian philosopher Nasir al-Din Tusi (d. 1274).

Hilli wrote a lot, pretty much covering the entire range of the intellectual (‘aqli) and transmitted (naqli) sciences of his day. From the former category, there’s this one work called Al-Asrar al-khafiyya fi’l-‘Ulum al-‘aqliyya (Hidden Mysteries in the Intellectual Sciences).  Continue reading “Sirr fi’l-idrak”

TOC for Razi’s Sharh al-Isharat, namat III

One of the things Fakhr al-Din Razi (d. 1210) is known for is the systematic structure and lemmatization he introduced into Avicenna’s enigmatic Al-Isharat wa’l-Tanbihat in his commentary on that work. Below is an example of such structuring activity. It’s the table of contents for namat III  from his Sharh al-Isharat (ed. A. Najafzada, Tehran: Ajuman-i Athar wa Mafakhir-i Farhangi, 2005). Continue reading “TOC for Razi’s Sharh al-Isharat, namat III”

Wujud as a muqawwim in a mawjud

What’s the exact relation between God’s existence and that of everything else? The followers of Mulla Sadra (d. circa 1636) offer a profoundly ‘ajib answer: it’s one of part to whole. That is, they seem to view God’s existence to be, in a real, i.e., non-figurative, sense, a “metaphysical part” of the existence of everything else. In what real, non-figurative sense though? Answer: in a causal sense; that is, God, for them, is a real causal part of His effects. But why is this ‘ajib? After all, isn’t that what every (or at least most) theists hold anyway? Continue reading “Wujud as a muqawwim in a mawjud”