The Iranian House of Philosophy and Wisdom was for the first time registered by the founder of the Sadra Islamic Philosophy Institute in the Justice Organization of Iran in 2004 far from any kind of political or wing-related tendencies in order to create a free atmosphere for philosophical discussion.
Now, five years after the foundation of the Assembly and Secretariat of the House of Wisdom and Philosophy, we made an interview with Dr. Hamid Reza Ayatullahi in order to become more familiar with the purposes and activities of this professional-philosophical Center.
Ayatullahi, what is your view of the role and place of
philosophy in Iran?
One of the pillars of each
society is its philosophical foundations, which exercise
a direct and deep influence upon all social dimensions
and penetrate all of its corners. When the philosophical
bases of a society are fragile, it will become
vulnerable, whereas a society with firm and
well-understood philosophical foundations can devise
better plans. Comparing to other Islamic countries, our
society is more advanced in terms of its dealing with
philosophical issues, and it is necessary for our
statesmen to pay attention to this potential and
readiness. This is because other countries,
particularly, Arab countries, have a serious and
profound view of Iran as the center of philosophy and
thought. We should try to publicize this view all over
the country and bring all philosophers and philosophy
lovers together in order to explore the quality and ways
of spreading philosophical thought in society and
analyze the bases of political, social, and economic
points of view.
of the main reasons for founding the House of Philosophy
and Wisdom was to create an atmosphere for all
philosophy lovers for exchange of ideas. Please tell us
about the activities of this Assembly during the last
Unfortunately, in our
society philosophers do not have enough time to exchange
their ideas with each other. However, those who find
this issue necessary, given their knowledge of the
important role of Iranian philosophers, come together in
the meetings of the House of Wisdom and Philosophy, get
to know each other better, and become aware of each
other’s insights, views, and activities, and learn about
the related news and events in the world. It is not
necessary for them to convince each other concerning
their points of disagreement; rather, their main
intention is to exchange their thoughts with their
colleagues in various philosophical centers in the
Moreover, they seek to
remain connected to the problems of society in order to
participate in related philosophical and executive
activities. Therefore, the main asset of the country in
the field of philosophy is man power, and nothing can
replace it in terms of significance. The House of Wisdom
and Philosophy should try to pave the ground for our
society to make the best use of these human resources,
which are much more valuable than natural resources.
Hence, we must protect and support them as much as
Which organizations could be of help to the House of
Wisdom and Philosophy in achieving its goals?
On the one hand, there are
the people of philosophy who, through participating in
the monthly meetings of the House of Wisdom and
Philosophy, learn more about each other’s capabilities
and potentials and perform some joint activities in a
sincere atmosphere. On the other hand, there are the
government authorities of society who must be alert so
that the station of philosophy and the character of
Iranian Islamic philosophers preserve their true value
all over the country. Becoming a philosopher and a
thoughtful person is not among the ideals of the new
generation. Therefore, we must do our best to provide
the necessary facilities for thinkers and, by glorifying
and praising them, glorify the role of thinking. In this
way, an interest in thinking and philosophy will be
created in the atmosphere of the country.
What solutions does the House of Philosophy and Wisdom
suggest to the government in the present atmosphere?
Presently, the government
must grant the value that it truly deserves to
philosophy in any way possible. However, it must not be
mistaken in this regard. If we are deprived of our
philosophical resources, our society will suffer from
superficiality and weakness in its philosophical
foundations. The government must perceive the importance
of this issue, inform the society in this regard, and
lead it to a direction where thinking is considered a
supreme value for Iranians, and each youngster wishes to
become a scientific character and thinker. The
government’s contribution in this regard is of great
significance. If glorifying thinkers becomes a norm, and
if we take pride and honor in having them among us,
people will become interested in this field. In this
way, not only will some philosophy circles be formed,
but also the essence of thought will be greatly praised.
Some government representatives are also present in the
meetings held by the House of Wisdom and Philosophy.
Have there ever been any negotiations between them and
the House members?
Interestingly enough, most
of the authorities in the country are among the people
of philosophy. However, they have not been present there
as legal entities. Our meetings have been, rather,
scientific gatherings, but their presence is useful
because it might change their views and encourage them
to seek for some strategies in order to promote the
status of philosophy and thinking in the country.
Nevertheless, we intend to negotiate with the government
as a legal entity in future.
Dr. Ayatullahi, as you mentioned before, the main asset
of our country is our philosophy professors. On the
other hand, the main concern of the House of Wisdom and
Philosophy is to glorify thought and philosophy. How can
the House support and preserve these human resources?
Many of our philosophers
have certain ideas, thoughts, and findings that they
have not been able to present to others yet. A
philosophy professor should not be concerned about the
publication of his books. Today, the House of Wisdom and
Philosophy supports them in this regard.
We must take care of their
material needs and provide them with the required
medical care. Unfortunately, when we lose any of them
due to death or other reasons, they can never be
replaced by anyone else. No one has ever paid attention
to this point. One who is concerned with the presence of
Iranian philosophy in the international society must not
be worried about financial problems. The House of Wisdom
and Philosophy tries to support the professors so much
so that they are merely occupied with their
philosophical thoughts and can deal with all the
problems of the world society in terms of the
environment, superficiality, absurdism, relativism,
moral corruption, and the annihilation of philosophical
foundations in various political and social conditions.
If 180 of the intellectuals of the world can come
together and write a letter to our President, the House
of Wisdom and Philosophy, as a philosophical assembly,
which enjoys a legal entity in addition to its personal
entity, should be able to assert its position regarding
the problems of the international society.
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