Every year, the Sadra Islamic Philosophy Institute encourages all prominent philosophy professors to present their latest articles and research activities on “Man in the Transcendent Philosophy” to the lovers of thought and philosophy in the annual “Conference on Commemorating the Great Islamic Philosopher, Mulla Sadra”. However the time is so limited, and the information that is exchanged during this short time is so vast and extensive that some might not be able to make as much use of this opportunity as they wish. Accordingly, the collection of the 10th Conference on Commemorating Mulla Sadra called The Transcendent Philosophy and Man has been published under the supervision of Professor Seyyed Mohammed Khamenei by the Sadra Islamic Philosophy Institute. In this way, all interested people and researchers will have access to a book containing the written text of 23 selected papers and speeches presented by some of the most distinguished Iranian professors and scholars in the field of philosophy. Some of them are the edited versions of the text of the speakers’ speeches delivered in the 22nd May, 2007 conference.
As the subject of the 10th Mulla Sadra Conference was “Man in the Transcendent Philosophy”, in a part of his article Professor Seyyed Mohammed Khamenei, the President of the Sadra Islamic Philosophy Institute, introduces man as the true reference of the title “possible worlds” and writes, “The voluntary and developmental motion of man is not a specific group motion, and, unlike a human being in the arc of descent, each developing person in the arc of ascent is a lonely passenger on a quiet road. That is why any human being has a separate world for himself in relation to God, the world, and the macrocosm. More importantly, within the limits of one’s essence and behavior, each individual is a world living his own life independently beside other worlds.
Moreover, Dr. Karim Mujtahidi, Professor of Philosophy at Tehran University, while emphasizing in his paper entitled “The Luminous Man and the Sadrian Tradition” that ancient Romans called philosophy “alma matre”, i.e. mother’s milk, points out that if there is no thinking, man’s real presence in this world loses its true meaning. Therefore, following a Sadrian approach, he tries to provide an answer to the basic questions of ‘What is man’ and ‘Who is man’ and maintains, “Man has been defined as the rational animal." However, he does not view rationality as proof for animality; on the contrary, he believes that it negates animality. For him, rationality does not refer to the ability in human beings to talk; rather, here, the intellect turns into intellectual intuition or taste (dhawq) or the same inner light that establishes human honor and dignity.
Following the above article, there is a paper by Dr. Reza Dawari, Philosophy Professor at Tehran University, entitled “Man and Philosophy.” Here, we read, “The end of philosophy is man’s perfection, and knowing is a kind of perfection; however, the question is, ‘Can perfection be realized merely through knowing about the realities and good things?’ That is why, when explaining wisdom and dividing it into practical and theoretical types, Mulla Sadra gives the priority to practical wisdom.”
In another article, entitled “The Meaning and Truth of Man in Mulla Sadra”, Dr. Gholamreza A’wani, President of the Iranian Philosophy and Wisdom Research Institute, introduces man as the great wonder of the world of creation and one of the most important philosophical problems. He maintains that man is used to himself, and that is why he is not amazed at himself. In fact, he has been forgotten more than any other issue in philosophy. The writer has presented his ideas in relation to the discussion of “human being” following a Sadrian approach and by resorting to Qur’anic verses.
In the next part of the book
The Transcendent Philosophy and Man, Ayatullah Seyyed Mustafa Muhaqqiq Damad, Professor of Law at Shahid Beheshti University, in an article entitled “The Responses of the Transcendent Philosophy to the Contemporary Problems of Human Rights”, considers the criterion for a complete philosophical system being capable of responding all the questions that are posed to it. While believing that the Transcendent Philosophy can be responsive to the contemporary problems in relation to human rights, he says, “Mulla Sadra has a complete philosophical system, and, considering the Declaration of Human Rights, I have derived five principles for human beings from his works on the basis of his philosophy."
The first is the principle of human dignity, which, in his view, is a theoretical and created principle that can have practical and religious aspects. The second is man’s God-seeking primordial nature. Everyone has a relation with God at the level of his understanding; however, his existence is the same as relation. The third is the principle of man’s immortality, and the fourth relates to man’s ultimate peace at the end of his life. Finally, the fifth principle pertains to man’s inherent relation with the collection of being, which functions like a system, and to all components of which man is connected.
The dimensions of the issue of man in Mulla Sadra’s philosophy are extremely rich, and each of the prominent researchers in the field of philosophy has dealt with one of these vast dimensions. The titles of some of the selected articles published in this book are as follows:
- Theoretical and Practical Wisdom, Gholamhossein Ibrahimi Dinani, Tehran University
- Man’s Becoming in the Transcendent Philosophy, Hossein Kalbasi Ashtari, ‘Allamah Tabataba’i University
- Transcendence of Man’s Flowing Ipseity in his Voluntary Acts in the Transcendent Philosophy, Hamidreza Ayatullahi, ‘Allamah Tabataba’i University
- Man’s Place in Mulla Sadra’s Transcendent Philosophy, Reza Akbariyan, Tarbiyat Mudarris University
- Human Levels in Divine Vicegerency, Muhammed Taqi Fa’ali, Islamic Azad University – Sciences and Research Center
- Man’s Ipseity in Mulla Sadra’s philosophy, Mansur Imanpur, Teacher Training University of Azarbayjan
- Man’s Honor in Mulla Sadra's Philosophy, Fath’ali Akbari, Isfahan University
- Man’s Knowledge in Mulla Sadra, Sahar Kawandi, Zanjan University
- Man in the Balance of the Qur’an and the Transcendent Philosophy, Monireh Seyyed Mazhari, Islamic Azad University
– Karaj Branch
- Importance and Knowledge of the Human Soul in the Transcendent Philosophy, Jamshid Sadri, Islamic Azad University – Abhar Branch
- Man’s Esteemed Place in the Order of Being, Marzieh Sadiqi, Qum University
- The Relationship between the Perfect Man and the Qur’an in the Transcendent Philosophy, Abulqasim Husseindust, Imam Hussein (‘a) University
- From Ontology to Epistemology, Gholamreza Fada’i ‘Araqi, Tehran University
- The Transcendent Philosophy and Man’s Will, Hamid Husseinnejad Muhammedabadi
- The Soul-Body Relation in Mulla Sadra’s View, Akbar Fayde’i, Teacher Training University of Azarbayjan
- Contemporary Man and Self-knowledge in the Transcendent Philosophy, ‘Abdullah Niksirat, Shahid Chamran University
- A Study and Analysis of the Roots of the Disagreements between Mulla Sadra and Ibn Sina Concerning Transmigration, Furugh al-Sadat Rahimpur, Isfahan University
The Collection of the Article on “The Transcendent Philosophy and Man” was published in Summer 2008 in 2000 copies and 208 pages at the prices of 3500 tomans (paper back) and 5000 tomans (hard back) by the Sadra Islamic Philosophy Institute.
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