8) August 25, 2010

Place: The Sadra Islamic Philosophy Research Institute

Meeting Report: This meeting was held with the presence of Professor Seyyed Mohammed Khamenei and some other prominent professors and scholars such as Dr. Dinani, Dr. Ahmadi, Dr. Kalbasi , Dr.Dawari , Dr. Ayatullahi, and ,...

Like previous years, this meeting was held in the blissful month of Ramadan, and, while breaking their fast, the professors had a free discussion in a friendly and peaceful atmosphere.


7) September 9, 2009

Place: The Sadra Islamic Philosophy Research Institute

Meeting Report: In this meeting, the members of the “House of Wisdom and Philosophy”, the dins of the important universities of the country, supreme philosophy masters, and some political-cultural figures came to the presence of the president of the Sadra Islamic Philosophy Institute, President Seyyed Mohammed Khamenei and had a friendly visit with each other.

At the beginning, Professor Khamenei, after congratulating the coming of the blissful month of Ramadan, maintained that the philosophy behind founding the “House of Wisdom and Philosophy” was the revival of the station of theoretical and practical philosophy and wisdom in society and referred to this important task as the major need of some countries such as Iran.

The President of the “House of Wisdom and Philosophy” said that the immorality and corruption existing in society is rooted in the spread of thoughtlessness and lack of wisdom and emphasized that this assembly can have a great effect on the dissemination of philosophical deliberation in society and solving the important problems of the country. While emphasizing the necessity of the government’s support of this professional assembly consisting of the most prominent philosophers of the country, he expressed hope that with God’s help and the cooperation of its members, the House of Wisdom and Philosophy can also exercise good influence on the problems of the international society.

In the rest of this gathering, Dr. Hamid Reza Ayatullahi, the Secretary of the House of Wisdom and Philosophy also said that the establishment of an assembly for philosophy masters and all the lovers of philosophy is the basis of all thoughts in our society. While emphasizing this important problem, he offered some suggestions as the bases for the activities of the House within scientific, administrative, financial, welfare, and international frameworks. Some of these suggestions are as follows:

- Trying to spread philosophical thought at different levels among people

- Founding a scientific society called “Masters of Iranian Philosophy” with a collective and legal identity dealing with scientific problems

- Absorbing young researchers and guiding them to work in all needed fields in the country

- Affecting the macro-policies of the country and having continuous presence in the programming system for administrative affairs

- Establishing relationships with the important academic centers of the world in order to pave the way for the presence of Iranian professors and masters in the scientific gatherings of the world and helping the publication of their views and thoughts in the important scientific publications of the world such as ISI journals

It is noteworthy that in the meeting held by the House of Wisdom and Philosophy, which has been involved in cultural and philosophical activities for some years, some government representatives and members of the Islamic Parliament and the related organizations were also present and seized this opportunity to appreciate the station of philosophers, who are the most precious treasures of the world.

Rationalizing the religion in society, keeping human minds and religious ideas away from superstition, and offering some suggestions for philosophy teaching programs at universities were introduced as the most important duties of a philosopher and the House of Wisdom and Philosophy by the professors and masters attending the meeting.


6) September 16, 2008

Place: The Sadra Islamic Philosophy Research Institute

In this meeting, some distinguished professors such as Dr. Dawari, Dr. Mujtahidi, Dr. Dinani, Dr. Ali Larijani (the present Head of the Islamic Parliament), Dr. Qaramaleki, Dr. Maqsudi, and Dr. Muhaqqiq Damad were present. While welcoming them and expressing his gratitude for their participation in this meeting, Professor Seyyed Muhammed Khamenei expressed hope that such meetings lead to scientific exchanges and cooperation among all scholars. He added that the House of Wisdom follows some great purposes in relation to the promotion of knowledge and practical support of professors and scientists. Given the presence of the Head of the Parliament in the meeting, he stated that, unfortunately, sport has turned into a rival to culture in our country, and big budgets are devoted to it. As we know, there should be a rationale for everything. It is greatly unfortunate that so much importance is attached to sport, while the humanities are so much neglected (of course, it is praised in words, but no value is attached to it in practice). Is it not true that the countries having the most powerful espionage organizations use Hegel’s philosophy? It is unfair and extremely bad that a finger grows as big as a hand in the body. Our culture is like a palm tree that is kept in a vase, and in no ways are its needs satisfied.

After the speech of the President of the Sadra Islamic Philosophy Institute, the other professors also presented their ideas and criticisms. For example, it was said that not enough importance is attached to education. Of course, here the intention is the spirit of education not a degree. If the same process continues into future, the young generation will be disappointed.

Moreover, it was stated that there have always been many prominent philosophers in Iran; however, today our country is not known in the world for its philosophy. Larijani, the Head of the Parliament, said that, in his view, this has two reasons: First, our relations suffer from certain defects. Most of them are politics-oriented, and their philosophical and gnostic aspects are not as appreciated as they should. Second, the production of philosophy in our time is not equal to that in the time of Ibn Sina and Mulla Sadra. This is an important aspect, and because we lag behind the West in philosophical products, this distance has been created. We have not worked like Western philosophers in the filed of analytic philosophy or modern logic either.

However, regarding the decision about the budget devoted to cultural activities, as far as it concerns the Parliament, it is possible to receive the necessary budget by providing accurate definitions of cultural projects. In this regard, we can refer to projects focusing on topics that the society deals with, such as the discussion of justice, the establishment of which is a basic principle for legislation. However, unfortunately, our scientists have not reached a common definition for justice yet. Through using the Islamic texts and the experience of other countries, our philosophers should provide complete and comprehensive definitions for such basic concepts which are necessary for the Parliament and other governmental organizations and introduce them to all related centers and offices.

Another example concerns imitative issues for which there must be a legislative philosophy. Scientists are truly demanded to be enlightening in this regard. This level is, in fact, the basis of policy making in countries. The next example is the clarification of the quality of the government’s interference in people’s private affairs, which can be determined by our philosophers.

Another view which was propounded in this meeting was our good progress in philosophy in comparison to the West. However, our problem is the lack of appropriate reflection of this progress overseas. The scientists working in the field of philosophy have very limited facilities not only for more research but also for presenting their finding to other countries.

We should also point out that, at the time of the Achaemenid, we had the first ethical manifest. Nevertheless, we unfortunately lag behind many industrial countries in this regard. There are several specialized courses in the domain of professional ethics in the universities of Western countries. However, there are not even two academic units about professional ethics in any course in Iran. For example, we have the stock market and exchange in Iran but no book about ethics in this regard. I would like to ask university teachers and professors and statesmen to take professional ethics seriously and work hand in hand in order to promote it. Our country truly suffers from an ethical crisis. We need to know about the ethical principles that a judge a lawyer a professor, a university student, a prime minister a president, a parliament member, a farmer, a mechanical engineer, a factory worker, etc. must follow.

Finally, it is suggested to provide retired professors with research facilities because they can certainly produce knowledge. Is it not the time that universities perform their moral duties before masters and society? Until when can our organizations remain unethical but have ethical demands from their members? When the necessary facilities are provided, ethics dictates that the members of an organization, institution, or university perform their tasks in the best way possible.


5) September 26, 2007

Place: The Sadra Islamic Philosophy Research Institute

Meeting Report: This meeting was held with the presence of Professor Seyyed Mohammed Khamenei and some other prominent professors and scholars such as Dr. Dinani, Dr. Ahmadi, Dr. Yathrebi, Dr. Qaramaleki, Dr. Ayatullahi, and Dr. A’awani.

Like previous years, this meeting was held in the blissful month of Ramadan, and, while breaking their fast, the professors had a free discussion in a friendly and peaceful atmosphere.


4) January 17, 2007

Place: The Sadra Islamic Philosophy Research Institute

Meeting Report: This meeting was held with the presence of Professor Seyyed Mohammed Khamenei, Dr. Golshani, Dr. Taheri, Dr. Kalbasi, Dr. Qaramaleki, Dr. Ayatullahi, and some other professors. Several social and scientific topics were discussed in this meeting, the most important of which are as follows:

- The latest speech of the Supreme Leader of Iran on innovation in the field of theoretical sciences was one of the topics discussed and emphasized in the meeting.

- We should not work in the margin of world science in the field of theoretical or empirical sciences. Moreover, we should avoid using the budget of the country, unconsciously, for doing something the consequences of which might be to the advantage of foreign countries rather than us.

- It was also pointed out that we should refrain from following the fashions that are now spreading in various scientific fields. For example, it is some time that a lot of attention is paid to nanotechnology, and anyone who works in this field can receive the budget he demands. Unfortunately, sometimes the necessary inquiries as to the correct use of this budget are not made by the government.

- The twentieth century was the era of physics, and the present century is the era of biology. The expansion of biological sciences cannot provide a center for the unity of other sciences because there is no universality in biology, while it exists in physics. Of course, it is necessary to point out that physics also suffered from the same defect in the 20th century; however, after meeting some dead ends in solving the problems, it had to show some flexibility.

- If we wish to create an essential change in theoretical sciences, we have to make a revolution. One of the jobs that must be done as soon as possible is to cancel the necessity of presenting a paper at a specific time. Moreover, the multiplicity of one’s papers without a careful study of their quality cannot be considered a positive point. If we allow people to conduct good research, even if it takes them 5 years to conclude them, we can be hopeful about the growth of science. Another dilemma that exists today is the pressure exercised upon students to have their papers published in journals associated with ISI. University students make every effort to write their theses on simple topics but in a way to receive acceptance from an ISI journal. In this way, there won’t remain any desire and enthusiasm for dealing with unresolved basic problems.

When evaluation and granting points to research papers, more attention should be paid to the message of the Supreme Leader. We should see how many of our existing problems can be solved in the light of the findings of these papers. The number of papers written in Iran is the same as those in China; however, theirs are very good, and some of their papers are even kept secret and out of others’ reach.

- Perhaps the reason for the sluggishness in the field of the humanities can be related to two fundamental factors:

1. The inefficiency of the people who enter this field.

2. The existence of non-scientific employments out of the universities.

The fact that less talented people enter the domain of human sciences is related to the more fundamental problem that the humanities have no supporter in the country and the statesmen do not attach any importance to it. Nevertheless, in some countries the chairs of engineering courses are not sometimes filled, and there is a great competition among the people working in this field.

The lack of correct management is one of the other dilemmas of this field. Most of the decision-making managers here are specialized in other sciences and do not have enough information for devising bylaws in relation to the area of human sciences.

If we can make theoretical sciences accessible to children and adolescents through small books written in a simple language, we might have taken a useful step toward creating interest in the humanities and motivation for studying the various branches of this field. Of course, this requires mastery over language, enough knowledge about the audiences, and expertise in writing eloquently. Such activities have been experienced in many of the advanced countries of the world. It has even become quite common among all scholars in different scientific fields to write their theories and ideas using a semi-philosophical language.

Some instances of simple writing can also be found in ancient Iran. One of the rulers of the Safawid era called Jaber Ansari wrote his book Tuhfat al-salatin on logic in simple Persian.

- Another issue discussed in this meeting was if it is possible to examine the heavenly verses of the Holy Qur’an, to develop new scientific theories based on these verses, and to use them in solving scientific problems.

Of course, it is necessary to note that this point is completely different from the idea that some have as to the correspondence between religion and science. This is because scientific issues are relative and must never be matched with religion. Otherwise, what will happen to Qur’anic verses when scientific theories are changed and falsified? However, we believe that the meanings embedded in the Qur’an are much deeper than what we see on the surface. If one claims that the meaning of the Qur’an is what I have understood, it is wrong. Perhaps, by deliberation over Qur’anic verses, a scholar or physicist can solve a confusing problem in the world.

Physics has immensely developed in recent years. According to Einstein, the more physics advances, the more abstract it becomes; it deals with matter on the surface, but, at a more basic level, with greatly abstract problems. He developed the theory that electrons have understanding, and he made an experiment to demonstrate that they can sometimes affect other electrons without being calculable. Presently, at least two physicists in the world have written a book called “The Whole World is Awake”, which will be very useful to all if translated into simple Persian.

- The multiplicity of the worlds was one of the other issues discussed in this meeting. Imam Sadiq (a) propounded this problem 14 centuries ago, and Mutahhari also posed the issue of the multiplicity of the worlds with the pre-eternity of emanation in 1975 and explicitly asked physicians why they do not consider multiplicity for the worlds. Strangely enough, physicists have just recently learnt about this point. Even the firmaments mentioned in the Qur’an or the ten-fold firmaments referred to by Aristotle have a longer history than this, which our friends in the field of the history of philosophy can trace with God’s help. There are also some truths hidden in Indian and Buddhist traditions and religions which are truly and extremely amazing. In this regard, we can refer to acupuncture, Galen’s medicine, and even brain and eye surgeries. From all these, we learn the fact that early scholars had expressed some solid ideas and theories many of which have been lost or remained under a veil of ambiguity due to the very long time interval between their birth and our time.

Available evidence clearly suggests that the ideas of most modern scholars lack the depth of those of earlier scholars, although today they have access to much more information than them. The truth is that modern human has made great progress because of having several advanced tools at his disposal; however, he is acting hastily. The present era is the time of data collection rather than the accurate analysis of this data. This is because scientists continually change their theories, which makes people have less trust in them. For example, a physicist intended to change time into illusory time in order to deny the role of God. However, he turned to real time after some time. Another physicist intended to demonstrate through mathematical relations that the world lacks a temporal beginning so that he could deny the existence of God in conclusion. Nevertheless, in order to object to this reasoning, some physicists responded that the world might lack a temporal beginning, but one cannot conclude that it has no Creator. This idea conforms to the problem of essential and temporal createdness, which is discussed in our philosophy. Of course, one should never forget about or ignore the scientists who think very profoundly and never theorize hastily in this period.

Some might object to the above words and say that since early scholars had no tool for the evaluation of their theories, they enjoyed more stability and remained intact for several years. However, nowadays, with the different tools and instruments available to scientists; theories are constantly being evaluated and ruled out.

Nevertheless, this instability is the result of two factors: first is the superficiality of theories. For example, early philosophers developed the theory of the ten-fold intellects in order to construct a system for solving the problem of the relation of the created to the pre-eternal (modern scientists have also propounded the idea of an eleven-dimensional space seven dimensions of which are not visible to us. Here, only one difference can be observed, i.e. modern ideas have no depth). Second, the instability of today’s sciences could be due to the absence of philosophical thought. Presently, scientists are mainly interested in applied issues and neglect basic issues. For example, the main problem for psychologists is treatment, or they present thousands of recommendations for remaining healthy; however, they never discuss the topic of what health is. Early philosophers had the patience to deal with basic problems.

One of the other complex problems of today’s sciences is that scientists present absolute theories which state that this is the point and there is nothing other than it. However, we must always leave the door open for changing the theories.

Of course, we should not forget that early scholars also had some weak points. For example, out of great respect for their previous masters, they were not brave enough to present new theories and disagree with them. However, wherever we see an apposition, we should be certain that a great step has been taken in the progress of science.


3) September 29, 2005

Place: The Sadra Islamic Philosophy Research Institute

Meeting Report: This meeting of the House of Wisdom and Philosophy was held with the presence of Professor Seyyed Mohammed Khamenei and some pioneer university professors such as Dr. Yathrebi, Dr. Mujtahidi, Dr. Shari’atmadari, Dr. Beheshti, Dr. Ahmadi, Dr. Golshani, Dr. Qaramaleki, Dr. Ilkhani, and Dr. Kalbasi.

At the beginning of the meeting, Professor Khamenei greatly emphasized the necessity of such gatherings and shortening the time intervals between them. He also reminded that the purpose of the assembly was programming in order to promote the status of philosophy in society, as well as proving that philosophy does not remain within the borderlines of the mind and thoughts and penetrates to all the acts and behaviors of human beings. In fact, pure philosophy does not bring about happiness. For example, many Western philosophers are Zionists, and a branch of philosophy, called philosophy of ethics, has been devised by the Jew (the unethical people who have become the custodians of ethics in the world), which is extremely painful. In fact, it is the duty of the House of Wisdom and Philosophy to see what happens in the world of philosophers, and what the status of Islamic philosophers in the world is, and recommend how they should act.

We must discover why books on Western philosophy, which are at times translated with the purpose of misleading the youth, are so welcomed and appreciated in our society. Professor Khamenei asked, “What is our task in this regard, and what should we do?” He also added that the House should, in a way, reveal to the youth that, if philosophy is not accompanied by good act and does not feed the thought correctly, it will lead to misery rather than happiness.

In the rest of this friendly gathering, some important points were mentioned and discussed by the scholars in the field of philosophy, the most important of which are as follows:

- An important problem today is the production of science. This requires the training of true experts, which, in turn, demands a real revision of university books and curriculums.

- A study and evaluation of the present situation and the recognition of its weak and strong points are also necessary.

- In order to publish a scientific newsletter, it is necessary to have the sincere and continuous cooperation of professors and scholars.

- One of the most important obstacles impeding progress in all scientific fields is lack of seriousness in works and dealing with pure theorizing. We must seriously identify the problems by holding several meetings and follow this trend sympathetically, methodically, and logically in order to attain optimal results. In doing so, we should seek the cooperation of experts in the related fields.

- The Council of Cultural Revolution should supervise philosophy departments in the accurate evaluation of books, articles, and theses in this field.

- Stagnancy of philosophy means the death of philosophy. We must free it from passivity by presenting new methods for teaching it. We must solve new problems with new methods and present new thoughts based on the thoughts and ideas in Islamic philosophy in order to improve today’s society.

- When thought becomes transcendent, even those of early philosophers, which some consider to be superstitious, one can find some very deep, delicate, and accurate points that are useful for today’s society. One cannot do anything useful by just presenting some slogans and formal and official reforms. All philosophers of the world have invited human beings to deliberation so that they would not be superficial. We should first deliberate on ourselves and our ideas and then invite others to do so.

- Comparing to the past, philosophy is not a purely foreign field in academic settings anymore; however, its conditions are not ideal yet. In seminaries and universities, philosophy is still harshly attacked under various pretexts; sometimes it is accused of being anti-religion and sometimes of being superstitious. Philosophy is oppressed, and Islamic philosophy is even more oppressed than that. We should take Ibn Sina’s words quite seriously that we must consider two criteria for training philosophers: 1. outstanding talent, 2. piety and a firm religious basis. We should not downgrade the role of Islamic philosophy in resolving the existing problems in society. Is it not true that ‘Allamah Tabataba’i fought Marxism with the weapon of philosophy? Or, was it not Mutahhari who used philosophy to fight the deviant Western thoughts?

* * *

One of the important tasks that the field of philosophy has successfully accomplished in Iran for the first time is launching the course of professional ethics in the theology faculty of Tehran University. This shows that philosophers can take important and effective steps in the progress of all sciences.

- We have to have a philosophical encounter with the present status of philosophy. In other words, we should try to deal with this undesirable situation relying on philosophical thought.

- One must make a distinction between a difficulty and a problem. A difficulty consists of several probable problems, and we know that the gathering of all these problems in one place leads to fallacy. Therefore, each should be distinguished from the other, and each should be discussed and studied by a specific group of experts. If possible, we can invite all masters to attend a seminar in order to recognize all the problems of the present status of philosophy in Iran, to diagnose all the defects, and to identify all the necessities. Finally, they should provide the necessary answers in order to remedy the problems and present them in a future seminar so that there would be enough time for programming and treating the issue.

- In order to encourage all the contemporary Iranian scholars who carry out innovative studies, the House of Philosophy should grant a prize called the Mulla Sadra prize to those who deserve it. Of course, all the activities, works, and research endeavors of the candidates must be examined by a board of directors. Unfortunately, the criteria for encouragement at our universities have been determined by engineering faculties. For example, we should say that the edition of a book with a scientific introduction is harder than writing a book; however, the point for edition is 10, and the point for writing is 20. Moreover, no point is granted to professors whose books are translated out of Iran.

- In some seminaries, the teaching of philosophy has stopped, and this raises some questions to be asked from the authorities.


2) May 10, 2005

Place: The Sadra Islamic Philosophy Research Institute

Meeting Report: This meeting was held with the presence of some Professors such as Dr. Shari’atmadari, Dr. Dinani, and Dr. Muhaqqiq Damad. In this friendly gathering, the attending scholars and masters discussed some problems such as paving the ground for scientific criticism for the scientific promotion of universities so that the problems that block or hinder the production of knowledge are recognized and resolved.

Another point was that one of the important steps that the Supreme Council of Cultural Revolution must take is to provide for the welfare of university teachers so that they would not be forced to increase their teaching hours in order to satisfy their financial needs. This is because, in this way, the quality of their supervision over the theses as well as their teaching will deteriorate.

The professors also argued that one of the reasons for the country’s recession is that several institutes and universities were established in the past for the purpose of training technicians (granting Associate Diploma degrees); however, after some time all of them, unfortunately, followed other purposes. In this regard, we can refer to Amir Kabir University, Science and Industry University, and Comprehensive University of Sciences and Technology. According to one of the professors, the obstacles that stop these universities from achieving their supreme goals and make them deviate from their direction must be removed. The question is, how many physicians and engineers does a country need? Is it not a fact that Germany owes its progress to its great number of technicians?

If the authorities are encouraged to establish some faculties in different parts of the country and train efficient and professional associate diploma holders, the problem of recession will be resolved in our country. Following this, the number of services will increase, and their prices will decrease.

* * *

1) October 21, 2004

Place: The Sadra Islamic Philosophy Research Institute

The first meeting of this Center was held on 21 October 2004 in Sadra Islamic Philosophy Institute (SIPRIn) with Professor Seyyed Mohammed Khamenei as its President. A number of distinguished professors such as Dr. Gholamali Hadad Adel (the President of Majlis Shoray-e Islami at that time), Dr. Dawari Ardakani, Dr. Karim Mujtahidi, Dr. Gholamhossein Ibrahimi Dinani, Dr. Gholamreza A’awani, and some other scholars of the field of philosophy participated in this meeting.

The meeting began with the words of the President of the House of Wisdom and Philosophy concerning the necessity of having such gatherings in society. He pointed out, “Considering the fact that the share of culture and philosophy is very small in macro policy-making in the country, we decided to remedy this problem by relying on the existing potentials of the universities and scientific societies of the country and, in later stages, present our policies and strategies in this regard.”

Following him, the invited masters and scholars, while welcoming and confirming the idea of holding these meetings, presented their own ideas concerning this issue, the most important of which are given below:

  1. Philosophy must be the pioneer and advance guard in all affairs, even in politics

  2. In order to increase the interaction of philosophy with other disciplines, such as physics, industry, medical sciences, etc., it is necessary to pave the ground in an appropriate way. This will be possible in the light of holding joint and purposeful conferences and seminars between philosophy and other disciplines. In this way, the achievements of these conferences can help with solving cultural intricacies and problems, which can itself clarify the place of philosophy in society.

  3. In order to promote the status of philosophy is society, the policies of higher education in the country must undergo certain changes, i.e. philosophy must be joined to other disciplines (such as physics, and industry and technology) so that their graduates enter the related fields with logical thoughts. In this way, they will be able to contribute to the multilateral advancement of society.

  4. New policies must be made concerning admitting philosophy students to universities. Nowadays, we see that sometimes average or weak students enter this field, or some of them do so by accident rather than out of interest. This issue will certainly lead to the decline of the scientific level of this filed of knowledge.

  5. If philosophers have good financial means or support, their philosophical endeavors will be more fruitful and of a higher quality.

  6. So far, several philosophical centers have been established in the country. However, it is the first time that a society with the purpose of creating unity and consistency among all of them has been established.

It is necessary that philosophy masters perceive the station of this House and try to help with its success.