Interview with the Secretariat of Wisdom and Philosophy

Make Thinking a Valuable Endeavor                   02.01.2010


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.

*Dr. 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.


*One 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 five years.

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 international society.

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 possible.


* 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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