House of Philosophy and Wisdom in Dialog 20                   02.01.2010


In the light of the efforts and support of the Sadra Islamic philosophy Institute, the Philosophical-Professional Assembly of the House of Wisdom and Philosophy is having its 4th year of life among the people of philosophy. Accordingly, the Dialog 20 program of Channel 4 of the National Radio and Television Organization of the Islamic Republic of Iran made an interview with the Secretary of the House of Wisdom and Philosophy, Dr. Hamid Reza Ayatullahi, on 2 November 2009, as follows:

Interviewer: The foundation of the House of Wisdom is an excuse for us to host Dr. Hamid Reza Ayatullahi tonight. We would like to ask you, as the Secretary of the House of Wisdom, why did you decide to found such a Complex?

Dr. Ayatullahi: One of the relative advantages of our present society is having a very important philosophical background. Western philosophy began with Plato and Aristotle; however, it did not enter the West countries directly through Westerners. Rather, it first entered Iranian Islamic philosophy and then reached Western countries. Almost all Westerners confirm this issue. One of our other advantages over the countries in our region and Islamic societies is having an invaluable treasure of professors and masters who are the best in human sciences. We must try to protect, preserve, introduce, and use these precious assets in order to continue holding our position. Most of the viewers know that the professors who come to Channel 4 are among the known figures in Islamic countries whose books have been translated into Arabic and used as textbooks. Concerning the Iranian taste and enthusiasm in terms of philosophy, Professor Misbahi from Morocco states that philosophy exists in Iranians’ flesh and blood. Oscar Brenifier (founder of the new project for teaching philosophy to children) says about Iranians, “I see a kind of eagerness for philosophy in each Iranian." Now, we must value and support such talents.

Unfortunately, not much material and mental support has been provided in this regard, and no coherence has been formed among the philosophical thoughts of our philosophers. We hope that by establishing the House of Wisdom and Philosophy, we can have a chance for showing our philosophical resources and, at the same time, to take a step towards establishing some relationships with our philosophy masters and protect them as our precious philosophical legacy.

Interviewer: The Sadra Islamic Philosophy Institute has chosen the word “House” as a part of the title of this Complex. Such places usually follow professional purposes. Now, with the philosophical approach that it follows, and given the philosophical background that distinguishes our country from our neighbors and the other countries of the world, does the House of wisdom intend to establish any theorizing chairs in the field of philosophy, which is among the desires of the supreme Leader of the country, who has frequently pointed out that we must have a center for familiarizing later generations and the world with Iranian and Islamic scientists and scholars and their achievements, or does it only deal with professional issues?

Dr. Ayatullahi: The important point is that, although the House of Wisdom has been founded by the Sadra Islamic Philosophy Institute and its President, it is a completely independent organization. This is a scientific, professional, and news organization that includes some others centers. Many of our social problems are due to lack of a profound philosophical insight. It is also our duty to show the efficiency of philosophical thought to others because many of our great statesmen and figures were or are philosophers, such as Dr. Larijani, Dr. Haddad Adel, the new Head of the Judicial Power, the Supreme Leader of the Country, and Imam Khomeini.

Interviewer: Could you give us some information about the forthcoming activities and achievements of the House?

Dr. Ayatullahi: One of our programs is to have some instructional classes for professors which ordinary people can attend, too. Some philosophy circles will also be formed where different problems and issues can be discussed and criticized. In this way, we will be able to create an organization based on various thoughts. In the past, we had Naderi Coffee House in Iran in the field of literature, which was extremely influential. The House of Wisdom will also have its own benefits. We will also hold some meetings with the presence of both pioneer and young philosophers.

Interviewer: Do you have a site or journal for giving the related news to others?

Dr. Ayatullahi: yes. We will try to inform interested people about all the activities of philosophy professors in and out of the country, the different problems and issues that are related to those activities, as well as the books that they publish.

Interviewer: We hope that with the spread of philosophy in society, everyone enjoys its blessings.

Dr. Ayatullahi: May God protect you.

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