Introducing the book Methodology of Mulla Sadra’s Philosophy

Philosophical Eclecticism or Principality of Knowledge                  02.01.2010


How can one explain Mulla Sadra’s borrowing from previous philosophical thoughts? Has he presented an incoherent mixture of philosophical ideas by combining a selection of the philosophical ideas of his predecessors, or has he developed a principial philosophical school through creativity and innovativeness rather than benefiting from the philosophical legacy of the Islamic era?


Methodology of Mulla Sadra’s Philosophy, written by Dr. Ahad Faramarz Gharamaleki, is intended to provide an answers to the most controversial and disputed Sadrian problem posed by his long-standing critics, such as Mulla Rajabali Tabrizi and his students, Abulhassan Jilwah and his followers, and Zia al-Din Dari, and discuss the issue of the principiality of the philosophical thought presented in “the Transcendent Philosophy”.

This professor of Tehran University believes that Mulla Sadra not only claims the principiality and innovativeness of his philosophy, but also, by calling it “the Transcendent Philosophy”, emphasizes its epistemological individuation. Therefore, the writer points out that in order to enter the discussion of the epistemological nature of Mulla Sadra’s philosophical system, it is necessary to study and explore his method of philosophical research accurately.

In this book, the writer maintains that one of his purposes is to probe in to the methods, approaches, and research models and instruments used by Mulla Sadra in philosophical studies. Therefore, the analysis of the epistemological nature of Sadrian philosophy and its methodology will remove many of the ambiguities involved in understanding Mulla Sadra’s ideas and system of knowledge. An awareness of these issues will indeed reveal the depth of his thoughts to us.

We read in the Introduction to the book that the publication of Methodology of Mulla Sadra’s Philosophy became possible in the light of the encouragement given by the Sadra Islamic Philosophy Institute. The author developed the idea that Mulla Sadra’s methodology has priority to his logic. The importance of this issue and the theory of “willer” are the two main reasons why the writer studies the methodology of the Transcendent Philosophy in a more general form than his research method in logic.

In this work, it is emphasized that Mulla Sadra must be considered the pioneer in interdisciplinary studies. Four centuries before American researchers turn to such studies, he understood their necessity and significance and employed specific interdisciplinary designs in analyzing theological problems.

The theory of the willer or the same interdisciplinary research, which must not be mistaken with multi-disciplinary research, was introduced in the second half of the 20th century in the West. During the last three decades, this kind of study has been well-received by researchers working in various scientific fields, and different research designs have been suggested for rendering it more effective.

Mulla Sadra’s innovativeness and pioneer role in interdisciplinary studies in analyzing theological problems were briefly discussed for the first time in 1998 in an article entitled “Interdisciplinary Approach and the Epistemological Ipseity of Sadrian Philosophy”. This theory was greatly expanded in a documented from in the International Conference on Sadrian philosophy” and the book “Methodology of Religious Studies” (2001, 2006) and attracted the attention of many thinkers.

By holding international conferences and encouraging Iranian and foreign scholars to participate in them, the Sadra Islamic Philosophy Institute has begun to analyze Mulla Sadra’s philosophy and method and the related challenges. The Institute is indeed the forerunner of a series of deliberations over the method, nature, and new face of Islamic civilization. It intends to nullify the unjustified assumption that Islamic philosophy ended with Ibn Rushd and show the dynamism of Islamic philosophy since the time of Mulla Sadra.

The Publication Center of the Sadra Islamic Philosophy Institute has published this book in summer 2009 in 2000 copies. The present book consists of 12 chapters organized in two parts. The first chapter entails the Introduction, the statement of the problem, and two interpretations of the problem. Chapters 2-8 of the first part are devoted to a report and criticism of the major views concerning the responses to the two problems of the methodology and epistemological nature of Mulla Sadra’s philosophy. The second part explains the theory of the "willer", and the last four chapters, after a review of this great philosopher's works, propound the claims of the writer in this regard.

The first edition of this work has been published in 304 pages at a price of 4800 tomans. All rights of this work belong to the Sadra Islamic Philosophy Institute.

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