Level 4: Philosophy 1: The Concept and Reality of Existence
Time limit: 365 days
Full course description
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This is the first of a four-part course on Islamic philosophy based on Bidāya al-ḥikma, ʿAllāmah Ṭabāṭabāʾī’s renowned text which introduces students to the philosophical foundations of Mullā Ṣadrā’s philosophy. The first part of the course on Advanced Ṣadrīan Philosophy is devoted entirely to the concept and reality of existence. The course is aimed at situating the philosophy of Mullā Ṣadrā/ʿAllāmah Ṭabāṭabāʾī in the broader history of Islamic philosophy. Students are therefore continually exposed to previous philosophers—in particular Ibn Sīnā and Suhrawardī—and previous philosophical models. By considering the historical influences and trajectories of competing philosophical schools on the thought of Mullā Ṣadrā, this course enables students to articulate the novel contributions and advancements achieved by the later ḥikmat tradition.
This first part of the course covers the general principles of existence and the division of existence into mental/extramental and independent/dependent.
Lesson 1 Introduction (al-muqaddima)
On the definition, subject, and purpose (fi taʿrīf hādhā al-fann wa mawḍūʿahu wa ghāyatuhu)
Lesson 2 1. One the General Principles of Existence (fī kulliyāt mabāḥith al-wujūd)
1.1 The self-evident character of the concept of existence (fī badāhat mafhūm al-wujūd)
1.2 The concept of existence is univocal (fī anna mafhūm al-wujūd mushtarak maʿnawī)
Lesson 3 1.3 Existence is additional to quiddity and is attributed to it (fī anna al-wujūd zāʾid ʿalā al-māhiyya ʿāriḍ lahā)
1.4 On the foundational ontic reality of existence and the non-foundational ontic reality of quiddity (fī aṣālat al-wujūd wa iʿtibāriyyat al-māhiyya)
Lesson 4 1.4 On the foundational ontic reality of existence and the non-foundational ontic reality of quiddity (fī aṣālat al-wujūd wa iʿtibāriyyat al-māhiyya) (continued)
Lesson 5 1.4 On the foundational ontic reality of existence and the non-foundational ontic reality of quiddity (fī aṣālat al-wujūd wa iʿtibāriyyat al-māhiyya) (continued)
1.5 That existence is one modulated reality (fī anna al-wujūd ḥaqīqa wāḥida mushakkaka)
Lesson 6 1.5 That existence is one modulated reality (fī anna al-wujūd ḥaqīqa wāḥida mushakkaka) (continued)
Lesson 7 1.6 On what existence is particularised by (fī mā yatakhaṣṣaṣ bihi al-wujūd)
1.7 Negative properties of existence (fī aḥkām al-wujūb al-salbiyya)
Lesson 8 1.7 Negative properties of existence (fī aḥkām al-wujūb al-salbiyya) (continued)
1.9 Thingness and existence (al-shayʾiyya tusāwiq al-wujūd)
1.10 Absence of distinction and causal relationship in non-existence (fī annahu lā tamāyuz wa lā ʿilliyya fī al-ʿadam)
1.11 Absolute non-existence allows of no predication (fī anna al-maʿdūm al-muṭlaq lā khabar ʿanhu)
Lesson 9 1.12 What has ceased to exist does not come back itself (fī imtināʿ iʿādat al-maʿdūm bi-ʿaynihi)
Lesson 10 2. The Division of Existence into Extra-Mental and Mental (fī inqisām al-wujūd ilā khārijī wa dhihnī)
2.1 On the Extra-Mental and Mental Existence (fī al-wujūd al-khārijī wa al-wujūd al-dhihnī)
Lesson 11 2.1 On the Extra-Mental and Mental Existence (fī al-wujūd al-khārijī wa al-wujūd al-dhihnī) (continued)
Lesson 12 2.1 On the Extra-Mental and Mental Existence (fī al-wujūd al-khārijī wa al-wujūd al-dhihnī) (continued)
Please note that level four courses are only available to those who have completed all courses in levels one, two, and three. This is because the topics covered in level four require the historical and conceptual foundations which are built in the previous levels.
Hours of Study
Written exam (100%)
Dr Wahid Amin (Lecturer)
Dr Wahid Amin completed a BSc in Physics from Imperial College London and a PGCE from the Institute of Education, University College London. He then began his studies at the Al-Mahdi Institute and simultaneously completed a BA in Islamic Studies at the University of Birmingham, graduating from both in 2008. He went on to read for an MSt in the Study of Religions at the University of Oxford. His DPhil, also from Oxford, studied the metaphysics of necessary existence in the thought of the Persian polymath Naṣīr al-Dīn al-Ṭūsī (d. 672/1274). He joined AMI in 2015 as a Lecturer in Islamic Philosophy where he teaches courses on Islamic philosophy, theology, logic, and mysticism. He is also the Head of Publications at AMI Press and an Associate Lecturer in Islamic Studies at the University of Birmingham. As an intellectual historian of Islam, his primary research interests revolve around post-classical Islamic philosophy and theology. He also maintains an interest in contemporary Islamic philosophy, the intersection between Islamic philosophy and political theory, and modern Shīʿī legal theory.