An islamic subversion of the existence-essence distinction? Suhrawardi's visionary hierarchy of lights

Asian Philosophy 9 (3):219 – 227 (1999)
Abstract
The distinction between existence and essence in contingent beings is one of the foundational doctrines of medieval philosophy. Building upon Neoplatonic precursors, thinkers such as Avicenna and Aquinas debated its nature. However, one Islamic philosopher, who had an enormous influence on the development of philosophical discourse in Iran, subverted the traditional Peripatetic vision of reality and disputed the ontological nature of existence. Through a critique of the Peripatetic notion of existence, Suhrawardi demonstrated the irrelevance of the distinction for metaphysical inquiry, which should, instead, rely upon an eidetic vision of the 'hierarchy of lights'. I shall explain why the later tradition advocated an essentialist (mis)reading of Suhrawardi and suggest that the Platonic hermeneutic of essential vision which Suhrawardi expounds, might be the reason for it. Later philosophers in the Islamic tradition had mistaken methodology for a description of reality.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 9,357
External links
  • Through your library Configure
    References found in this work BETA

    No references found.

    Citations of this work BETA

    No citations found.

    Similar books and articles
    Analytics

    Monthly downloads

    Added to index

    2009-01-28

    Total downloads

    13 ( #100,556 of 1,088,785 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)

    1 ( #69,666 of 1,088,785 )

    How can I increase my downloads?

    My notes
    Sign in to use this feature


    Discussion
    Start a new thread
    Order:
    There  are no threads in this forum
    Nothing in this forum yet.