Authors
Olga Louchakova-Schwartz
University Of California At Davis
Abstract
In this paper, a comparison is made between the rationalistic and phenomenological approaches to understanding the Islamic philosophy of illumination. The analysis shows that the rationalistic bias in translations of the relevant texts causes a misunderstanding of Suhrawardī’s argument and a subsequent misinterpretation of his key terms. The Islamic philosophy of illumination is especially vulnerable to rationalistic mis-translations due to the intuitional-eidetic character of its epistemology. In contrast to rationalism, the new phenomenological ontologies provide an adequate framework for reading Suhrawardī. A parallel is made between Suhrawardī’s treatment of the central principle, nūr mujarrad, and Husserl’s epoché and phenomenological reduction. Without this comparison, nūr mujarrad is translated as a symbolic, metaphoric term referring to an ideal entity. However, the closeness of Husserl’s and Suhrawardiīs views on consciousness, and the phenomenological nature of evidence in Part 2 of Hikmat-al Ishrāq, prove that nūr mujarrad refers to the pure subjectivity of consciousness, which is lived reality available in presentive intuition. Consequently, the term nūr mujarrad is not metaphorical, but descriptive, i.e. direct signification referring to pure awareness as the self-effulgence of consciousness-being, an ontological principle by which all selves and things in existence are present for us.
Keywords Conference Proceedings  Contemporary Philosophy
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ISBN(s) 978-1-63435-038-9
DOI 10.5840/wcp2320188197
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