The Philosophy of Qutb Al-Din Shirazi; a Study in the Integration of Islamic Philosophy

Dissertation, Harvard University (1983)

Qutb al-Din al-Shirazi's life spanned the last two thirds of the seventh/thirteenth centuries. A student of Nasir al-Din al-Tusi, he was involved in the revival of Peripatetic philosophy and science that occurred at Maraghah under his influence. He was significant as a transitional figure, combining Suhrawardi's Illuminative philosophy with the revived Avicennism of his teacher. His commentary on Suhrawardi's Philosophy of Illumination was the main vehicle through which this work was studied by later Iranian philosophers. He was also associated with Ibn Arabi's most important student, Sadr al-Din al-Qunawi. ;Suhrawardi's Philosophy of Illumination contained a new "Science of Light", expressed largely in symbols, intended to provide a reformed basis for physics and metaphysics. Qutb al-Din frequently translated these views into Peripatetic terminology so as to make the relationships between the two systems clearer. Qutb al-Din's Pearly Crown is a popular account of philosophy, incorporating and elaborating much of Suhrawardi's philosophy but omitting or disguising the most controversial and esoteric aspects--especially those related to the World of Image, the Afterlife, and reincarnation. ;Qutb al-Din developed further the notion of the "World of Image." This "fourth world" served both philosophical and religious purposes. His ideas on reincarnation and the cyclical nature of time were especially distinctive and were developed beyond the views found in The Philosophy of Illumination. ;Also included in this dissertation are an annotated bibliography of Qutb al-Din's works and their known manuscripts and an edition and translation of his "Epistle Ascertaining the Reality of the World of Image" {Risalah fi Tahqiq )Alam al-Mithal}
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