Postdoctoral researcher Rezakhany Hassan

159600 €

Immediate Knowledge in Later Islamic Philosophy

Tieteellinen tutkimus / siihen pohjautuva työ | Nelivuotinen

Immediate knowledge—i.e., knowledge independent of reasoning—was a foundational topic of inquiry for philosophers of the Islamic world from Avicenna (d. 1037) to Dawānī (d. 1501). Although there have been several excellent European research initiatives on Islamic philosophy in recent years, much remains to be explored of the tradition’s vast and sophisticated philosophical literature, especially in the post-classical period. The main outcomes of the research project will be (I) an article on Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī’s (d. 1210) unusual positions on immediate knowledge, (II) an article on Dawānī’s relativization of immediate knowledge, and (III) a monograph on immediate knowledge from Avicenna to Dawānī. The research project’s main objectives are to (1) identify, explicate, and analyse the essential properties and per se accidents of immediate knowledge; (2) examine the proofs for the existence of immediate knowledge and the sceptical challenges it faces; (3) (a) criticize the tradition’s theses about immediate knowledge and (b) both propose both novel amendments to them as well as formulate original theses and arguments; and (4) investigate the purely historical aspects of immediate knowledge from Avicenna to Dawānī. The project is significant both philosophically as well as historically. It is philosophically significant because it (A) clearly identifies and explicates a foundational epistemological category, viz. immediate knowledge; (B) elaborates methods for resolving long-standing and apparently irresolvable philosophical disagreements; (C) engages sceptical arguments and attempts to ground the foundations of knowledge. It is historically significant because it (D) elucidates the foundations of the epistemological framework of Islamic philosophy, thereby expanding the frontiers of specialist knowledge of post-classical Islamic philosophy; (E) evaluates the decline narrative; and (F) contributes to a re-periodization of the history of Islamic philosophy.