Terminology of “Knowledge” and the Possibility of its Analysis

Muhammad Hussein-zade Yazdi (Professor in Department of Philosophy/ Imam Khomeini Educational and Research Institute)



The terminology of knowledge and the possibility of its true definition and analysis are among important and difficult discussions in contemporary epistemology, dealt with here. On the one hand, for the Muslim thinkers, an axiomatic concept does not need any definition, and even its true definition is impossible. On the other hand, one may ask the following questions: How have many of those who regard this concept as axiomatic, philosophically define and analyze “knowledge” in their discussion of the “ontology of science”? And is defining the concept of knowledge consistent with regarding it as axiomatic? To answer, we have presented two solutions and, in the selected solution, we conclude that the ontological view of knowledge is different from an epistemological view of it. Those who have regarded the concept of knowledge as axiomatic, and at the same time, have defined it have attempted to explain the truth of knowledge, acquiring its nature as well as its essential components or requisites. In this way, the inconsistency of “regarding the concept of knowledge as axiomatic” and “regarding its nature as theoretical” is resolved.

KEY WORDS: knowledge, analysis, nature of knowledge, axiomatic concepts, knowing one’s knowledge, ontological definition.                  

An Explanation and Investigation of Allamah Tabataba’i’s Foundationalism with a Look at New Debates

Reza Bādhilī (MA in Philosophy of Religion/ Baqir al-‘Uloum University


Hasan ‘Abdī (Assistant Professor in Baqir al-‘Uloum University)



Most of Muslim philosophers believe in a certain reading of foundationalism in the sphere of conceptions and affirmations. One of them is Allamahh Tabataba’i. In Allamah’s foundationalism, establishing theoretical conceptions on axioms is done through definition, and it is done just through argument in affirmations. The important difference between Allamah’s foundationalism and that of other philosophers is restricting axioms to primary axioms. The present article investigates Allamah’s view on foundationalism and its drawbacks, using a descriptive-analytical method. Apparently, in view of the fact that Allamah has founded his foundationalism on axioms, the primary axioms in particular, and has regarded the criterion for the verity of theoretical premises to be referring them to axioms both in form and matter, the objections to the foundationalism are not applicable to him, and Islamic foundationalism enjoys the capacity to answer such criticisms. Allamah’s foundationalism, however, suffers from drawbacks due to restricting axioms to the primary ones.

KEY WORDS: affirmative foundation, foundationalism, axioms, primary axioms, theoretical reference to axioms, Allamah Tabaṭaba’i, doubts of foundationalism


An Explanation and Assessment of Zagzebski’s View on Normal Dimension in the Sphere of Cognition

Mahdi Shokri (PhD of Islamic Theology/ Imam Khomeini Educational and Research Institute)                                                                      mahdi.shokri54@gmail.com


Zagzebski’s view on normal dimension of cognition is a new look, which is seeking to make a new format of rationalism in this sphere based on his approach to virtue-centered morality. In his view, the most important component of any virtue is its motivation and success. Based on permanent integrity of belief, Zagzebski differentiates between knowledge and justified belief. Thus, he identifies knowledge with virtuous action and motivation to consider permanent verity of knowledge and, on the other hand, since such a condition is not there in justification and accepting justified belief is based on rationality, he tries to set accepting the belief by the owner of practical wisdom as the criterion of justification. The present article tries to evaluate this view.

KEY WORDS: moral virtue, rational virtue, knowledge, justified belief, Zagzebski     

A Reflection on the Objective World

Muhammad Bonyani (Assistant Professor of Islamic Philosophy/ Shiraz University)



The issue of the “world outside the mind” is among the important and controversial discussions in philosophy in a way that some philosophers do not accept the existence of such a world, some maintain that it must be proved, and some others believe in its being self-evident. The present article first reviews the most important theories in this regard and investigates them. Then it accepts the view that the distance between mind and the outside world cannot be bridged through argumentation. However, by an existential explanation for the principle of non-contradiction, we may reach a point wherein the agent finds himself the same as objectivity, and thus the outside world finds a philosophical explanation.

KEY WORDS: mind, proving the outside world, evident, non-evident, axiomatic.


A Critical Reflection on Moore’s “Common Sense”

Mohsen Maqarri (MA in Philosophy of Science/ Sharif Industrial University)


Ahmad Maqarri (PhD Student of Christian Theology/ University of Religions and Sects)                                                                  moghri.a@gmail.com


The prominent English philosopher, George Edward Moore (1873-1958), develops a school based on which one may assess claims only through common sense and the analysis of normal meanings of words, and in spite of skeptical and idealistic statements, one may achieve certainty. In his works, he has attempted to present evidences for common sense and against skepticism and idealism. Some scholars in the philosophy of mind and the philosophy of language have supported Moore’s philosophical system which is sometimes called “realism in favor of common sense”. Accordingly, William G. Lycan, American contemporary philosopher, has attempted to follow Moore’s special method in confronting skepticism and defend his view on common sense. The present article seeks to assess the reasoning of Moore and Lycan in favor of common sense, and explain the related drawbacks through critical reflection.

KEY WORDS: commosn sense, George Edward Moore, William G. Lycan, the argument of external world, idealism

An Inquiry into the Theory of “the Simplicity of Existence” and its Epistemological Upshots

Musa Malayeri (Associate Professor in Department of Philosophy/ Islamic Azad University of Tehran)



The theory of “the simplicity of the reality of existence” is one of the achievements of transcendental philosophy. Having accepted this theory, Mulla Sadra (Sadr al-Muta’allehin) infers three important epistemological results: (a) the reality of existence is unimaginable and unperceivable, rationally and through acquired knowledge; (b) the reality of existence is non-affirmable, rationally and through acquired knowledge; (c) knowledge by presence is the only way to perceive and affirm it. In the present article, first the principle of “theory of simplicity of the reality of existence” is challenged and it is proved that we cannot consider limited and substantive beings as simple, and substantive being can only be considered simple when it is negatively conditioned from quiddity. And existence with such consideration exists just in the mind and not in the outside world. The article continues with criticizing related epistemological upshots. It is clarified that those effects face with criticisms as well. The author has tried to show that epistemological upshots of “the principality of existence” as well as commitment to epistemological consequences of Mulla Sadra’s theory in mental existence require that Neo-Sadraites give up the epistemological results of the “theory of simplicity of existence”.

KEY WORDS: Simplicity of the reality of existence, unknown nature of existence, knowledge by presence, un-definability of existence, un-provability of existence, Neo-Sadraite philosophy.

Hakim Sabzewari’s Innovation regarding the Principality of Existence

Hussein Ali Sheydanshid (Assistant Professor in Research Center of Seminary and University)                                                                             shidanshid@rihu.ac.ir


Regarding the principality of existence, Hakim Sabzewari has made innovations in transcendental philosophy by both presenting new arguments and attempting to refute the doubts casted therein. The present article deals with reporting, analyzing and investigating his arguments which are based on the goodness of existence, the impossibility of gradation in essence, essence’s exit from the state of relational equality, God’s unity in His essence and acts, negating essence from Almighty God, and the relation between the prime emanation and God. It also investigates his approaches to two doubts regarding “the principality of essence alongside existence”, and “the difficulty of justifying horizontal multiplicity in existence”.

KEY WORDS: Hakim Sabzewari, Principality of existence, goodness of existence, gradation of existence, principality of essence, prime emanation, horizontal multiplicity     

Investigating Mulla Sadra’s “Argument of the Truthful”

Ahmad Muhammadi Peyrow (PhD Student of Transcendental Philosophy/ Imam Khomeini Educational and Research Institute)



For Mulla Sadra, the criterion for “the argument of the truthful” is that it should start from the origin of existence. The origin of existence is nothing except the Almighty Necessary-Being. Thus, in such an argument, reasoning is from essence for essence. Although this seems to beg the question, in fact it is not, because when we look at the origin of existence, we see that the origin of existence is the same as the Necessary-Being and the reasoning is from essence for essence. Indeed, the Necessary-Being has not been assumed in advance to necessitate contradiction and beg the question. This reasoning is not a priori demonstration, because Necessary-Being has no cause to be liable to the rules of such arguments. This is true if external causality is considered the criterion for “a priori argument”. Therefore, we may consider it “semi a priori” since it leads to certainty. Besides, one may extend the a priori argumentation to analytic causes and consider this type of reasoning as a priori as well; and since analytic causality is also true causality, its being a priori will also be a true one.

KEY WORDS: the argument of the truthful, proving the Necessary-Being, the origin of existence, reasoning from essence for essence