- Iranian philosophy
Iranian philosophy or Persian philosophy can be traced back as far as to Old Iranian philosophical traditions and thoughts which originated in ancient
Indo-Iranianroots and were considerably influenced by Zarathustra's teachings. According to Oxford dictionary of philosophy (page 409), the choronology of the subject and science of philosophy starts with the Indo-Iranians. Oxford dictionary dates this event to 1500 BC. Oxford dictionary also states, "Zarathushtra's philosophy entered to influence western tradition through Judaism, and therefore on Middle Platonism."
Throughout Iranian history and due to remarkable political and social changes such as the Arab and Mongol invasions of Persia, a wide spectrum of schools of thoughts showed a variety of views on philosophical questions extending from Old Iranian and mainly
Zoroastrianism-related traditions, to schools appearing in the late pre-Islamic era such as Manicheismand Mazdakismas well as various post-Islamic schools. Iranian philosophy after Arab invasion of Persia, is characterized by different interactions with the Old Iranian philosophy, the Greek philosophyand with the development of Islamic philosophy. The Illumination Schooland the Transcendent Philosophyare regarded as two of the main philosophical traditions of that era in Persia.
The teachings of Zarathustra (Zoroaster) appeared in
Persiaat some point during the period between 1000-588 BCE. cite journal|title=The Date and Teaching of Zarathustra|author=Whitley, C.F.|pages=219–223|journal=Numen|volume=Vol. 4|issue=3|year=Sep. 1957] His wisdom became the basis of the religion Zoroastrianism, and generally influenced the development of the Iranian branch of Indo-Iranian philosophy. Zarathustra was the first who treated the problem of evil in philosophical terms. He is also believed to be one of the oldest monotheists in the history of religion. He espoused an ethical philosophy based on the primacy of "good thoughts (pendar-e-nik), good words (goftar-e-nik), and good deeds (kerdar-e-nik)."
The works of Zoroaster and Zoroastrianism had a significant influence on
Greek philosophyand Roman philosophy. Several ancient Greekwriters such as Eudoxus of Cnidusand Latinwriters such as Pliny the Elderpraised Zoroastrian philosophy as "the most famous and most useful". Platolearnt of Zoroastrian philosophy through Eudoxus and incorporated much of it into his own Platonic realism. [A. D. Nock (1929), "Studien zum antiken Synkretismus aus Iran und Griechenland" by R. Reitzenstein, H. H. Schaeder, Fr. Saxl", "The Journal of Hellenic Studies" 49 (1), p. 111-116  .] In the 3rd century BC, however, Colotesaccused Plato's "The Republic" of plagiarizing parts of Zoroaster's "On Nature", such as the Myth of Er. [David N. Livingstone (2002), "The Dying God: The Hidden History of Western Civilization", p. 144-145, iUniverse, ISBN 0595231993.] [A. D. Nock (1929), "Studien zum antiken Synkretismus aus Iran und Griechenland" by R. Reitzenstein, H. H. Schaeder, Fr. Saxl", "The Journal of Hellenic Studies" 49 (1), p. 111-116.]
Zarathustra was known as a sage, magician and miracle-worker in post-Classical Western culture, though almost nothing was known of his ideas until the late eighteenth century. By this time his name was associated with lost ancient wisdom and was appropriated by
Freemasonsand other groups who claimed access to such knowledge. He appears in Mozart's opera "Die Zauberflöte" under the variant name "Sarastro", who represents moral order in opposition to the "Queen of the Night". Enlightenment writers such as Voltaire promoted research into Zoroastrianism in the belief that it was a form of rational Deism, preferable to Christianity.
In 2005, the Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy ranked Zarathustra number two in the chronology of philosophical events. Zarathustra's impact lingers today due in part to the system of rational ethics he founded called Mazda-Yasna. The word Mazda-Yasna is
avestanand is translated as "Worship of Wisdom" in English.
The Persian philosopher
Osthaneswas also under the influence of Zarathustra's ideas and philosophy, which afterwards affected the Greek philosophy through Democritus, his student.
Throughout Iranian history, due to Greek and Arabic influence, a wide spectrum of schools of thoughts showed a variety of views on philosophical questions extending from Old Iranian and Zoroastrian traditions, to schools appearing in the late pre-Islamic era, to various
Islamic schools. Iranian philosophy after the Arab conquest of Persia is characterized by different interactions with the Old Iranian philosophy with Greek and Islamic philosophy. The Illumination Schooland the Transcendent Philosophyare regarded as two of the main philosophical traditions of that era in Persia. Zoroastrianism likely had as much influence on the formation of Christianity as did Judaism and the Greek mystery religions.
Manicheism, founded by Mani, was influential from North Africain the West, to Chinain the East. Its influence subtly continues in Western Christian thought via Saint Augustine of Hippo, who converted to Christianity from Manichaeism, which he passionately denounced in his writings, and whose writings continue to be influential among Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox theologians. An important principle of Manicheism was its dualistic cosmology/ theology, which it shared with Mazdakism, a philosophy founded by Mazdak. Under this dualism, there were two original principles of the universe: Light, the good one; and Darkness, the evil one. These two had been mixed by a cosmic accident, and man's role in this life was through good conduct to release the parts of himself that belonged to Light. Mani saw the mixture of good and bad as a cosmic tragedy, while Mazdak viewed this in a more neutral, even optimistic way.
Mazdak(d. 524/528 BCE) was a proto-socialist Persian reformer who gained influence under the reign of the Sassanian king Kavadh I. He claimed to be a prophetof God, and instituted communal possessions and social welfare programs.
In many ways Mazdak's teaching can be understood as a call for social
revolution, and has been referred to as early " communism".Wherry, Rev. E. M. "A Comprehensive Commentary on the Quran and Preliminary Discourse", 1896. pp 66.]
Classical Islamic period
Islamic Golden Age, due to Avicenna's (Ibn Sina's) successful reconciliation between Aristotelianismand Neoplatonismalong with Kalam, Avicennism eventually became the leading school of Islamic philosophyby the 12th century. Avicenna had become a central authority on philosophy by then, and several scholars in the 12th century commented on his strong influence at the time: [Nahyan A. G. Fancy (2006), p. 80-81, "Pulmonary Transit and Bodily Resurrection: The Interaction of Medicine, Philosophy and Religion in the Works of Ibn al-Nafīs (d. 1288)", "Electronic Theses and Dissertations", University of Notre Dame. [http://etd.nd.edu/ETD-db/theses/available/etd-11292006-152615] ]
Avicennism was also infuential in
medieval Europe, particularly his doctrines on the nature of the souland his existence- essencedistinction, along with the debates and censure that they raised in scholastic Europe. This was particularly the case in Paris, where Avicennism was later proscribedin 1210. Nevertheless, his psychologyand theory of knowledge influenced William of Auvergneand Albertus Magnus, and his metaphysicshad an impact on the thought of Thomas Aquinas. [ [http://www.iep.utm.edu/a/avicenna.htm#H5 The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Avicenna/Ibn Sina (CA. 980-1037)] ]
Illuminationist philosophywas a school of Islamic philosophy founded by Shahab al-Din Suhrawardiin the 12th century. This school is a combination of Avicenna’s philosophy and ancient Iranian philosophy, along with many new innovative ideas of Suhrawardi. It is often described as having been influenced by Neoplatonism.
Transcendent Theosophyis the school of Islamic philosophy founded by Mulla Sadrain the 17th century. His philosophy and ontologyis considered to be just as important to Islamic philosophy as Martin Heidegger's philosophy later was to Western philosophyin the 20th century. Mulla Sadra bought "a new philosophical insight in dealing with the nature of reality" and created "a major transition from essentialismto existentialism" in Islamic philosophy, several centuries before this occurred in Western philosophy.citation|title=Mulla Sadra's Transcendent Philosophy|first=Muhammad|last=Kamal|year=2006|publisher=Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.|isbn=0754652718|pages=9 & 39]
Contemporary Iranian philosophy
Philosophy was and still is a popular subject of study in Iran. Previous to Western style universities, philosophy was a major field of study in religious seminaries. Comparing the number of philosophy books currently published in Iran with that in other countries, Iran possibly ranks first in this field but it is definitely on top in terms of publishing philosophy books. [http://www.iran-daily.com/1384/2245/html/art.htm#53538]
Perhaps some of the most notable Iranian philosophers and intellectuals of the twentieth century are:
Dariush Shayegan, Morteza Motahhari, Mustafa Malekiyan, Javad Tabatabaeiand Hossein Nasr,and Daryush Shokof (Maximalism-Yekishim). Some of the most notable contemporary university professors of philosophy are: Nasrollah Pourjavady, Gholamreza Aavani, Reza Davari, Gholamhusayn Ibrahimi Dinani, Shahram Pazouki, Mohsen Javadi, Ahmad Fardid, Mohsen Kadivar, Mahmoud Khatami,and Ahmad Beheshti.
Among 20th century experts on traditional Islamic philosophy in Iranian seminaries,
Allameh Tabatabaei, Hassan Hasanzadeh Amoli, Mohammad Taghi Jafari, Mehdi Elahi Ghomshei, Mehdi Haeri Yazdi, Jalaleddin Ashtianiand Ruhollah Khomeinihave exerted considerable influence.
Differently, there are some contributions to the philosophy of science.
Ali Eftekharirevisited the backbone of philosophy of scienceby diving into Boltzmann's works. He also tried to correlate ancient Persian thoughts with western philosophy of science.
Among journals being published in Iran on philosophy there are [falsafeh-The Iranian Journal of Philosophy] [http://journals.ut.ac.ir/issueuser/AboutUs.aspx?MissID=46] published by the department of philosophy of the University of Tehran and "Hikmat va Falsafeh" published by Allamah Tabataba'i University in Tehran, "Ma'rifat-e Falsafeh" published by the Imam Khomeini Education and Research Institute in Qom, and many others. Also worthy of mention is the journal, "Naqd o Nazar" published by Daftar Tablighat in Qom, which often includes articles on philosophical topics and other issues of interest to religious thinkers and intellectuals.
However, it is important to note that Sufism has had a great amount of inluence on Iranian/Persian philosophy.
List of schools and philosophers
*Imam Mohammad Ghazali Tusi
Fakhr al-Din Raziknown as Imam Fakhr Razi
Nasir al-Din Tusi
Farid al-Din Attar(Attar Nishapuri)
*Mowlana Jalal ad-Din Balkhi (Rumi)
*Shams al-Din Lahiji
*Nematollah Vali Kermani
Noor Ali Shah
Shahab al-Din Suhrawardiand Illumination School
Sadr al-DinDashtaki Shiraz School
Mir Damadand Isfahan School
Mulla Sadraand Transcendent Philosophy
Rajab Ali Tabrizi
Qazi Sa’id Qumi
Tehran Schooland Qom School
Mulla Hadi Sabzevariand Neyshabor School
In the history of Islamic philosophy, there were few philosophers who had their own philosophies:
Avicenna, al-Farabi, Shahab al-Din Suhrawardiand Mulla Sadra. Some philosophers did not offer a new philosophy, rather they had some innovations: Mirdamad, Khajeh Nasir and Qutb al-Din Shirazi belong to this group. Some philosophers had new narration of existing philosophies: Ali Modarres is an example of such philosophers. [http://kadivar.com/Index.asp?DocId=305&AC=1&AF=1&ASB=1&AGM=1&AL=1&DT=dtv]
* Intellectual Movements in Modern Iran
Iranian traditional humanism
Religious Intellectualism in Iran
* [http://www.iptra.ir/vsnd0xl0htmcy.a6t.2f0y2y.html Iranian philosophy] (in Persian)
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