John Walbridge Indiana University email@example.com I should, I suppose, begin by taking some personal responsibility for this controversy. When my late friend Hossein Ziai and I published our edition and translation of Suhraward's ikmat al-Ishrq (hereafter Philosophy of Illumination), we chose "in nate" as our rendering of fir. I don't remember discussing the rendering, and we did not bother to mention it in the glossary. Hossein had used this rendering in his first book, Knowledge and Illumination, stating that "innate ideas serve as the grounds for knowledge."1 Others, however, have rendered the term and its source, fira, as "nature," "natural spirit,"2 or "innate disposition."3 So what does fira mean? AlTahnaw, in his dictionary of Islamic technical ter minology, cites the famous saying of the Prophet, "Every child born is born with the fira, but his parents make him a Jew, a Christian, or a Magian," observing that "they disagree about its meaning."4 More to the point is his discussion of firyt : They are a class of necessary and certain premises. They are also called "propositions whose syllogisms are simultaneous with them." What is meant by simultaneity is tem poral simultaneity, so essential priority is not denied. The
Philosophy East and West – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Apr 14, 2014
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