Shiʿi Defenders of Avicenna: An Intellectual History of the Philosophers of Shiraz
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
Reason for embargo
The research contained within this thesis is currently pending publication elsewhere
This dissertation is a study of the intellectual history of Ṣadr al-Dīn Dashtakī (d. 903/1498) and Ghiyāth al-Dīn Dashtakī (d. 949/1542), two important Shirazi philosophers and Shiʿi thinkers who lived in the late Timurid and early Safavid period. It argues that Avicennan philosophy was revived and provided with a new impetus at a time when it was under attack by Ashʿari thinkers belonging to the later tradition. Paradoxically, many of the later Ashʿri thinkers saw it fit to engage in metaphysical speculations that took the Avicennan tradition as its basis. Yet, these same thinkers accused Avicenna and his followers of advancing specious arguments and for making incoherent statements about God, the cosmos, religious matters, and the general nature of things. So overarching was this later Ashʿari tradition, that it became the intellectual tradition par excellence in the centuries leading up to the Safavid period. In many of their major philosophical writings, the Dashtakīs sought to decouple Avicennan philosophy from Ashʿari kalām, and, at the same time, to attack the foundations of the Ashʿari tradition. In doing so, the Dashtakīs proposed a particular reading of Avicenna that was purified of Ashʿari influences and closer to philosophical Shiʿism.
PhD in Arabic and Islamic Philosophy