Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

Open Theology

Editor-in-Chief: Taliaferro, Charles


Covered by:
Elsevier - SCOPUS
Clarivate Analytics - Emerging Sources Citation Index
ERIH PLUS

CiteScore 2018: 0.37

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.275
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.975

Open Access
Online
ISSN
2300-6579
See all formats and pricing
More options …

The Way into Transcendental Philosophy from the Argument in Suhrawardī’s Philosophy of Illumination

Olga Louchakova-Schwartz
Published Online: 2019-09-10 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opth-2019-0022

Abstract

This paper presents a phenomenological analysis of the argument in The First Discourse of Part 2 of Suhrawardī’s Philosophy of Illumination. Specifically, this argument is considered with regard to temporal extension of its logos, i.e., the succession of logical steps. Contrary to traditional views of Suhrawardī as a Neoplatonizing proponent of the primacy of essence over existence, the steps of his argument convey a much more nuanced picture in which ligh t emerges as the main metaphysical principle. First, Suhra wardī explicates full evidentiality in visible light (which is the most patent, ’aẓhar, from the Arabic root ẓ-h-r = ‘to appear, be [made] manifest’): this light gives us the world as “this-there”; and second, as self-evidentiality (ẓuhūru-hu, ‘being obvious to itself by itself’) in the first-person consciousness of the knower. Suhrawardī accesses these modes by reduction(s) which liberate the transcendental character of light. The correlation in the evidential mode of light between the knower and the objects serves as a ground for the claims of transcendental unity of the self and the world, and as a condition of possibility for knowledge. A juxtaposition of this approach with phenomenological philosophy suggests that in Suhrawardī’s analysis, the evidentiality of visual light plays a role of a new universal a priori. I show that under the phenomenological reduction, this a priori participates in constitution of ontological validities; and within the transcendental empiricism of the physics of light, this a priori underlies the construction of causality. Thereby, the Philosophy of Illumination suggests a new horizon of entry into transcendental phenomenological philosophy. The paper also contains a justification of a phenomenological reading of Suhrawardī’s work, including explanation of the historical reduction.

Keywords: transcendental phenomenology; historical reduction; Husserl; Suhrawardi; Philosophy of Illumination; self-evidence; consciousness; light; unity

References

  • Allen, Jeffner. “What Is Husserl’s First Philosophy?” Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 42:4 (1982), 610–620.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Antonov, Vladimir, and Galina Vaver. Complexnaya Systema Psychophysicheskoi Samoregulatsii. [A Handbook of Complex System of Psychophysical Self-Regulation.] Leningrad: Cosmos, 1989.Google Scholar

  • Aristotle. De Anima. Volume 1. Edited by Immanuel Bekker. Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 1831.Google Scholar

  • Berg, Jeremy M. “Photoreceptor Molecules in the Eye Detect Visible Light.” Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports, January 1, 1970. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK22541/. Accessed November 12, 2018.

  • Bergo, Bettina. “Emmanuel Levinas.” In The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2017 Edition), edited by Edward N. Zalta. Retrieved from https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/fall2017.entries/levinas/. Accessed May 10, 2019.

  • Bigg, Charles. Neoplatonism. London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1895.Google Scholar

  • Carr, David. Phenomenology and the Problem of History. Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1974.Google Scholar

  • Carr, David. “Translator’s Introduction.” In Edmund Husserl, The Crisis of European Philosophy, translated by David Carr, xv–xliii. Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1970.Google Scholar

  • Chapell, Timothy. “Varieties of Knowledge in Plato and Aristotle.” Topoi 28 (2013), 175-190. Retreived from doi: 10.1007/s11245-012-9125-z.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Cherubin, R. “Inquiry and What Is: Eleatics and Monisms.” Epoche: A Journal for the History of Philosophy 8:1 (2003), 1–26. Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/43071580?accountid=14505. Accessed May 4, 2019.

  • Costello, Peter. “From Other People to the World to Other People Again; or, To Paraphrase the Hobbit, There and Back Again.” Lecture given to the Society for the Phenomenology of Religious Experience, Berkeley, CA, September 28, 2018.Google Scholar

  • Crystal, Ian. “The Scope of Thought in Parmenides.” Classical Quarterly 52:1 (2002), 207–219. Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/201669550?accountid=14505. Accessed May 4, 2019.

  • Dastur, Françoise. “World, Flesh, Vision.” In Chiasms, edited by Fred Evans and Leonard Lalor, 23–49. Albany: SUNY Press, 2000.Google Scholar

  • Embree, Lester E. Reflective Analysis. Bucharest: Zeta Books, 2006.Google Scholar

  • Feinberg, Todd E., and Jon Mallatt. “The Nature of Primary Consciousness: A New Synthesis.” Consciousness and Cognition 43 (2016), 113–27. Retreived from doi: 10.1016/j.concog.2016.05.009.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Forestier, Florian. “The Phenomenon and the Transcendental: Jean-Luc Marion, Marc Richir, and the Issue of Phenomena-lization.” Continental Philosophy Review 45 (2012), 381-402. Retreived from https://doi.org/10.1007/s11007-012-9227-8Crossref

  • Gupta, V. K. “Emergence of Photoautotrophic Minimal Protocell-Like Supramolecular Assemblies: ‘Jeewanu’ Synthesised Photo-Chemically in an Irradiated Sterilised Aqueous Mixture of Some Inorganic and Organic Substances.” Origins of Life and Evolution of Biospheres 44:4 (2014), 351–355. Retreived from doi: 10.1007/s11084-014-9381-6.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Gutas, Dimitri. Avicenna and the Aristotelian Tradition: Introduction to Reading Avicenna’s Philosophical Works. Leiden: Brill, 2014.Google Scholar

  • Haaparanta, Leila. “Analysis as the Method of Logical Discovery: Some Remarks on Frege and Husserl.” Synthèse 77:1 (1988), 73–97.Google Scholar

  • Hartimo, M. “Husserl’s Pluralistic Phenomenology of Mathematics.” Philosophia Mathematica 3:20 (2012), 86–110.Google Scholar

  • Hartmann, Klaus. “On Taking the Transcendental Turn.” The Review of Metaphysics 20:2 (1966), 223–49. Retreived from http://www.jstor.org/stable/20124228.

  • Heath, Peter. Allegory and Philosophy in Avicenna (Ibn-Sīnā). Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1992.Google Scholar

  • Hemp, David. “The KK (Knowing That One Knows) Principle”. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retreived from https://www.iep.utm.edu/kk-princ/. Accessed June 30, 2019.

  • Henry, Michel. The Essence of Manifestation. Translated by Gigard Etzkorn. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1973.Google Scholar

  • Henry, Michel. Incarnation: A Philosophy of the Flesh. Translated by Karl Hefty. Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 2015. [Originally published as Incarnation: Une philosophie de la chair. Paris: Seuil, 2000.]Google Scholar

  • Henry, Michel. Material Phenomenology. New York: Fordham University Press, 2008.Google Scholar

  • Henry, Michel. “Ontological Destruction of the Kantian Critique of the Paralogism of Rational Psychology.” Analecta Hermeneutica 8 (2016), 17–53. Retreived from http://journals.library.mun.ca/ojs/index.php/analecta/article/view/1708. Accessed April 26, 2019.

  • Henry, Michel. “Phénoménologie non-intentionnelle: Une tâche de la phénoménologie à venir.” In L’intentionnalité en question: Entre phénoménologie et sciences cognitives, edited by Dominique Janicaud, 383–97. Paris: Vrin, 1995.Google Scholar

  • Henry, Michel. Philosophy and Phenomenology of the Body. Translated by Girard Etzkorn. The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1975. [Originally published as Philosophie et phénoménologie du corps. Paris: PUF, (1965) 1987].Google Scholar

  • Hoeppe, Gӧtz. Why the Sky is Blue: Discovering the Color of Life. New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2007.Google Scholar

  • Howell, Robert J., and Brad Thompson. “Phenomenally Mine: In Search of the Subjective Character of Consciousness.” Review of Philosophy and Psychology 8 (2017), 103–127.Google Scholar

  • Husserl, Edmund. The Crisis of. the European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology. Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1970.Google Scholar

  • Husserl, Edmund. Experience and Judgement: Investigations in Genealogy of Logic. Translated by James Churchill and Karl Ameriks. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1973.Google Scholar

  • Husserl, Edmund. Cartesian Meditations. Translated by Dorian Cairns. Dordrecht: Kluwer, 1993.Google Scholar

  • Husserl, Edmund. Ideas Pertaining to a Pure Phenomenology and to a Phenomenological Philosophy, First Book: General Introduction to Pure Phenomenology. Translated by F. Kersten. Dordrecht: Kluwer, 1998.Google Scholar

  • Husserl, Edmund. Logical Investigations/Logische Untersuchungen. Volume 2. London: Routledge, 2001.Google Scholar

  • Husserl, Edmund. The New Yearbook for Phenomenology and Phenomenological Philosophy. Volume 2. Edited by Burt Hopkins and Steven Crowell. New York: Routledge, 2002.Google Scholar

  • Husserl, Edmund. Zur phänomenologischen Reduktion: Texte aus dem Nachlass (19291935). Edited by Sebastian Luft. Husserliana 34. Dordrecht: Springer, 2002.Google Scholar

  • Huth, Gerald C. “A New Physics-Based Model for Light Interaction with the Retina of the Human Eye and the Vision Process.” Rethinking the Process of Vision RSS, n.d. Retreived from http://www.ghuth.com/a-new-physics-based-model-for-light-interaction-with-the-retina-of-the-human-eye-and-the-vision-process/. Accessed November 15, 2018.

  • Huth, Gerald C. “The Physics of the Vision Process.” Rethinking the Process of Vision RSS, n.d. Retreived from http://www.ghuth.com/2011/01/10/the-process-of-vision/. Accessed November 12, 2018.

  • Kalderon, Mark E. Form without Matter: Empedocles and Aristotle on Color Perception. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015.Google Scholar

  • Kampakoglou, Alexandros, and Anna A. Novokhatko, eds. Gaze, Vision, and Visuality in Ancient Greek Literature. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2018.Google Scholar

  • Kant, Immanuel. Critique of Pure Reason. Translated by Norman Kemp Smith. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1929.Google Scholar

  • Kee, Hayden. “Phenomenological Reduction in Merleau-Ponty’s The Structure of Behavior: An Alternative Approach to the Naturalization of Phenomenology.” European Journal of Philosophy, 2019. Retrieved from doi:10.1111/ejop.12452.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Kelsey, Sean. “Color, Transparency, and Light in Aristotle.”Phronesis 63:2 (2018), 209–210.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Koenderink, Jan. “Kalderon, M. E., Form without Matter: Empedocles and Aristotle on Color Perception.Perception 44:12 (2015), 1433–1436. Retrieved from doi:10.1177/0301006615610211. Accessed April 14, 2019.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Lawn-i ẓuhūr. [The Tablet of Manifestations or of the Divine Theophany.] Translated by Stephen Lambden, 2006. Retreived from https://hurqalya.ucmerced.edu/node/449. Accessed June 29, 2019.

  • LaRocca, D., ed. The Bloomsbury Anthology of Transcendental Thought. New York: Bloomsbury, 2017.Google Scholar

  • Long, Christopher P. “On Touch and Life in the De Anima.” In Phenomenology and the Metaphysics of Sight, edited by Antonio Cimino and Pavlos Kontos, 71–94. Leiden: Brill, 2015.Google Scholar

  • Louchakova-Schwartz, O. “A Phenomenological Approach to Illuminationist Philosophy: Suhrawardī’s nūr mujarrad and Husserl’s Reduction.” Philosophy East and West 64:2 (2015), 1052–1081.Google Scholar

  • Luft, Sebastian. “Husserl’s Notion of the Natural Attitude and the Shift to Transcendental Phenomenology.” Analecta Husserliana 80 (2002), 114–119.Google Scholar

  • Luft, Sebastian. “Husserl’s Theory of the Phenomenological Reduction: Between Lifeworld and Cartesianism.” Research in Phenomenology 34 (2004), 198–234.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Luft, Sebastian. “Phenomenology as First Philosophy: A Prehistory.” In Philosophy, Phenomenology, Sciences, edited by Carlo Ierna, Hanne Jacobs, and Filip Mattens, 107–133. Dordrecht: Springer, 2010.Google Scholar

  • Marbach, Eduard. “No Heterophenomenology without Autophenomenology: Variations on a Theme of Mine.” Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 6 (2007), 75–87. Retreived from doi: 10.1007/s11097-006-9027-x.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Marcotte, Roxanne. “Suhrawardi.” In The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Summer 2019 Edition), edited by Edward N. Zalta. Retreived from <https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/sum2019/entries/suhrawardi/>. Accessed April 29, 2019.

  • Max-Planck-Institut für biologische Kybernetik. “Quick Links.” Virtual Reality Equipment, n.d. Retreived from http://www.kyb.tuebingen.mpg.de/research/dep/lo/visual-perception.html. Accessed November 12, 2018.

  • McGinnis, Jon. “New Light on Avicenna: Optics and Its Role in Avicennian Theories of Vision, Cognition, and Emanation.” In Philosophical Psychology in Arabic Thought and the Latin Aristotelianism of the 13th Century, edited by Luis Xavier López-Farjeat and Jörg Alejandro Tellkamp, 41–57. Paris: Vrin, 2012.Google Scholar

  • Meinert, Cornelia, et al. [Meinert, Cornelia, Pierre de Marcellus, Louis Le Sergeant dʼHendecourt, Laurent Nahon, Nykola C. Jones, Søren V. Hoffmann, Jan Hendrik Bredehöft, and Uwe J. Meierhenrich.] “Photochirogenesis: Photochemical Models on the Absolute Asymmetric Formation of Amino Acids in Interstellar Space.” Physics of Life Reviews 8:3 (2011), 307–330. Retreived from doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.plrev.2011.08.005.Crossref

  • Merleau-Ponty, Maurice. The Primacy of Perception. Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1964.Google Scholar

  • Merleau-Ponty, Maurice. Phenomenology of Perception. New York: Routledge, 2012.Google Scholar

  • Miller, P. L. Becoming God: Pure Reason in Early Greek Philosophy. London: Continuum, 2012. Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/926956062?accountid=14505. Accessed May 4, 2019.

  • Montag, Ethan D. “Vision and Psychophysics.” Rochester Institute of Technology, n.d. Retreived from https://www.cis.rit.edu/people/faculty/montag/vandplite/pages/chap_9/ch9p1.html. Accessed October 12, 2018.

  • Moran, Dermot. Husserl’s Crisis of the European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology: An Introduction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012.Google Scholar

  • More, Tom. “Why Visual Content Is Crucial to Customer Engagement.” Salesforce Blog, 2014. Retreived from https://www.salesforce.com/blog/2014/09/visual-content-customer-engagement-gp.html. Accessed October12, 2018.

  • Moskowitz, Clara. “Hidden in Einstein’s Math: Faster-than-Light Travel?” LiveScience. Retrieved from https://www.livescience.com/23789-einstein-relativity-faster-than-light-travel.html. Accessed May 2, 2019.

  • Nasr, Seyyed Hossein. “General Introduction”. In An Anthology of Philosophy in Persia. Volume 2. Edited by Seyyed Hossein Nasr and Mehdi Aminrazavi, 1-15. London: I.B. Tauris.Google Scholar

  • Noë, Alva, and J. Kevin O’Regan. “On the Brain-Basis of Visual Consciousness: The Sensory-Motor Account.” In Vision and Mind, edited by Alva Noë and Evan Thompson, 567–598. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2002.Google Scholar

  • The Physics Classroom. “Reflection and the Ray Model of Light: The Role of Light to Sight.” Physics Tutorial, n.d. Retreived from https://www.physicsclassroom.com/class/refln/Lesson-1/The-Role-of-Light-to-Sight. Accessed October 12, 2018.

  • Pietersma, Henry. “Husserl’s Concept of Existence.” Synthèse 66:2 (1986), 311–328.Google Scholar

  • Prier, Raymond A. Thauma Idesthai. Gainesville: Florida State University Press, 1989.Google Scholar

  • Rappe, Sara. Reading Neoplatonism: Non-discursive Thinking in the Texts of Plotinus, Proclus and Damascius. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000.Google Scholar

  • Rudolph, Kelli. “Sight and the Presocratics: Approaches to Visual Perception in Early Greek Philosophy.” In Sight and the Ancient Senses, edited by Michael Squire, 36–53. Routledge, 2015.Google Scholar

  • Russell, Bertrand. The Problems of Philosophy. New Delhi: Prabhat Prakashan, 2016.Google Scholar

  • Schroeder, Frederick M. Form and Transformation: A Study in the Philosophy of Plotinus. Montreal: McGill University Press, 1992.Google Scholar

  • Seifert, Josef. Discours des méthodes. Paris: Vrin, 2009.Google Scholar

  • Serban, Claudia. “Beneath Time and Reflection: The Shadow of Husserl in Michel Henry’s Non-intentional Phenomenology.” Analecta Hermeneutica 8 (2016): 234–244.Google Scholar

  • Seyler, Frédéric. “Michel Henry.” In The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2016 Edition), edited by Edward N. Zalta. Retreived from <https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/win2016/entries/michel-henry/>. Accessed October 15, 2018.

  • Snell, Bruno. The Discovery of the Mind. Translated by T. G. Rosenmeyer. Oxford: Blackwell, 1953. [Originally published as Die Entdeckung des Geistes: Studien zur Entstehung des europäischen Denkens bei den Griechen. Hamburg: Claaszen & Goverts, 1946].Google Scholar

  • Sparrow, Tom. The End of Phenomenology. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2014.Google Scholar

  • Steinbock, Anthony. “Generativity and the Scope of Generative Phenomenology.” In The New Husserl: A Critical Reader, edited by Donn Welton, 289–325. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2003.Google Scholar

  • Stern, Robert. “Transcendental Arguments.” In The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Summer 2017 Edition), edited by Edward N. Zalta. Retreived from <https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/sum2017/entries/transcendental-arguments/>. Accessed October 15, 2018.

  • Suhrawardī [Sohravardi], Yaḥyá ibn Ḥabash. The Book of Radiance. Translated by Hossein Ziai. Costa Meza, California: Mazda Publishers, 1980.Google Scholar

  • Suhrawardī [Sohravardi], Yaḥyá ibn Ḥabash. The Philosophy of Illumination = Ḥikmat al-Ishrāq: A New Critical Edition of the Text of Ḥikmat al-Ishrāq. Translated by John Walbridge and Hossein Ziai. Provo: Brigham Young University Press, 1999.Google Scholar

  • Taguchi, Shigeru. Das Problem des “Ur-Ich” bei Edmund Husserl: Die Frage nach der selbstverständlichen “Nähe” des Selbst/The Problem of the “Ur-Ich” in Edmund Husserl: The Question of the Self-Understanding “Proximity” of the Self. Dordrecht: Springer, 2006.Google Scholar

  • Tamulis, Arvydas, and Mantas Grigalavicius. “The Emergence and Evolution of Life in a ‘Fatty Acid World’ Based on Quantum Mechanics.” Origin of Life and Evolution of Biospheres 41:1 (2011), 51–71. Retreived from doi: 10.1007/s11084-010-9211-4.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Tarditi, Claudio. “Seeing the Invisible: Jean-Luc Marion’s Path from Husserl to Saint Paul.” In Phenomenology and the Metaphysics of Sight, edited by Antonio Cimino and Pavlos Kontos, 142–162. Leiden: Brill, 2015.Google Scholar

  • Tononi, G., and C. Koch. “Consciousness: Here, There and Everywhere?” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 370:1668 (2015). Retreived from http://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2014.0167. Accessed October 3, 2018.Crossref

  • Üçer, İbrahim Halil. “From Identity to Representation: Ibn Sına on the Identity of Knower and Known in the Human Rational Soul,” Nazariyat Journal for the History of Islamic Philosophy and Sciences 4:2 (2018), 1–55.Google Scholar

  • Veríssimo, Danilo Saretta. “Husserl’s Theory of Perceptive Donation according to Profiles.” Psicologia USP 27:3 (2016), 521–530. Retreived from https://dx.doi.org/10.1590/0103-656420150043.Crossref

  • Walbridge, John. The Leaven of the Ancients. Albany: SUNY Press, 1999.Google Scholar

  • Walbridge, John, and Hossein Ziai. “Translators’ Introduction.” In Suhrawardī, The Philosophy of Illumination [q.v.], xv–xvii. Provo: Brigham Young University Press, 1999.Google Scholar

  • Wheeler, Michael. “Martin Heidegger.” In The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2018 Edition), edited by Edward N. Zalta. Retreived from https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/win2018/entries/heidegger/. Accessed May 15, 2019.

  • Whittaker, J. God, Time, Being: Two Studies in the Transcendental Tradition in Greek Philosophy. Oslo: Universitetsforlaget, 1971. Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/42522953?accountid=14505. Accessed May 4, 2019.

  • Williams, David L. “Light and the Evolution of Vision.” Eye 30:2 (2016), 173–178.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Wolchover, Natalie. “A New Thermodynamics Theory of the Origin of Life.” Quanta Magazine, n.d. Retreived from https://www.quantamagazine.org/a-new-thermodynamics-theory-of-the-origin-of-life-20140122/. Accessed November 13, 2018.

  • Wynne, Parry. “Why the Speed of Light Matters.” LiveScience, September 26, 2011. Retreived from https://www.livescience.com/16248-speed-light-special-relativity-neutrinos.html. Accessed May 1, 2019.

  • Yazdī, Mahdī Ḥāʾirī. The Principles of Epistemology in Islamic Philosophy: Knowledge by Presence. Albany: SUNY Press, 1992.Google Scholar

  • Zahavi, Dan. Husserl’s Legacy: Phenomenology, Metaphysics, and Transcendental Philosophy. New York: Oxford University Press, 2017.Google Scholar

  • Zahavi, Dan. “Consciousness, Self-Consciousness, Selfhood: A Reply to Some Critics.” The Review of Philosophy and Psychology 9:3 (2018), 703–718.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Ziai, Hossein. “Illuminationism.” Encyclopedia Iranica, vol. 12, fasc. 6 ([2004] 2012), 670–672.Google Scholar

About the article

Received: 2019-05-20

Accepted: 2019-06-14

Published Online: 2019-09-10


Citation Information: Open Theology, Volume 5, Issue 1, Pages 278–298, ISSN (Online) 2300-6579, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opth-2019-0022.

Export Citation

© 2019 Olga Louchakova-Schwartz, published by De Gruyter. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Public License. BY 4.0

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in