On 26 November 2016 AMI faculty member and lecturer in Islamic Philosophy and Theology, Dr. Wahid M. Amin, participated in the Second Finnish Medieval Philosophy Workshop on the theme of Rationality in Perception at the University of Helsinki, Finland.
This one-day workshop included papers on a variety of topics from the Arabic and Latin philosophical traditions, with speakers presenting on a range of influential thinkers such as Avicenna, Averroes, John of Jandun, Nicholas of Cusa, Agostino Niffo. In his paper entitled Naṣīr al-Dīn al-Ṭūsī on Necessary (Eternal) Facts and Necessary (Eternal) Being, Dr. Amin examined the age-old problem of whether or not necessary truths require necessary beings in order to be metaphysically grounded. He focussed on a hitherto underappreciated topic within the Arabic philosophical tradition known as nafs al-amr, and demonstrated that according to the thirteenth-century Persian polymath Naṣīr al-Dīn al-Ṭūsī, a Shīʿī Muslim philosopher and scientist of the post-classical period, all necessary truths require an eternal being to serve as their truthmaking principle.
However, Dr. Amin also showed that Ṭūsī rejected, somewhat controversially, the possibility that this being could be identified as the First Principle, i.e. God, but instead should be identified, according to Ṭūsī, as the first Intellect known as the Universal Intellect. Accordingly, Dr. Amin further argued that the proof of an eternal being from concerns that were initially concerned with the metaphysical grounding of necessary truths makes Ṭūsī’s proof an unprecedented one in the history of Arabic philosophy for upholding the belief in an eternal intellect besides God. Dr. Amin’s paper has been submitted to a leading journal and is currently being reviewed for publication.
For more information and paper abstracts click here