(1908-2000), professor of philosophy at the University of Tehran and a leading translator of Western philosophical works. Throughout his years of association with the university, he donated the salary he received to the university press to be spent on publishing books on literary and philosophical topics.
MAHDAVI, Yahya (b. Tehran, spring 1287 S./1908; d. Tehran, 1379 S./2000; Figure 1), professor of philosophy at the University of Tehran and a leading translator of Western philosophical works. Mahdavi was the son of Ḥajj Mohammad-Ḥosayn Amin-al-Zarb and the grandson of Ḥajj Mohammad-Ḥasan Amin-al-Zarb, the famous 19th-century businessman and industrialist. Mahdavi learnt reading and writing from his home tutors and studied the Koran and some classical Persian texts at home. His father was strict with the education of his children and did not allow his children to leave the house without an escort or a chaperone (lala). Yahya was allowed by his father to attend the Dar al-Fonun, which he entered as a junior and finished the last two grades in a single year, graduating in 1928. The faculty at Dar al-Fonun included such renowned scholars as Badi-al-Zaman Foruzanfar, Abd-al-Aẓim Qarib, Abbas Eqbal Astiani, Masud Kayhan, and Ḥosayn Gol-Golab, who in future became colleagues of Mahdavi at the university.
Mahdavi continued his education at Tehran Teachers College (Dar al-moallemin-e ʿali, later Danes-sara-ye ali) from 1928 until 1931. He was among the first students to graduate from this college with a bachelor's degree. In 1931, he received a scholarship from the state and went to France to continue his education there until 1938, when he wrote his doctoral thesis under the supervision of André Lanlande and Emile Bréhier. He returned to Persia in the same year and, after doing his military service, joined the Faculty of Literature at the University of Tehran as associate professor. He was later promoted to full professorship (1941), chaired the Department of Philosophy, and taught there until 1973, when he retired, but, as professor emeritus (ostad-e momtaz), he continued to teach a few courses in the doctoral program at the Department of Philosophy and also supervise theses. Throughout his years of association with the university, he donated the salary he received to the university press to be spent on publishing books on literary and philosophical topics. His contributions enabled the university to publish many books in these fields.
Baba Jan Ḵhorasani