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  • 5/31/2005

Dictionary of Islamic Philosophical Terms


Al-usul al-muta'arafah:

Self-evident first principles or axioms like a part is less than the whole of which it is part, equals added to equals are equals or two contradictories cannot be true of the same thing at the same time and in the same respect.

Al-usul al-mawdu'ah:

Necessary presuppositions of a science which are accepted as initial truths and which are the base of the entire superstructure of that science like the principles that every event has a cause and that the same cause has the same effect.Idafah:Relation, one of the ten Aristotelian categories; it denotes the relationship between two things such as father and son or master and apprentice or, more generally, the relation of a thing to all other objects.


ConsiderationI'tibari: Relational, relativeAddad: Contraries; for the logical nature of contraries

Al-atraf al-arba'ah:

The fallacy of four termsAl-a'dad al-tabi'iyah:"Natural numbers", i.e. cardinal numbers, one, two, etc.


Enlightened knower'ayn:External, objective


Objective realityAl-a 'yan al-thabitah:The eternal essences of things which together form the world of Ideas or the spiritual world which is intermediary between God and the material world of sensible phenomena. {Permanent archetypes, fixed entities, fixed essences [see Sadra,al-Asfar, “in the convention of someahl al-Kashf wa’l-Yaqin,mahiyyat are called ‘al-a‘yan al-thabitah’, 1: 49, line 4].}


Agathodaemon (other Arabic variants areAghathudhimun and Aghadhimun) represented in the tradition of the philosophy of Illuminationism ( al-hikmat al-ishraqiyah) as one of the ancient Egyptian sages. Sometimes he is considered the son of Hermes II, sometimes the associate of Socrates and occasionally one of the pupils of Ptolemy. More generally he is considered an authority in the occult sciences. It is said that he invented a clock that could lure the snakes, scorpions and other reptiles out their holes. Ibn al-Nadim lists him among the foremost alchemists. In short, it is difficult to identifyAghathadhimun, and in all probability the name stands merely for a mythical personality.

Al-Aflatuniyat al-Muhdathah:

Neoplatonism, a school of philosophy which wove all the strands of existing systems (Platonism, Aristotelianism, Pythagoreanism, Stoicism, Gnosticism, etc.) into a single web of thought. Founded by Ammonius Saccas in the second century C.E. in Alexandria, ending with Proclus in the 5th century. Its greatest interpreter however was Plotinus.Afudiqtiqi: Analytica Posteriora or the Second Analytics, Aristotle’s fourth book on logicAqadhamiya: Academy: Plato’s school of philosophy in Athens, established by him in 387 B.C. The Academy lasted under various forms until closed by Christian intolerance of the Roman Emperor Justinian I the Great in 529 C.E., whereupon the seven (?) philosophers (Neoplatonists) took refuge in Persia at the court of Nushirwan the Great.


Lit. "Persuasion"; in logic it means a mode of reasoning by which the mind of the listener is convinced by a statement even when it lacks the required demonstration or proof.Iktisab:Acquisition


Concomitance [see S. Afnan, Avicenna: His Life and Works, 93]; entailment.Ilja':Coercion, constraint

A'immat al-asma'(and) al-a'immat al-sab'ah:

The term a'immat al-asma’ (lit. the leading names) refers to the seven principal names of God, viz. al-hayy (the Living); al-'alim (the knower), al-Murid (the Willing, or the Purposer); al-Qadir (the Powerful); al-Sami' (the Hearer); al-Basir (the seer); al-Mutakallim (the speaker). The qualities or attributes denoted by these seven principal names of God are named al-a’immat al-sab‘ah (lit. the seven leaders).Imtidad:Extension

Al-imtidadat al-thalath:

The three dimensions of a body: length, breadth and depth.
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