Gnostic Elements and Theory of Knowledge from an Islamic Philosophy Perspective (as a Basic Phenomenon in the Origins of Religion)

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Volume.2, No.1, Spring & Summer 2016

M. Namazi / Assistant Professor Department of Philosophy, IKI

Received: 2016/07/05 - Accepted: 2016/10/19


The basic question of a theory of knowledge: In which authentic way may we know the world? Is this way a sensual/experimental way, an intellectual one, or an intuitive way, or is it a combination of two of these or a joining together of all of them? The positivist and empiricist philosophers have chosen the first option, peripatetic and the realist philosophers went to the second one, illuminationist philosophers and mystics accepted the third way, and the followers of the transcendental philosophy of Mulla Sadra suggested the last answer.

In order to elucidate the real significance of this issue as a basic problem in the philosophy of religion and the position of Islamic philosophy in this regard, I will briefly explain, in this paper, the definition of knowledge from an Islamic philosophical perspective, the possibility of having absolute knowledge, the instruments for acquiring knowledge, the criteria by which we may recognize the true knowledge from the false one on the basis of the foundations of Islamic philosophy. This, in its turn, equips and mobilizes us to realize, understand and have confidence on our understanding of facts, religious realities and truths.

Key Words: knowledge, theory of knowledge, gnostic elements, Islamic philosophy, perception, basic phenomenon, origin of religion.