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The World of Image in Islamic PhilosophyIbn Sina, Suhrawardi, Shahrazuri and Beyond$
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L. W. C. van Lit

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781474415859

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474415859.001.0001

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Suhrawardī’s Recognition of an Additional Realm

Suhrawardī’s Recognition of an Additional Realm

(p.48) 3 Suhrawardī’s Recognition of an Additional Realm
The World of Image in Islamic Philosophy

L. W. C. van Lit

Edinburgh University Press

In Ḥikmat al-ishrāq, Suhrawardī takes Ibn Sīnā’s ideas in an entirely different direction. Whereas Ibn Sīnā was most concerned with how we can have imagination if we do not have a body anymore, Suhrawardī circumvents this problem by insisting that all particular perception is through non-physical images called ‘suspended images’. He makes these images into a fourth ontological category, next to intellects, souls, and bodies. As such, he is able to speak of a ‘world of suspended images’. Previously, scholars have emphasized the role they play in spiritual experience, but Suhrawardī in fact argues that with every act of particular perception, they play a role, whether it is hearing a sound or experiencing something in a dream. At the end of the chapter, some of the possible antecedents other than Ibn Sīnā are considered.

Keywords:   Ḥikmat al-ishrāq, Suspended images, Knowledge by presence, Mirrors, Abū l-Barakāt al-Baghdādī

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