Political and Epistemological Theories in Pre-modern and Modern Shīʿī Thought

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Giovanni Carrera


Over the last few decades the study of Shīʿī Islam has witnessed a growing interest in specific aspects and perspectives of Shīʿī philosophers and theologians. The monograph authored by Sayeh Meisami focuses on the views of two of the most influential thinkers in Shīʿī, namely the eleventh century Ismāʿīlī thinker Ḥāmid al-Kirmānī and the Twelver mystic and thinker Ṣadr al-Dīn al-Shīrāzī, better known as Mullā Ṣadrā. Throughout the five chapters, the textual comparative analysis of their thought shows how multifaceted epistemological and cosmological keys are transmitted from al-Kirmānī to Mullā Ṣadra, and ultimately become interwoven with their respective theories about the legitimacy of the Imām. Epistemology, cosmology, and political theory thus become, in the author’s analysis, the fil rouge that characterize the development of Shīʿī mystical and political philosophies up to the advent of Ayatollah Khomeini and the Islamic Republic of Iran.

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Carrera, G. (2019). Political and Epistemological Theories in Pre-modern and Modern Shīʿī Thought. Journal of World Philosophies, 4(2), 154-157. Retrieved from https://scholarworks.iu.edu/iupjournals/index.php/jwp/article/view/3122
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Author Biography

Giovanni Carrera

Giovanni Carrera is a PhD candidate at the Institute of Islamic Studies, McGill University, where he specializes in Islamic philosophy, theology, and Islamic intellectual history, with focus on the theories of philosophy of language and semantics that emerge from logical, juridical, and rhetorical works of Muslim scholars from the fourteenth up to the twentieth century. His dissertation analyzes the emergence and further development of the theory of semantics and philosophy of language in the literature of ʿilm al-waḍʿ (translatable as science of the linguistic positing) initiated by pre-modern Muslim thinkers from the fourteenth up to the twentieth century. This linguistic science, which has no counterpart in the western scholarly traditions, investigates how simple terms used in everyday language are posited for and convey their concepts, and how these concepts relate to entities in real-world experiences by both speakers and listeners.