Time is one of the most important features of the world of matter, and the knowledge of which has always attracted the attention of philosophers. The simplicity of perception of time and the difficulty of its explanation have resulted in some disagreements among philoso More
Time is one of the most important features of the world of matter, and the knowledge of which has always attracted the attention of philosophers. The simplicity of perception of time and the difficulty of its explanation have resulted in some disagreements among philosophers concerning its definition. Islamic philosophers are no exception in this regard, and the roots of their disagreements go back to Plato’s and Aristotle’s different definitions of time. Plato defined time as a self-subsistent and essentially independent substance that is a differentiated form of the world of Ideas. In Aristotle’s view, time represents the number of motion from its priority and posteriority aspects, which cannot be gathered with each other. While acknowledging the difference between these two definitions, Islamic philosophers have usually chosen one of these definitions and tried to respond to the suspicions about their selected definition and reject the arguments in favor of the opposing one. Some philosophers such as Ibn Rushd, Ibn Sīnā, and Suhrawardī adopted Aristotle’s definition, while Zakarīyyā Rāzī and Fakhr al-Dīn Rāzī advocated Plato’s definition. Nevertheless, no effort as to demonstrating the contrast between Aristotelean and Platonic definitions of time is justified because both philosophers believe that although time is different from motion, their existences are inseparable from each other. In other words, the perception of one depends on the perception of the other. accordingly, the present paper, while clarifying Plato’s view, initially intends to explain that it is not in contrast to Aristotle’s view and, secondly, aims to demonstrate the effects of their view on those of Muslim philosophers.