A study of epistemological developments in Islamic philosophy indicates that, although the issues in this philosophical trend have not been independently dealt with and have been generally discussed under epistemological issues, there are other problems in Islamic philo More
A study of epistemological developments in Islamic philosophy indicates that, although the issues in this philosophical trend have not been independently dealt with and have been generally discussed under epistemological issues, there are other problems in Islamic philosophy that, if organized and classified, can open the door to philosophical approaches to ontological discussions. Perhaps, some of the fundamental ambiguities in epistemology can be clarified based on the outcomes of such discussions. For example, reference can be made to the effects of ontological views of Ibn Sīnā and Suhrawardī over their epistemology. The main question of this study is how an epistemological approach can be extracted from an investigation and analysis of a collection of problems and demonstrate it with reference to the standpoints and views of Islamic philosophers. In order to achieve this purpose, it must be said that an epistemology based on the sense, reason, and intuition can lead to the development of Islamic philosophers’ epistemology. The Peripatetic philosophy is mainly based on the intellect and reasoning, and the Illuminationist philosophy, although relying on reasoning, basically draws on unveiling and intuition in epistemological analyses. However, logic, as a gateway to epistemology, usually opens the discussion because almost all Islamic philosophers consider the theory of definition as a tool for unveiling the unknown (unveiling the general nature of affairs) relying on acquired knowledge and the five predicables (universals). Nevertheless, Suhrawardī and his followers, while relying on presential knowledge, believe that a genus-differentia definition is not justified and, by criticizing the theory of definition, try to discover the particular unknown through observation and illumination. Accordingly, the problem of vision and imagination in the common epistemological system is usually viewed as one of the sides of acquired knowledge. In contrast, it is explained under presential knowledge in Illuminationist philosophy.