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Disiplinlerarası Çalışmalar Dergisi Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies

The Definition of the “Individual” in Ibn Rushd and Ibn Taymiyya: The Case of an Original Conceptualism and Nominalism in the Islamic Thought

The problem of description of the individual brings a variety of philosophical issues depending on how the individual can be described. All of them are associated with the problem of universals stemmed from Plato and Aristotle. In this subject, several discussions were made in the ontological and epistemological context. In the history of Islamic thought, two important names, having his own perspective, Ibn Rushd (1126-1198), and Ibn Taymiyya (1263-1328) have different ideas on the problem of universal-particular relationship rising on the different foundations. Ibn Rushd, of course, is one of the biggest names in Aristotelian philosophy at all times. One of the leading figures of Salafism Ibn Taymiyya directed severe criticism against philosophy. May description of the individual constitute in itself a paradox due to it means that an individual identical with itself, should be conceived as a universal. Ibn Rushd discusses this issue and tries to produce a solution with existing-non-existing analysis. Criticizing the Aristotelian ontology, Ibn Taymiyya attacks universal-particular analysis depending on the concept of quiddity and then Peripatetic theory of description. As a result, Ibn Rushd puts forth tips of unique conceptualism and Ibn Taymiyya of unique nominalism in the analysis of this original problem. Both of the thinkers, Ibn Rushd and Ibn Taymiyya, aims to gain the method of truth and correct knowledge. However, there are some basic differences between Ibn Rushd’s concept of being and Ibn Taymiyya’s concept of being; so, these differences of wievpoint in ontological attitude, bring about some basic differences in epistemical attitude. Ibn Rushd’s basic problem is the backdrop of sciencetific knowledge; and for his reason, he focuses on the nature and the necessity. But Ibn Taymiyya refuses any ‘itself necessity’ and because of this wievpoint, critizes the concept of ‘essential’ and ‘nature’; of course, the problem of description of individual becomes a very important issue for this contraversy. Mehmet BİRGÜL
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