motion, which Aristotle sees in the essence of nature and from nature, Mulla Sadra sees within the essence of existenceand attributes to the Divine creative power.
It is with respect to this point that Mulla Sadra’s philosophy drastically differs from that of Aristotle, since Aristotle haspresented his discussions about motion in physics and through which he has reached the metaphysical distinctionbetween sensible and non-sensible entities. In fact, Aristotle’s real goal in his philosophy is to explain nature, that is, the"where about" and "why about" of the sensible, observable and tangible world in which man lives and is constantlyinvolved with. It is this major goal which in turn characterises the nature of his metaphysics. That is, if it were not forthe necessity of completing his natural philosophy in line with his world view, neither would the knowledge of metaphysics be necessary for him, nor would it be meaningful in his philosophical system. Therefore, Aristotle’smetaphysics is not an unrelated issue to physics and to the natural world; in other words, it is not beyond tangible andsensible facts.
Contrary to Aristotle, Mulla Sadra considers the issue of motion as being related to metaphysics, and explores it in hisphilosophy under the title of ‘division of existence into constant and becoming’. He uses a precise expression in his
which indicates that the issue of motion is related to metaphysics. He states that: ‘motion is the renewal of event,not a renewed event,’ and says that ‘the permanence of motion for a renewed and mobile individual is not like theoccurrence of an accident for a subject; rather, it is an "analytic accident" whose relationship with the subject is like therelationship of differentia to genus’.
Sabzawari, in his commentary on
presents the following statement:
However, Transubstantial motion, like the flux of nature, is not one of the accidents of the body; rather it is oneof the principles of it, because the existence of nature is mobile and nature is the differentia of the body and priorto it. So this is particularisation by the natural itself, and not after it.
From the above discussions one may conclude that in Mulla Sadra’s view and that of his followers, motion andbecoming are not in contrast with being in the sense of existence; rather, being is of two kinds. The first one is a kind of being which is constant and lacks a temporal dimension which is not measurable with temporal criteria and, hence, isnot subject to change and transformation. The second one is the mobile being that possesses a temporal dimensionwhich extends in the stretch of time and its being is the same as its becoming. According to rational proofs, such anentity is either essentially material or belongs to matter and is in unity with it in the same way that man’s soul is capableof motion and change as long as it has some kind of belonging and attachment to the body.
Mulla Sadra proves the existence of motion in the external world basically by means of rational proof and the rejectionof Parmenidos and Zenon’s arguments and not by sense perception. In his opinion, motion is a philosophical secondaryintelligible concept and not an essential one; and its discussion is a philosophical and metaphysical one, not a discussionwithin the field of empirical science. This is because he believes that the concept of motion is not attained throughabstraction and generalisation by sense perception; rather, similar to other metaphysical categories; it is attained throughthe analysis and interpretation of percepts by presence. Thus, we perceive the existential motion and its extension overtime first by knowledge by presence and recognise the properties of motion by rational analyses in the form of aphilosophical secondary intelligible concept. Then, through corresponding these properties to external objects, werecognise the existence of motion in the external world.
With respect to the point just quoted from Mulla Sadra, this fact can be explained in a different way as follows: sincemotion is one of the "analytical accidents" of existence, the mode of motion is not objectively separable from theobject’s mode of existence; rather, what exists in the external world is merely a restless existence and an unstableessence, which is separate from other beings only through rational analysis.
What was said holds true with respect to allmetaphysical concepts which indicate the various aspects of existence. As constancy or stability is not a property whichmay occur to a constant existence in the external world, motion is also not a property which may occur in the externalworld to a mobile existence either; rather, both count as concepts which indicate two modes of existence. As a result, inthe Transubstantial motion, according to Mulla Sadra, there is no need for an external subject since the very objectitself, in every moment, is different from the same object in one moment before or one moment after. In other words, inthe Transubstantial motion, unlike in accidental motions, the motion and the mobile are identical. Of course, an ordinarymind which is not philosophically oriented takes it for granted that no motion in the external world is possible without amobile being, and this is so because it is used to accidental and, specifically, spatial motions. However, after gettingused to precise philosophical analyses, it would be clear that the need of accidental motions to a subject too is notbecause of their being "motion"; rather, it is because of their being "accidental". That is why even immobility requires asubject. Hence, after proving motion in the essence and substance of an object, and recognising the fact that the materialexistent itself does not remain the same in two successive moments, we understand that such a motion does not requirethe presupposition of an external subject and its external existence is the same as motion itself.