Persian poetry, e.g., Hafez, Rumi, Baba Taher, is oftenquoted to underline a philosophical point. Most of the clas-sical Persian poetry was written by Suﬁs or poets with Suﬁinclinations.Suﬁtheoreticians,suchasIbn‘Arabi,Qawnawi,Qaysari, Ibn Turkah, Jami, and others have laced their workswithallusions toIslamicphilosophy,andinresponse Muslimphilosophers have taken into account the views of the mys-tics, modifying them, refuting them, or incorporating them.There is also a constant debate about this religious and lit-erary legacy, whether it is an obstacle to philosophicaladvancement or a foundation on which to build.Philosophy is taught in two main venues: the universityand the seminary, but there is also a great amount of philosophical research, lecturing, and discussions con-ducted at the many research centers in Iran. Many of thesecenters, universities, and seminaries have their own per-spective on the ﬁeld.
In the seminaries, professors of philosophy are often revered religious authorities. Philos-ophy is taught as a spiritual discipline as much as an aca-demic ﬁeld of study. Such professors often do not writearticles in the modern academic style, but compose com-mentaries, essays, and books. Often their lectures aretranscribed and published as books. Such ﬁgures rarelydebate one another publicly, although there is much privatediscussion, and there is debate among their students. In theuniversities, one can ﬁnd professors opposed to religiousphilosophy and those who favor it. Numerous academic journals are published by the university presses in whichphilosophical articles can be found, only some of whichspecialize in philosophy. Philosophical monographs, text-books, and translations are published on a wide variety of topics. Iranians have taken to the internet with zeal, andIran has a high blogger per capita ratio; and, as one shouldexpect, there are a number of Iranian blogs and user groupsdedicated to philosophical discussion. National and inter-national conferences are held on philosophical topics asdiverse as logic and human rights, and on philosophers asdiverse as Sohravardi and Kant. Special mention should bemade of the large international conferences held in Tehranand organized by the Sadra Islamic Philosophy ResearchInstitute (SIPRIn)
in 1999 and 2004.Women are underrepresented, especially in Islamicphilosophy. However, a number of women have beenawarded doctorates in philosophy in recent years, and sowe should expect their contributions to Islamic philosophyto begin to emerge as they take positions at universities andresearch centers and begin publishing.One of the most important research centers for philo-sophical studies and teaching is the former Iranian IslamicAcademy of Philosophy and Wisdom, whose ofﬁcial nameis now the Iranian Islamic Institute for the Study of Phi-losophy and Wisdom. In 1973, the Pahlavi queen appointedSeyyed Hossein Nasr to establish a center for the study andpropagation of philosophy under her patronage. Nasr be-came the founder and president of what was then called theImperial Iranian Academy of Philosophy. It became animportant center for the editing of manuscripts and pub-lishing in Islamic philosophy. A journal,
,was published with articles in both Farsi and English. Agood library of books in philosophy and religions wascollected there, and it attracted a number of notablescholars from Iran and abroad, including Henry Corbin andToshihiko Izutsu. Because of the philosophical dispositionsof Nasr and the scholars he gathered, there was a strongfocus on the element of mysticism in Islamic philosophy.After the Islamic Revolution in 1978, the name of theAcademy was changed with its administration, but thegeneral orientation remained much the same, althoughscholars working at the Academy were by no meansexclusively Traditionalists, and included those who spe-cialized in Western philosophy, among whom are expertsin the philosophy of science, logic, and ancient philosophy,and even those who have been openly critical of thedominant religious ideas.
The Academy has had an impact on the study of Islamicphilosophy both in Iran and abroad, especially through theworks of Nasr, Corbin and Izutsu. In Europe, Islamicphilosophy had been studied primarily as an aid to under-standing Medieval European philosophy: e.g., the inﬂuenceof Avicenna on Aquinas and the source of the controversyover Latin Averroism. With Corbin in France and Nasr inthe U.S., the Western study of Islamic philosophy enters a
, so to speak, in which it is appreciated as a trea-sury for perennial gnostic truths.
Iranians are very proudof their intellectual heritage,
and are sensitive to the way itis received outside Iran. So, the interpretation of Islamicphilosophy by writers like Nasr and Corbin has also givenrise to considerable and constructive controversy withinIranian philosophical circles about whether Islamic phi-losophy embodies a
, whether therelation between mysticism and Islamic philosophy has notbeen over-emphasized, and about the relation betweenIslamic philosophy and modern Western philosophy.
2 Islamic philosophy and Western philosophy in Iran
In Iran, philosophy is often divided into Western andIslamic. Most comparative philosophy done in Iran
See Razavi (1996).168 H. M. Legenhausen