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Our Philosophy

Our Philosophy

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Published by: Sam Derion on May 17, 2011
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Our Philosophy
 byAyatullah Muhammad Baqir as-Sadr 
Translation, Introduction and Notes by
 Shams C. Inati
 Published by:
The Nature of This Work
Our Philosophy
is a collection of our basic notions concerning the world and our way of considering it. For this reason, the book, with the exception of the Introduction, is dividedinto two investigations: one concerned with the theory of knowledge, and the other, withthe philosophical notion of the world.The task of the first investigation undertaken by this work can be summarized as follows:1.To provide evidence for the [soundness of] rational logic which asserts that therational method of thought is sound, and that the mind - as it is equipped withnecessary knowledge prior to experience - is the primary criterion of humanthought. There can be no philosophical or a scientific thought that does not submitto this general criterion. Even the experience that empiricists claim to be the primary criterion is not in reality anything but an instrument for applying therational criterion. The experiential theory cannot dispense with the rationaltreasure.2.To study the value of human knowledge, and to show that one can admit thatknowledge has a [true] value on the basis of rational logic, and not on the basis of dialectical logic which cannot give knowledge a true value. Our basic purpose inthis investigation is to determine the book's method in the second investigation,since the positing of a general notion concerning the world depends, in the first place, on determining the principal method of thought, the general criterion of true knowledge,[1] and the extent of (p. 8) the value of true knowledge. That is why the first investigation is in fact a preparatory discussion for the second. The
second investigation of the work is the basic investigation, to which we wouldlike to direct the reader's attention in particular.The discussion of the second investigation runs into five parts. In the first part, we present the philosophical notions in conflict and their identifications. We will also offer some clarification of these notions.In the second part, we will take up the dialectic, since it is the best-known method onwhich modern materialism rests today. Thus, we will study objectively and in detail allthe major ideas of the dialectic that were formulated by Hegel[2] and Karl Marx[3], the two dialectic philosophers.In the third part, we will study the principle and laws of causality that govern the world,as well as the comprehensive philosophical explication of the world that causality offersus. We will also treat a number of philosophical doubts that have emerged in light of recent scientific developments.From there, we will move to the fourth part [concerning] matter and God[4].This discussion relates to one of the final stages of the conflict between materialism andtheology, so that we can form our theological notion of the world in light of the philosophical laws and the various natural and human sciences.In the final part, we will study one of the most significant philosophical problemsnamely, that of knowledge - which constitutes an important area of conflict betweenmaterialism and metaphysics. The discussion is treated on philosophical grounds and inlight of the various sciences that are related to the subject, be they natural, physiologicalor psychological.This is a general, comprehensive outline of the book. It is now in your hands as a result of ten months of successful efforts that led to its production in the present form. I greatlyhope that it will carry out faithfully and sincerely something of the holy message.
(p. 9) I 
ask the dear reader to study the investigations of this work in an objective fashion, withcomplete concentration and reflection, basing his judgement, whether for it or against it,on the precise philosophical and scientific criteria available to him, and not on desiresand emotions. Further, I do not wish to have him read the book as he would read a play or a kind of intellectual or literary luxury. The book is not a play, a literary piece, or anintellectual luxury. Rather, at heart, it is [concerned with] the problems of reflectivehuman beings.My success is only from God on Whom I have relied and to Whom I resort.An-Najaf al-Ashraf, Rabi' ath-Thani,
29, 1879
A.H., Muhammad Baqir as-Sadr 
Translator's Notes
Al-ma'rifa as-sahiha.
But is it not redundant to speak of true knowledge? Is there sucha thing as false knowledge, for example?[2]Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, German philosopher (1770-1831). He taught that therational is the real, and the real is the rational. Opposites are essential elements of change,as Heraclitus had believed. The pattern of change takes the form of triads: thesis,antithesis and synthesis. His best-known works are:
The Phenomenology of Mind 
(1807 ),
Science of Logic
 Encyclopedia of Philosophy
(1817 ),
The Philosophy of  Right 
(1820). His students' notes functioned as the basis for his lectures on the philosophyof history and the philosophy of religion which were published posthumously.[3]Karl Marx (1818-83). Marx began his intellectual life as a left Hegelian. In 1844, he became a political activist, a known radical figure and a friend of Friedrich Engels. Hisfriendship with Engels led to their joint work,
The Manifesto of the Communist Party
(1848). The first volume of his other important work,
was published in 1859.[4]
AI-madda aw al-lah
(matter or God). In this chapter, the author tries to determinewhether it is matter or God that is the primary cause of the world.
Introduction: The Social Issue
The world problem that preoccupies human thought today and touches its core reality isthat of the social system. This problem can be summed up in the endeavour to give themost truthful answer to the following question: 'Which system is good for human beingsand provides them with a happy social life?' Naturally, this problem occupies an important position, and is, with its complexity andvariety of kinds of efforts for solving it, a source of danger for humankind itself. This isso because the system is an aspect of the consideration of human life and affects theinnermost structure of its existence.This problem is deeply rooted in the distant times of human history. Mankind hasconfronted is ever since it arose in actual social life. [Primitive] communal human[living] began exemplified in a number of individuals joined together, united by commonrelations and bonds. But these relations, which were formed to satisfy the requirements of instinct and nature, were, as a matter of fact, in need of guidance and organization. It ison the basis of the extent of harmony between such organization and human reality andwelfare chat the stability and happiness of society depend.This problem has driven humanity to plunge into a long struggle in the ideological and political fields, and into different kinds of conflicts, and of various intellectual doctrines(p. 12) that seek to establish and construct the social edifice, as well as to formulate itsdesigns and to posit its principles. This is a delicate struggle full of tragedies andinjustice, and overflowing with laughter and tears. Happiness and misery were linkedtogether in it. All of this was due to the expressions of deviation and estrangement fromthe proper social condition that were represented in [various] social forms. Were is not

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