The Foundations and Consequences of Suhrawardi’s Theory of Imagination

Document Type : Research Paper


Assistant Professor of Islamic Philosophy and Kalam, University of Tehran.


The problem of “imagination”, as raised by Muslim
philosophers, has several epistemic consequences in
subjects as diverse as ontology, prophecy,
conceptualization and the functions of art. In
Illuminationist Philosophy of Suhrawardi, moreover, bears
the topic of imagination a correlation to other subjects. Of
the foundations of Suhrawardi's processing of the theory
of imagination, the most prominent is the principle of
vision, which he has developed in some positions, and
based on which he has considered imagination as the
illumination of the soul. Apart from intuitive proofs,
Suhrawardi's major argument for illumationist imagination
is the refutation of manifold cognitive faculties. It is based
on this refutation that he devotes an echelon of the
universe to suspended archetypes (incorporeal forms). He
rejects the affinity between sensual and imaginative