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Maryam Olamaiekopaie, Ehsan Arzroomchilar:
Tabātabā’i: Theory of Iʿtibāriyyāt and His Political Philosophy

Olamaiekopaie, M., E. Arzroomchilar. 2022. „Tabātabā’i: Theory of Iʿtibāriyyāt and His Political Philosophy.“ Acta Fakulty filozofické Západočeské univerzity v Plzni / West Bohemian Review of Social Sciences & Humanities 14 (1): 21–36.

Received 26 September 2021 / Accepted 13 June 2022 / Published 30 June 2022

DOI: https://doi.org/10.24132/actaff.2022.14.1.2

Tabātabā'i is one of the greatest philosophers in the contemporary Islamic world. In this paper, his significant contribution to Islamic philosophy, namely the theory of iʿtibāriyyāt, is discussed. He divides all knowledge into two categories; haqīqī, originating from the external world, and iʿtibārī, constructed out of human needs. The latter kind of knowledge is unreal in the sense that it originates from the soul rather than from the world. Yet it is real in the sense that its effects are visible in the world. Iʿtibāriyyāt can be further classified into categories. More importantly, they are formulated in terms of either being formed before a society is established, i.e., pre-society iʿtibāriyyāt, or being formed when there is already a society around, i.e., post-society iʿtibāriyyāt. The following section of the paper presents the application of Tabātabā'i’s theory in the context of his political philosophy. As we will explain, he seems to favour a religious regulating system when it comes to the content of laws. In contrast, he seems open to a non-religious form of political system insofar as he sympathizes with democracy.

Key words
mental constructions, contemporary Islamic thought, iʿtibāriyyāt, Tabātabā'i