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The Aš‘arite Ontology: I Primary Entities

  • Richard M. Frank (a1)

The present study seeks to lay out the most basic elements of the ontology of classical Aš‘arite theology. In several cases this requires a careful examination of the traditional and the formal lexicography of certain key expressions. The topics primarily treated are: (1) how they understood “Being/ existence” and “being/existent” and essential natures; the systematic exploitation of the equivocities of certain expressions (e.g., ḫaqīqa, ḫadd, ma‘na) within a general context in which other than words there are no universals proves to be elegant as well as insightful; (2) the basic categories of primary entities: independant beings and nonindependant beings, (a) created and (b) uncreated, the equivocity of “being/existent” as predicated of contingent entities on the one hand and of God and His attributes on the other, and certain problems that arise because of the rigid application of the system's underlying analytic principles.

Nous essayons ici de presenter les éléments fondamentaux de l'ontologie de l'aš‘arisme classique. Pour quelques expressions, il a fallu examiner la lexicographie et ordinaire et technique pour bien comprendre leur emploi et leur signification. Les sujets examinés sont: (1) le sens de “Etre/existence” et de “être/existant” et le concept de réalité essentielle; l'emploi nuancé des équivocités de quelques expressions (e.g., ḫaqiqa, ḫadd, ma‘nā) dans un contexte où les seuls universaux sont des mots, emploi qui se révèle philosophiquement élégant; (2) les catégories fondamentales des êtres: (a) êtres indépendants et (b) êtres non-indépendants, soit créés soit incréés, l'équivocité de “être/existant” dit des êtres contingents d'une part, de Dieu et ses attributs d'autre part, et enfin quelques difficultiés qui résultent de l'application rigide des principes analytiques du système.

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A. S. Abdel Hallem , “Early theological and juristic terminology: Kitāb al-ḥudūd fi l-Uṣūl by Ibn Fūrak,” Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, 54, 1 (1991): 541 p. 20, # 13f. [hereafter ḤHudūd].

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Arabic Sciences and Philosophy
  • ISSN: 0957-4239
  • EISSN: 1474-0524
  • URL: /core/journals/arabic-sciences-and-philosophy
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