The Principles of Philosophy and the Method of Realism

This great book is one of the works of the outstanding contemporary scholar “Allameh  Tabatabacee”, complied in some volumes , concerning the beliefs of supporters of metaphysics and theology.
The book presents the Islamic philosophy since about 3 centuries, intending the researches on Islamic philosophy and those of the European scholars.
In all his philosophical books, the author explains philosophical differences between Divine word and human word.
The following are the subjects newly presented in Transcendent theosophy by Allameh Tabatabacee:
1. Expurgating the abolished discussions from philosophy and presenting the new philosophical principles.
2. Considering the historical course of philosophy
3. Considering the scientific and religious of philosophy
4. Considering mystical discussions in explaining philosophical subjects
5. Presenting a new method in philosophy as well as new philosophical expressions
The philosophical subjects are simply presented in the book in a way
 to be studied by all people interested in philosophy.

The author

Allameh Seyyed Muhammad Hossein Tabatabaie, prominent philosopher, born in 1903 in Tabriz –Iran.
He studied primary education in his birthplace, then in 1925 travelled to Najaf and completed his education during 10 years.
He studied jurisprudence (Fiqh) and methodology (Osul) in the presence of celebrated masters: "Naieni" and "Company", and philosophy in the presence of "Seyyed Hossein Badkouie", mathematics in the presence of "Seyyed Abul Qasem Khansari" and ethics in the presence of "Mirza Ali Qazi". In 1935, returned to Tabriz.

Allameh Tabatabaie's education was not restricted only to jurisprudence; in addition to studying: conflection & syntax, Arabic literature and jurisprudence & methodology, he aslo learnt old mathematics from "the principles of Euclid" to "the Almagest of Ptolemy" and philosophy, theology, thesophy too and achived a high position in these sciences.
In 1946, he emigrated to Qom and established the philosophy and metaphysics classes. He also travelled to Tehran successively and communicated with people who were intrested in Islamic philosophy and discussed even with those who were against religion; he could make them understand the reality of religion. Therefore Allameh Tabatabaie had a deep influence on Iran and educated and modernist classes in the west.

For many years every autumn there was a meeting between Allameh Tabatabaie and "Henry Carbon" (French Islamist, orietalist and philosopher) and also number of scholars attended, they discissed about the vital issues of philosophy and religion.

In Qom Hawzeh (religious school), Allameh Tabatabaie revived intellectual sciences and exegesis of the Quran.
Gradually teaching basic levels of philosophy such as: the book "Shefa" (written by Avicenna) and "Asfar" (written by mullah Sadra), became common.
Hundreds students attended in his philosophy classes; some of them are now great philosophy masters.

There are left many works of Allameh Tabatabaie, the following are some of them:

1- Tafsir al-Mizan (the Quranic exegesis, 20 volumes, in Arabic)
2- The principles of philosophy and method of realism
3- Gloss on "Asfar" (written by mullah Sadra)
4- Conversations with "Carbon"(2 volumes)
5- A treatise on Islamic government (it has been published in Arabic, Persian and German)
6- Gloss on "Kefayatul Osul" (written by mullah Mohammad Kazem Khorasani)
7- A treatise on power (Qoweh) and effect (Fe'l)
8- A treatise on attributes
9- A treatise on acts
10- Man before religion
11- Man in religion
12- Man after religion
13- A treatise on prophecy
14- A treatise on guardianship
15- A treatise on sophistry
16- A treatise on derivations
17- A treatise on reasoning
18- A treatise on analysis
19- A treatise on proving essence
20- A treatise on prophecy and positions
21- Shi'a in Islam
22- The Quran in Islam
And some other essays and treatises

Certainly his main work is "Tafsir al –Mizan" (the Quranic exegesis). Allameh Tabatabaie applied a new method for interpreting the Quran; he interpreted the Quranic verses by other verses.



The book structure

The book is compiled in 5 volumes including 14 articles as following:
1. What is philosophy?
2. Philosophy and sophistry
3. Science and perception
4. Advent of plurality in science
5. Valid perceptions
6. Discussions on existence
7. Possibility and ontology
8. Cause and effect
9. Formation and precedence, posteriority , anteriority and simultaneity
 10. Unity and polarity
11. The nature of essence and accident
12. The universe and the creator

The book considers the views of both theologians and materialists.
The preface and footnotes of the book are composed by
 “Morteza Motahari”



Sources :

  1. 1-The Principles of Philosophy and The Method of Realism/vol.1/p.10-34

  2. 2-Shi’a commentators groups /vol.1/p.195/vol.4/p.454

  3. 3-the Persian dictionary of Proper Noun, p. 471

  4. 4-Shiism Encyclopedia, vol. 10, p.462 cited by “Oceans of lights” (Bihär Al-Anwär), the corpus of Murteza Mutahari’s works, etc.

  5. 5-the selected bibliography of Islamic philosophers /Gholäm Hussein Masäheb p.31

  6. 6-the list of philosophical books and articles /Eftekhär Zädeh, p.21