Journal of Philosophical Investigations

Document Type : Research Paper



The question of self-evident perceptions (both concepts and
judgments) is among the important and effective subjects in Islamic
philosophy that nowadays can be put forward as "epistemology". This
question, in spite of its great importance and unique role in Islamic
philosophers' epistemology, has not been discussed in detail by them.
And as a result of ambiguities lied behind the criterion by which the
self- evident perceptions can be distinguished from theoretical ones,
once in a while the former may be misplaced by the latter and
questioned, or the latter misplaced by the former and taken as
The present paper, on the one hand, tries to explain the significance
of self-evident perceptions in Islamic philosophy, and to present and
assess the differentiae between them and theoretical ones, on the
other. The task is undertaken by the author as follow. Firstly, he seeks
to show that the self-evident data are the essence of all apodictic
knowledge, so that no certain and indubitable cognition can be
acquired without them. Secondly, the most principal criterion by
which self- evident data can be distinguished from the other ones,
among the many criteria cited in the works by Islamic thinkers, is the
simplicity as to concepts and the necessary, immediate rational
affirmability with no need to any other judgment or reasoning as to