Volume 13, 2022
The Conception of Science in Postclassical Islamic Thought (647–905/1250–1500): A Study of Debates in Commentaries and Glosses on the Prolegomenon of al-Kātibī’s Shamsiyya
In this paper, I examine several commentaries and glosses on the prolegomenon of Najm al-Dīn al-Kātibī’s (d. 675/1276–77) Shamsiyya that relate to debates on the Aristotelian and Ibn Sīnān theory of science in the postclassical period. Chief among the commentaries of the Shamsiyya is Quṭb al-Dīn al-Rāzī’s (d. 766/1365) Taḥrīr al-qawāʿid al-manṭiqiyya. This commentary, rather than the base text of the Shamsiyya, set the stage for later interpretations by Mirak al-Bukhārī (fl. 733/1332), Naṣīr al-Dīn al-Qāshānī (d. 755/1354), Saʿd al-Dīn al-Taftāzānī (d. 792/1390), al-Sayyid al-Sharīf al-Jurjānī (d. 816/1413), Dāwūd al-Khwāfī (fl. 839/1465) and ʿIṣām al-Dīn Isfarāyinī (d. 945/1538). I focus on three issues that were raised in these interpretations of the Shamsiyya’s prolegomenon: (1) the place of the elements of sciences in logical corpus, (2) the notion of the prolegomenon and its content, and (3) the real essence of a science. I attend to the particular debates and contentions on these issues to reveal the general idea of science at that time.