Human Identity in Mulla Sadra's Philosophy

Kheradnameh Sadra Quarterly 64 (2011)
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Personal identity is one of the important and complex issues in the field of the philosophy of the soul. It is also related to the philosophy of ethics and metaphysics in different respects and has given rise to some problems in these two areas. The justification of ethical responsibility and man's eternity in the posthumous state have attracted psychologist-philosophers' attention to the significance and necessity of explaining personal identity. This paper examines the issue from the view point of Mulla Sadra. Here, the writer initially refers to some of the most important contemporary theories about personal identity which can generally be divided into two reductionist and non-reductionist branches. Reductionists intend to reduce the human identity to elements such as memory, biological specifications, or continuous psychological states, while non-reductionists are against this. Mulla Sadra's theory in this regard is not in conformity with any of the above theories; however, it is more consistent with the non-reductionist approach from certain aspects. Though relying on the fundamental ontological and psychological principles of his own philosophy, Mulla Sadra tries to present a picture of human identity that, while depending on human nature, reveals personal identity, too. This is an identity in whose process of formation the three elements of habits, intentions, and acts play major roles. The extent of the consistency of these three elements with rationality is the reason behind having people with different identities. It should also be added that no human being enjoys a single and fixed identity; rather, identity is a continuous reality that, while being one, is a plural truth

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Zahra Khazaei
University Of Qom


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