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Chapter Summary

In Ṣadr al-Dīn' Qūnawī's anthropology a key part is played by the doctrine of human ontogenesis, conceived of as man's formative descent through a hierarchy of cosmological grades and principles. In its basic structure viewed from the geocentric point of view, the familiar architecture of medieval cosmology is immediately recognisable: the earth, at the centre of the cosmos, is the world of generation and corruption; above it rotate the concentric spheres of Aristotelian and Ptolemaic astronomy; finally, transcending the physical realm of change is the hierarchy of universal principles body, matter, nature, soul and intellect elaborated by the Neoplatonists. Qūnawī's critique of Ṭūsī's essentially Avicennian cosmology would appear to be driven by the same fundamental concerns especially regarding reason's subordination to kashf and revelation that characterise his approach throughout much of the correspondence.

Keywords: Ṭūsī'; anthropology; Aristotelian astronomy; human ontogenesis; medieval cosmology; Neoplatonists; Ptolemaic astronomy



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