Mutakallimūn and the Impact of Four Natures on the Dreams
According to an ancient theory, the four natures -Heat, Cold, Humidity, and Dryness- permeate everything in the physical world, including the human body. Dreaming as one of the bodily functions is assumed to be affected by the particular composition of these four. Muslim theologians, Mutakallimūn, were familiar with this theory and responded to it in various ways, from acceptance to downright opposition. The strongest disagreement came from al-Ashʿarī who denied any intrinsic faculties working from within the physical objects. Among Muslim theologians who accepted the theory and worked it out in a variety of theological systems were some of Muʿtazilites, also thinkers as diverse as the Imamite al-Mufīd, al-Māturīdī and Ibn al-Ḥazm. In the present essay, after giving an outline of the Mutakallimūn’s reception of the theory of natures, the main arguments for and against the concept of nature and the theory of four natures will be discussed, concluding with an examination of some theological debates on the impact of four natures on dreams.
Article Type:
Research/Original Article
History of Science, Volume:14 Issue:2, 2016
239 - 255  
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