compare the origin of Epistemology of Rumi and David Hume

Epistemology is a branch of philosophy that is defined as the theory of what knowledge is and the ways it is acquired. In epistemology, we seek to answer questions that discuss the reality and how to achieve it. Epistemology has not been independently discussed since ancient times and among the Greek philosophers, but one of the most central issues of epistemology that is worth knowing has been  considered. There are a number of intellectual backgrounds in this period which can be called as: empiricists, skeptics, and neo-Platonists. In the Middle Ages, groups of realists, conceptualists, nominists, and in the new era, rationalists and empiricists have had opinions in this field.


This study is carried out by descriptive-analytical way using library resources. In this way, David Hume and Molavie's philosophical theories on how to know and knowledge of God are explained and compared.


Literally, knowledge has the meaning of consciousness, cognition and perception and is anti-ignorance (Moein, 2003: V. 2: 1652). In Arabic, the word "knowledge" is used when the evident is distinct from otherwise (Ragheb Esfahani, 1412 AH: 560-580).
In Molānā works there are references to all kinds of knowledge, including sensory, rational, and intuitive, and he has used various terms, especially in relation to rational knowledge, which, while not paying attention to their meanings, may sometimes make his statements contradictory. Sensory knowledge is necessary for understanding many things or for acquiring a set of issues; but the real science which man seeks pass through the stage of sense in view of Molavi. That is to say, because of its limitation, it cannot comprehend but a fraction of the reality of the appearance, and the sense of the appearance only understands the face among what is in the universe and does not perceive anything from abstractions and meanings. One cannot gain true knowledge unless gets out of this prison.
Thus the unseen world is apparently absent from the view of sense, but the rational reason makes it conceivable to the mind, including the existence of the angels and the resurrection day. Man needs to be prepared to enter the universe beyond sense. This preparation is a kind of second birth. Molavi compares a man in the ward of the universe to a child who is confined in the womb of mother and does not understand the universe that is supernatural.
Molavie has also emphasized in the Fih-e Mā Fih on the inherence of the foundation of morality and the distinction between good and evil (see Molavie: 77: 9-77).
Western thinkers, first and foremost, pay attention to the outer senses; David Hume places his philosophy on the foundation of the senses and presents his theory based on it. The epistemic arguments in his view are also based on this.
David Hume saw sensory experience as the primary source of reliable knowledge of the facts. With his philosophical skill and vigilance, he pushed the school of sensuality to the end of empiricism limits (Zibaklam, 1378: 126), thereby eliminating the inherent goodness and depravity of human actions, and the human view determines the good and the bad.
Hume, like other empiricists emphasizes on the precedence of senses over other sources of knowledge and cognition, believing that man knows neither himself nor anything else, and that all human beings are perceptions that are replaced with unimaginable speed. (Hume, 1825: vol. 1: 321)


The world of creation and the creator of existence have long been discussed through philosophy, and there have been arguments for and against the nature of reason, sense, cause and effect, each of which is based on philosophical worldview and school. David Hume is a late philosopher whose worldview is based on experience. For this reason, he accepts the senses and what is perceived by the external senses, and doubts other than that. According to Hume, we cannot call the two events as the cause and effect because of their sequence, but what has come to our view may be incorrect and in the future these relationships may not exist and another cause may replaces the current cause. Thus he somehow doubts in the supernatural problems and cannot have an understanding of the universe based on what he sees; it is such that he denies them or declares that he cannot know them.
Molavie, too, believes in all kinds of intellects and knows only the general intellect that is the origin of creatures as complete, and that the intellect with which man evaluates worldly matters does not deserve recognition. For Molavie, humans are like the blind in the dark house who want to know the elephant but cannot see the whole and partially understand it, but if they are conscious and possess the candle of reason, their differences in how and what it is will end. In fact, Molavie believes in knowledge through discovery and intuition, but he knows the sense as its passage. He begins with a menial sense and, after a little understanding, reaches for discovery and intuition.
The similarity of the two thinkers can be attributed to the inability of the intellect in the knowledge of the universe, but the difference is that Molavie does not give much attention to the outward senses and accepts the intellect at its highest level. The other difference should be seen in the theological view of Molavie, which Hume does not believe in the supernatural, the discovery, or the intuition. In other words, Molavie and Hume have both begun from the sense in the beginning of knowledge, but Hume remains in that sense, and Molavie has passed on and attained intuition.

Article Type:
Research/Original Article
Journal of Comparative Literature, Volume:11 Issue: 20, 2019
57 - 75  
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