A Critical Encounter with the Concerns of Academic Philosophy in Iran

Article Type:
Research/Original Article (دارای رتبه معتبر)

Relying on research and scholarship in the department of philosophy at the University of Tehran, this article seeks to formulate the essential elements of philosophy as an academic discipline and critically examine these elements on the basis of what can be called the “contemporaneity of philosophizing”. In this article, the department of philosophy at the University of Tehran is characterized as the paradigm of academic philosophy—which is due both to its status as the first officially established department of philosophy in Iran, and to the fact that it was the institution in which many current professors of philosophy from other universities have cultivated their knowledge and education. For this reason, focusing on the educational and research concerns of the department of philosophy at the University of Tehran can be an illuminating and pathbreaking inquiry for understanding academic philosophy. This article identifies four crucial components in the 100-year history of the department of philosophy at the University of Tehran which, taken together, can more or less be construed as the distinctive elements of academic philosophy in Iran. In short, these factors are: 1) the centrality of metaphysical issues; 2) the strong presence of Islamic philosophy, including its history and tools (the Arabic language as well as Islamic Theology, logic and mysticism); 3) the permanent presence of comparative philosophy in all of its forms (and thus a dialectic-centric philosophy); 4) concerns about contemporary philosophical issues; 5) the gradual shift towards specialization and technical approaches to history and philosophy in both research and education; and 6) The involvement of some figures from the Philosophy Department in the structure of political power.This article accordingly asks the following questions: to what extent are the issues examined from in each of these five components contemporary philosophical issues? Has the method of reading philosophy in academia given rise to the possibility of inviting to philosophize? Can academic philosophy be concerned with the “conditions for the possibility of establishing philosophical thought in Iran”? Can it participate in shaping such conditions? As a final consideration, this article argues that shedding light on these questions requires critically examining one more distinct, but related issue—namely the relationship between academic philosophy and power.

Foundations of Education, Volume:12 Issue: 2, 2024
5 to 35
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