Iranian philosophy (Persian: فلسفه ایرانی) or Persian philosophy can be traced back as far as to Old Iranian philosophical traditions and thoughts which originated in ancient Indo-Iranian roots and were considerably influenced by Zarathustra's teachings. According to the Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy, the chronology of the subject and science of philosophy starts with the Indo-Iranians, dating this event to 1500 BC. The Oxford dictionary also states, "Zarathustra's philosophy entered to influence Western tradition through Judaism, and therefore on Middle Platonism."
Throughout Iranian history and due to remarkable political and social changes such as the Arab and Mongol invasions of Persia, a wide spectrum of schools of thoughts showed a variety of views on philosophical questions extending from Old Iranian and mainly Zoroastrianism-related traditions, to schools appearing in the late pre-Islamic era such as Manicheism and Mazdakism as well as various post-Islamic schools. Iranian philosophy after the Arab invasion of Persia, is characterized by different interactions with the Old Iranian philosophy, the Greek philosophy and with the development of Islamic philosophy. The Illumination School and the Transcendent Philosophy are regarded as two of the main philosophical traditions of that era in Persia.
See also Ancient Iranian Philosophy
The teachings of Zarathustra (Zoroaster) appeared in Persia at some point during the period 1700-1800 BCE. His wisdom became the basis of the religion Zoroastrianism, and generally influenced the development of the Iranian branch of Indo-Iranian philosophy. Zarathustra was the first who treated the problem of evil in philosophical terms. He is also believed to be one of the oldest monotheists in the history of religion. He espoused an ethical philosophy based on the primacy of good thoughts (andiše-e-nik), good words (goftâr-e-nik), and good deeds (kerdâr-e-nik).
The works of Zoroaster and Zoroastrianism had a significant influence on Greek philosophy and Roman philosophy. Several ancient Greek writers such as Eudoxus of Cnidus and Latin writers such as Pliny the Elder praised Zoroastrian philosophy as "the most famous and most useful". Plato learnt of Zoroastrian philosophy through Eudoxus and incorporated much of it into his own Platonic realism. In the 3rd century BC, however, Colotes accused Plato's The Republic of plagiarizing parts of Zoroaster's On Nature, such as the Myth of Er.
Zarathustra was known as a sage, magician and miracle-worker in post-Classical Western culture, though almost nothing was known of his ideas until the late eighteenth century. By this time his name was associated with lost ancient wisdom and was appropriated by Freemasons and other groups who claimed access to such knowledge. He appears in Mozart's opera The Magic Flute ("Die Zauberflöte") under the variant name "Sarastro", who represents moral order in opposition to the "Queen of the Night". Enlightenment writers such as Voltaire promoted research into Zoroastrianism in the belief that it was a form of rational Deism, preferable to Christianity.
In 2005, the Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy ranked Zarathustra as first in the chronology of philosophers. Zarathustra's impact lingers today due in part to the system of rational ethics he founded called Mazda-Yasna. The word Mazda-Yasna is Avestan and is translated as "Worship of Wisdom" in English. The encyclopedia Natural History (Pliny) claims that Zoroastrians later educated the Greeks who, starting with Pythagoras, used a similar term, philosophy, or “love of wisdom” to describe the search for ultimate truth.
Little is known of the situation of philosophy during the time of the ancient Greek philosophers. We know that the Persian culture had influence on the creation of Stoic school of thought, but nothing has been left in Persian writings.
Manichaeism, founded by Mani, was influential from North Africa in the West, to China in the East. Its influence subtly continues in Western Christian thought via Saint Augustine of Hippo, who converted to Christianity from Manichaeism, which he passionately denounced in his writings, and whose writings continue to be influential among Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox theologians. An important principle of Manichaeism was its dualistic cosmology/theology, which it shared with Mazdakism, a philosophy founded by Mazdak. Under this dualism, there were two original principles of the universe: Light, the good one; and Darkness, the evil one. These two had been mixed by a cosmic accident, and man's role in this life was through good conduct to release the parts of himself that belonged to Light. Mani saw the mixture of good and bad as a cosmic tragedy, while Mazdak viewed this in a more neutral, even optimistic way.
Mazdak (d. 524/528 CE) was a proto-socialist Persian reformer who gained influence under the reign of the Sassanian king Kavadh I. He claimed to be a prophet of God, and instituted communal possessions and social welfare programs.
Zurvanism is characterized by the element of its First Principle which is Time, "Zurvan", as a primordial creator. According to Zaehner, Zurvanism appears to have three schools of thought all of which have classical Zurvanism as their foundation:
Aesthetic Zurvanism which was apparently not as popular as the materialistic kind, viewed Zurvan as undifferentiated Time, which, under the influence of desire, divided into reason (a male principle) and concupiscence (a female principle).
Fatalistic Zurvanism resulted from the doctrine of limited time with the implication that nothing could change this preordained course of the material universe and that the path of the astral bodies of the 'heavenly sphere' was representative of this preordained course. According to the Middle Persian work Menog-i Khrad: "Ohrmazd allotted happiness to man, but if man did not receive it, it was owing to the extortion of these planets."
The intellectual tradition in Persia continued after Islam and was of great influence on the further development of Iranian Philosophy. The main schools for such studies were, and to some extents still are, Shiraz, Khurasan, Maragheh, Isfahan, Tehran.
In the Islamic Golden Age, due to Avicenna's (Ibn Sina's; born near Bukhara) successful reconciliation between Aristotelianism and Neoplatonism along with Kalam, Avicennism eventually became the leading school of Islamic philosophy by the 12th century. Avicenna had become a central authority on philosophy by then, and several scholars in the 12th century commented on his strong influence at the time:
People nowadays [believe] that truth is whatever [Ibn Sina] says, that it is inconceivable for him to err, and that whoever contradicts him in anything he says cannot be rational.
Avicennism was also influential in medieval Europe, particularly his doctrines on the nature of the soul and his existence-essence distinction, along with the debates and censure that they raised in scholastic Europe. This was particularly the case in Paris, where Avicennism was later proscribed in 1210. Nevertheless, his psychology and theory of knowledge influenced William of Auvergne and Albertus Magnus, and his metaphysics influenced the thought of Thomas Aquinas.
Illuminationist philosophy was a school of Islamic philosophy founded by Shahab al-Din Suhrawardi in the 12th century. This school is a combination of Avicenna's philosophy and ancient Iranian philosophy, along with many new innovative ideas of Suhrawardi. It is often described as having been influenced by Neoplatonism.
Transcendent Theosophy is the school of Islamic philosophy founded by Mulla Sadra in the 17th century. Mulla Sadra bought "a new philosophical insight in dealing with the nature of reality" and created "a major transition from essentialism to existentialism" in Islamic philosophy, several centuries before this occurred in Western philosophy.
Philosophy was and still is a popular subject of study in Iran. Previous to Western style universities, philosophy was a major field of study in religious seminaries. Comparing the number of philosophy books currently published in Iran with that in other countries, Iran possibly ranks first in this field but it is definitely on top in terms of publishing philosophy books. 
On the diversity and expansion of philosophy in Iran, Khosrow Bagheri has stated "One part of philosophical endeavor in Iran today, and perhaps the main one, is concerned with the local philosophy which is dominated by the school of Mulla Sadra. He has provided a philosophy in line with the old metaphysical inclination but in the feature of a combination of mysticism, philosophy, and the Islamic religious views. On the other hand, a relatively strong translation movement has been shaped in which the Iranian readers are provided by some of the important sources of contemporary philosophy in Persian including both the analytic and continental traditions. In the former, Wittgenstein, Searle, and Kripke, and in the latter, Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Foucault can be mentioned. There have also been concentrations on a local polar contrast between Popper and Heidegger, and, due to the religious atmosphere, on philosophy of religion." 
Among journals being published in Iran on philosophy there are FALSAFEH-The Iranian Journal of Philosophy published by the department of philosophy of the University of Tehran since 1972 and Hikmat va Falsafeh published by Allamah Tabataba'i University in Tehran, Ma'rifat-e Falsafeh published by the Imam Khomeini Education and Research Institute in Qom, and many others. Also worthy of mention is the journal, Naqd o Nazar published by Daftar Tablighat in Qom, which often includes articles on philosophical topics and other issues of interest to religious thinkers and intellectuals.
It is important to note that Sufism has had a great amount of influence on Iranian/Persian philosophy.
In the history of Islamic philosophy, there were a few Persian philosophers who had their own schools of philosophy: Avicenna, al-Farabi, Shahab al-Din Suhrawardi and Mulla Sadra. Some philosophers did not offer a new philosophy, rather they had some innovations: Mirdamad, Khajeh Nasir and Qutb al-Din Shirazi belong to this group. Some philosophers had new narration of existing philosophies: Agha Ali Modarres is an example of such philosophers.
`Abdu'l-Bahá, son and successor of the founder of the Bahá'í Faith, has explained the Bahá'í philosophy in the work Some Answered Questions. This text has been analyzed by Bahá'í scholars Ian Kluge and Ali Murad Davudi.
Abbas Malekzadeh Milani (Persian: عباس ملکزاده میلانی; born 1949) is an Iranian-American historian and author. Milani is a visiting professor of Political Science and the director of the Iranian Studies program at Stanford University. He is also a research fellow and co-director of the Iran Democracy Project at Stanford University's Hoover Institution. Milani has found evidence that Persian modernism dates back to more than 1000 years ago.Abdolkarim Soroush
Abdolkarim Soroush (عبدالكريم سروش (listen ) Persian pronunciation: [æbdolkæriːm soruːʃ]; born Hossein Haj Faraj Dabbagh (born 1945; Persian: حسين حاج فرج دباغ), is an Iranian Islamic thinker, reformer, Rumi scholar, public intellectual, and a former professor of philosophy at the University of Tehran and Imam Khomeini International University He is arguably the most influential figure in the religious intellectual movement of Iran. Soroush is currently a visiting scholar at the University of Maryland in College Park, MD. He was also affiliated with other prestigious institutions, including Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Columbia, the Leiden-based International Institute as a visiting professor for the Study of Islam in the Modern World (ISIM) and the Wissenschaftskolleg in Berlin. He was named by TIME as one of the world’s 100 most influential people in 2005, and by Prospect magazine as one of the most influential intellectuals in the world in 2008. Soroush's ideas, founded on Relativism, prompted both supporters and critics to compare his role in reforming Islam to that of Martin Luther in reforming Christianity.Abu al-Abbas Iranshahri
Abu al-Abbas Iranshahri (Persian: حکیم ایرانشهری) was a 9th-century Persian philosopher, mathematician, natural scientist, historian of religion, astronomer and author. According to traditional sources, he is the first figure in the wider Muslim world to be associated with philosophy after the advent of Islam.Ahmad Ali Heydari
Ahmad Ali Heydari (born 1963) (Persian: احمدعلی حیدری) is an Iranian philosopher and associate professor of philosophy at Allameh Tabataba'i University known for his works on ethics and his research on the reception of Western philosophy by Iranian thinkers. He received his PhD in philosophy from University of Bonn in 2003. Heydari is a member of board of directors of Iranian Society of Intercultural Philosophy (ISIPH).Ancient philosophy
This page lists some links to ancient philosophy. In Western philosophy, the spread of Christianity in the Roman Empire marked the ending of Hellenistic philosophy and ushered in the beginnings of Medieval philosophy, whereas in Eastern philosophy, the spread of Islam through the Arab Empire marked the end of Old Iranian philosophy and ushered in the beginnings of early Islamic philosophy.Avicennism
Avicennism is a school in Islamic philosophy which was established by Avicenna. He developed his philosophy throughout the course of his life after being deeply moved and concerned by the Metaphysics of Aristotle and studying it for over a year. According to Henry Corbin and Seyyed Hossein Nasr, there are two kind of Avicennism: Islamic or Iranian Avicennism, and Latin Avicennism. According to Nasr, the Latin Avicennism was based on the former philosophical works of Avicenna. This school followed the Peripatetic school of philosophy and tried to describe the structure of reality with a rational system of thinking. In the twelfth century AD, It became influential in Europe, particularly in Oxford and Paris, and affected some notable philosophers such as Thomas Aquinas, Roger Bacon and Duns Scotus. While the Latin Avicennism was weak in comparison with Latin Averroism, according to Étienne Gilson there was a "Avicennising Augustinism". On the other hand, Islamic Avicennism is based on his later works which is known as "The oriental philosophy" (حکمت المشرقیین). Therefore, philosophy in the eastern Islamic civilization providing became close to gnosis and tried to provide a vision of a spiritual universe. This approach paved the road for the Iranian school of Illuminationism (حکمت الاشراق) by Suhrawardi.Henry Corbin referred to divergences between Iranian Avicennism and Latin Avicennism. Besides he showed that we can see three different schools in Avicennism, which he called Avicennising Augustinism, Latin Avicennism and Iranian Avicennism.Iran
Iran (Persian: ایران Irān [ʔiːˈɾɒːn] (listen)), also called Persia (), and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran (Persian: جمهوری اسلامی ایران Jomhuri-ye Eslāmi-ye Irān (listen)), is a country in Western Asia. With over 81 million inhabitants, Iran is the world's 18th most populous country. Its territory spans 1,648,195 km2 (636,372 sq mi), making it the second largest country in the Middle East and the 17th largest in the world. Iran is bordered to the northwest by Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan, to the north by the Caspian Sea, to the northeast by Turkmenistan, to the east by Afghanistan and Pakistan, to the south by the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, and to the west by Turkey and Iraq. Its central location in Eurasia and Western Asia, and its proximity to the Strait of Hormuz, give it geostrategic importance. Tehran is the capital, largest city, and leading economic and cultural center.
Iran is home to one of the world's oldest civilizations, beginning with the formation of the Elamite kingdoms in the fourth millennium BCE. It was first unified by the Iranian Medes in the seventh century BCE, and reached its territorial height in the sixth century BCE under Cyrus the Great, whose Achaemenid Empire stretched from Eastern Europe to the Indus Valley, one of the largest empires in history. The empire fell to Alexander the Great in the fourth century BCE and was divided into several Hellenistic states. An Iranian rebellion established the Parthian Empire in the third century BCE, which was succeeded in the third century CE by the Sasanian Empire, a leading world power for the next four centuries.Arab Muslims conquered the empire in the seventh century CE, and the subsequent Islamization of Iran led to the decline of the once dominant Zoroastrian religion. Iran's major contributions to art, philosophy, and science spread throughout the Muslim world and beyond during the Islamic Golden Age. Over the next two centuries, a series of native Muslim dynasties emerged before the Seljuq Turks and the Ilkhanate Mongols conquered the region. The rise of the native Safavids in the 15th century led to the reestablishment of a unified Iranian state and national identity, with the country's conversion to Shia Islam marking a turning point in Iranian and Muslim history.Under Nader Shah, Iran was one of the most powerful states in the 18th century, though by the 19th century, a series of conflicts with the Russian Empire led to significant territorial losses. The Iranian Constitutional Revolution in the early 20th century created a constitutional monarchy and the country's first legislature. A 1953 coup instigated by the United Kingdom and the United States resulted in greater autocracy and growing Western political influence. Subsequent widespread dissatisfaction and unrest against the monarchy led to the 1979 Revolution, which established the existing Islamic republic, combining elements of a parliamentary democracy with a theocracy governed by an autocratic "Supreme Leader". This political system is widely regarded as authoritarian, with significant constraints and abuses against human rights and civil liberties. For most of the 1980s, Iran fought a war with Iraq that resulted in severe casualties and economic devastation for both sides.
Iran is a founding member of the UN, ECO, NAM, OIC, and OPEC. It is a major regional and middle power, and its large reserves of fossil fuels—including the world's largest natural gas supply and the fourth largest proven oil reserves—exert considerable influence in international energy security and the world economy.Iran's rich cultural legacy is reflected in part by its 22 UNESCO World Heritage sites, the third largest number in Asia and 11th largest in the world. An historically multicultural country, it remains a pluralistic society comprising numerous ethnic, linguistic, and religious groups, the largest being Persians, Azeris, Kurds, Mazandaranis and Lurs.Karim Mojtahedi
Karim Mojtahedi is an Iranian philosophy professor at Tehran University. He has published over 20 books on philosophy. He was awarded UNESCO's Avicenna Prize for Ethics in Science at the 4th International Farabi Festival and received a plaque of honor from Iran’s Cultural Luminaries Association.List of philosophies
Philosophical schools of thought and philosophical movements.Middle Eastern philosophy
Middle Eastern philosophy includes the various philosophies of the Middle East regions, including the Fertile Crescent, Iran, and Anatolia. Traditions include Ancient Egyptian philosophy, Babylonian philosophy, Jewish philosophy, Iranian/Persian philosophy, and Islamic philosophy.Mir Fendereski
Mir Fendereski or Mir Findiriski (Persian: میرفِنْدِرِسْکی) (1562–1640) was a Persian philosopher, poet and mystic of the Safavid era. His full name is given as Sayyed Mir Abulqasim Astarabadi (Persian: سید ابولقاسم استرآبادی), and he is famously known as Fendereski. He lived for a while in Isfahan at the same time as Mir Damad spent a great part of his life in India among yogis and Zoroastrians, and learnt certain things from them. He was patronized by both the Safavid and Mughal courts. The famous Persian philosopher Mulla Sadra also studied under him.Mohammad-Ali Abdollahi
Mohammad-Ali Abdollahi is an Iranian philosophy professor at Tehran University. He is known for his research on Analytical Philosophy , Philosophy of language and Transcendent theosophy.Mostafa Malekian
Mostafa Malekian (born 1 January 1956) (Persian: مصطفی ملکیان ), is a prominent Iranian philosopher, thinker, translator and editor. He is working on a project called Rationality and Spirituality. His most important book, that is about spirituality and wisdom, is A Way to Freedom.
Malekian was formerly a Professor of philosophy at Tehran University and Tarbiat Modares University.Mulla Sadra
Ṣadr ad-Dīn Muḥammad Shīrāzī, also called Mulla Sadrā (Persian: ملا صدرا; also spelled Molla Sadra, Mollasadra or Sadr-ol-Mote'allehin; Arabic: صدرالمتألهین) (c. 1571/2 – 1640), was an Iranian Twelver Shi'a Islamic philosopher, theologian and ‘Ālim who led the Iranian cultural renaissance in the 17th century. According to Oliver Leaman, Mulla Sadra is arguably the single most important and influential philosopher in the Muslim world in the last four hundred years.Though not its founder, he is considered the master of the Illuminationist (or, Ishraghi or Ishraqi) school of Philosophy, a seminal figure who synthesized the many tracts of the Islamic Golden Age philosophies into what he called the Transcendent Theosophy or al-hikmah al-muta’āliyah.
Mulla Sadra brought "a new philosophical insight in dealing with the nature of reality" and created "a major transition from essentialism to existentialism" in Islamic philosophy, although his existentialism should not be too readily compared to Western existentialism. His was a question of existentialist cosmology as it pertained to God, and thus differs considerably from the individual, moral, and/or social, questions at the heart of Russian, French, German, or American Existentialism.
Mulla Sadra's philosophy ambitiously synthesized Avicennism, Shahab al-Din Suhrawardi's Illuminationist philosophy, Ibn Arabi's Sufi metaphysics, and the theology of the Ash'ari school and Twelvers.
His main work is The Transcendent Philosophy of the Four Journeys of the Intellect, or simply Four Journeys.Neda Agha-Soltan Graduate Scholarship
The Neda Agha-Soltan Graduate Scholarship is a scholarship for post-graduate philosophy students at The Queen's College, Oxford, with preference given to students of Iranian citizenship or heritage. It was established in 2009 following the death of Neda Agha-Soltan, an Iranian philosophy student, in the street protests that followed the disputed Iranian presidential election in 2009. The college received offers from two anonymous donors to establish a scholarship, followed by many individual donations from former students of Queen's and others to reach its £70,000 target to establish the scholarship on a permanent basis. The first recipient of the scholarship was Arianne Shahvisi, a philosophy student of Iranian descent, who described the award as "a great honour".The establishment of the scholarship led to criticism from the Iranian government: the Iranian embassy in London told the college that the university was involved in a "politically motivated campaign ... in sharp contrast with its academic objectives". In response, The Times praised the scholarship in an editorial, saying that the establishment of the scholarship was indeed politically motivated, "and admirably so", given the government's reaction to her death and continuing problems in Iran. One British–Iranian student, Leyla Ferani, has said that the scholarship could be Agha-Soltan's "most important legacy". The college has denied that it took a political decision in establishing the scholarship, stating that it aims to attract and support the best students, and arguing that refusal of the donations would itself have been a political act. Anonymous British diplomatic sources were reported as saying that the creation of the scholarship had put "another nail into the coffin" of relations between Britain and Iran.Ontetic philosophy
Ontetic philosophy is a speculative systematic philosophy developed by Persian philosopher Mahmoud Khatami. This system of philosophy is based on a special reduction that is called Ontetic Reduction.Philosophy
Philosophy (from Greek φιλοσοφία, philosophia, literally "love of wisdom") is the study of general and fundamental questions about existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Such questions are often posed as problems to be studied or resolved. The term was probably coined by Pythagoras (c. 570 – 495 BCE). Philosophical methods include questioning, critical discussion, rational argument, and systematic presentation. Classic philosophical questions include: Is it possible to know anything and to prove it? What is most real? Philosophers also pose more practical and concrete questions such as: Is there a best way to live? Is it better to be just or unjust (if one can get away with it)? Do humans have free will?Historically, "philosophy" encompassed any body of knowledge. From the time of Ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle to the 19th century, "natural philosophy" encompassed astronomy, medicine, and physics. For example, Newton's 1687 Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy later became classified as a book of physics. In the 19th century, the growth of modern research universities led academic philosophy and other disciplines to professionalize and specialize. In the modern era, some investigations that were traditionally part of philosophy became separate academic disciplines, including psychology, sociology, linguistics, and economics.
Other investigations closely related to art, science, politics, or other pursuits remained part of philosophy. For example, is beauty objective or subjective? Are there many scientific methods or just one? Is political utopia a hopeful dream or hopeless fantasy? Major sub-fields of academic philosophy include metaphysics ("concerned with the fundamental nature of reality and being"), epistemology (about the "nature and grounds of knowledge [and]...its limits and validity"), ethics, aesthetics, political philosophy, logic and philosophy of science.Religious intellectualism in Iran
Religious intellectualism in Iran (Persian: روشنفکری دينی) reached its apogee during the Persian Constitutional Revolution (1906–11). The process involved philosophers, sociologists, political scientists and cultural theorists.Transcendent theosophy
Transcendent theosophy or al-hikmat al-muta’āliyah (حكمت متعاليه), the doctrine and philosophy developed by Persian philosopher Mulla Sadra, is one of two main disciplines of Islamic philosophy that is currently live and active.