Michael E. Marmura Lectures in Arabic Studies 2023-24: Reza Hadisi

When and Where

Friday, March 15, 2024 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm
BF200B, Conference Room
Bancroft Building (4 Bancroft Avenue, Toronto)


Reza Hadisi, Assistant Professor in Philosophy and the Center for Medieval Studies


Ṭūsī on the Form and Matter of Perfection

The Michael E. Marmura Lectures in Arabic Studies 2023-24 presents "Ṭūsī on the Form and Matter of Perfection" on Friday, March 15, 2024 at 2 PM (Eastern Time: US and Canada).

Naṣīr al-Dīn Ṭūsī (d. 1274) stands out among major figures in medieval Arabic and Persian philosophy for giving special prominence to practical philosophy and philosophical ethics in his writings. While some of this emphasis may be explained by historical contingencies in his life and events surrounding the writing of his ethical treatises, this talk explores how Ṭūsī's philosophical views on the nature of perfection contribute to this shift in attitude towards ethics as a philosophical . To achieve this, I contrast Ṭūsī’s conception of absolute perfection with the Avicennian perspective. Like Avicenna, Ṭūsī is an intellectualist about absolute perfection, conceiving it in terms of intellectual perfection. However, while Avicenna sees absolute perfection primarily as perfecting the theoretical intellect, Ṭūsī argues that absolute perfection should be understood as a unity of perfected theoretical and practical intellects. In other words, for Ṭūsī, the perfection of the practical intellect is not merely instrumentally valuable in service to the theoretical intellect; rather, it constitutes an essential part of absolute intellectual perfection. To conclude, I step back and reflect on the philosophical challenges and promises of trying to make sense of human perfection in terms of godlike absolute perfection. 

Reza Hadisi is an Assistant Professor in Philosophy and the Center for Medieval Studies. His research focuses on the overlap of ethics and epistemology in the history of philosophy. He has previously worked on Kant’s theory of epistemic normativity, and he is currently working on a project about moral perfectionism and moral knowledge in medieval Arabic and Persian philosophy.

Zoom Registration: https://utoronto.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEvdOmrqjIoHNMf5zELiLPAxBkavd...

* See the event poster: PDF icon2023.24.6.marmura_hadisi.pdf