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Tianyi Zhang offers in this study an innovative philosophical reconstruction of Shihāb al-Dīn al-Suhrawardī’s (d. 1191) Illuminationism. Commonly portrayed as either a theosophist or an Avicennian in disguise, Suhrawardī appears here as an original and hardheaded philosopher who adopts mysticism as a tool for philosophical investigation.
Zhang makes use of Plato’s cave allegory to explain Suhrawardī’s Illuminationist project. Focusing on three areas—the theory of presential knowledge, the ontological discussion of mental considerations, and Light Metaphysics—Zhang convincingly reveals the Nominalist and Existential nature of Illuminationism and thereby proposes a new way of understanding how Suhrawardī’s central philosophical ideas cohere.