, Volume 51, Issue 3, pp 395-406

First online:

Existence and Non-existence in Sabzawari’s Ontology

  • Muhammad KamalAffiliated withAsia Institute, The University of Melbourne Email author 

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Sabzawari is one of the greatest Muslim philosophers of the nineteenth century. He belongs to Sadrian Existentialism, which became a dominant philosophical tradition during the Qajar dynasty in Iran. This paper critically analyses Sabzawari’s ontological discussion on the dichotomy of existence and quiddity and the relation between existence and non-existence. It argues against Sabzawari by advocating the idea that ‘Existence’ rather than quiddity is the ground for identity as well as for diversity, and that non-existence, like existence, is able to produce an effect.


Existence Non-existence Principality of existence Principality of essence Quiddity Predicables Identity in difference Becoming Ontology Intuition Mystic experience