An Analysis of the Section on Causality in Khojazada's Tahafut
AuthorKilic, Muhammet Fatih
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In this article, the nineteenth section of Khojazada's (d. 893/1488) Tahafut, which was devoted to the problem of causality in an example of the works under the same title written during the fifteenth century and composed with the patronage of the Ottoman sultan Mehmed II (d. 886/1481), is subjected to a critical analysis. His discussion follows a critical course with respect to al-Ghazali (d. 505/1111) in context. This could be detected most clearly in his vindication of Avicenna (d. 428/1037) against al-Ghazali's accusation of the philosophers' denial of miracles. Moreover, Khojazada's discussion has certain differences with al-Ghazali's at both the conceptual and the argumentative levels. The most striking differences at the argumentative level is Khojazada's grounding of his own conception of revelation and miracles on Avicennia's, rather than al-Ghazali's, theory of prophethood. By the same token, he offered a practical response to the imputation that the Avicennian system leaves no room for the possibility of miracles. At the conceptual level, furthermore, he distinguished between complete and incomplete causes, in contradistinction with al-Ghazali, and thereby opened another ground in order to demonstrate the inability of those natures that he viewed as incomplete causes to produce their own effects. On the other hand, Khojazada concurs with al-Ghazali that causality did not presume an ontological necessity, yet this condition did not incur defects on the certainty of our knowledge.