Context-Sensitive Terms In Islamic Philosophy of Language: A Study On The Logicalization of Demonstrative Pronoun


The issue of ambiguous words (al-mubhamât), which occupies the core subject of ‘Adud al-Dīn al-Ījī’s (d. 756/1355) al-Risālat al-wad‘iyya, has blossomed into subject of a serious logical and semantical dispute between two great names of later Islamic thought, Sa‘d al-Dīn al-Taftāzānī (d. 792/1390) and Sayyid Sharīf al-Jurjānī (d. 816/1413). The operant traces of the debate can palpably be traced up to the late Ottoman polymath Ismail Gelenbevī (d. 1205/1791) and his commentators. In this paper, I take up the relevant debate with reference to the problem of context-sensitive terms in the contemporary philosophy of language. Throughout the article, I examine both the course of the issue in the philosophy of language tradition by using the literature following al-Ījī’s treatise and how al-Taftāzānī has made this topic into a matter of logic by referring to some works of logic. Thus, I intend to show the contributions or criticisms of some philosophers from al-Taftāzānī to Gelenbevī towards the logicalization of context-sensitive terms.


Ambigious words (al-mubhamāt) context-sensitive terms constructed individual terms (aljuz‘iyyāt al-i‘tibāriyya) logical relations of concepts Islamic philosophy of language Islamic logic of concepts.