Article

Mehmed Emin Üsküdârî’nin Sonsuzluğa Dair Şerhu’l-Berâhîni’l-hamse Adlı Risalesinin Tahlil ve Tahkiki

Abstract

This article examines the form and content of Sharh al-Barāhīn al-khamsa, written by Mehmed Emīn Üsküdārī (d. 1149/1736-37), an important figure of eighteenth-century Ottoman Turkish theoretical thought, on the problems of the finitude of extensions and the invalidity of infinite regress. The subject of infinity is a multi-layered structure and is the mainstay of many theological questions such as the demonstrations for the existence of necessary existent as well as many other epistemological, ontological, and cosmological issues. This question concerned Peripatetic falāsifa and mutakallimūn from different intellectual traditions since the early period and became a cosmopolitan theological and philosophical tradition in which distinct epistles were compiled by scholars of the later period (mutaʾakhkhirūn). One of the last representatives of this period, Mehmed Emīn Üsküdārī, authored such an epistle on this question. This treatise is important with respect to seeing the importance and reflection of the infinity question in Ottoman intellectual thought. In addition to the ladder (burhān al-sullamī) and collimation (burhān al-musāmata) demonstrations for the discussions on the infinity of extensions, this epistle also uses the mapping (burhān al-taṭbīq), correlation (burhān al-tadāyuf), and throne (al-burhān al-ʾarshī) demonstrations as well as two other demonstrations mentioned by the Persian Mīrzā Jān Shīrāzī (d. 995/1587) for the discussions of infinite regress. In this context, Üsküdārī made a short and concise presentation of these above demonstrations, supporting some of them with geometric diagrams. This article consists of i) an analysis and ii) critical edition as its two main features and examines Üsküdārī’s evaluations on the aforementioned demonstrations, their historical background, and their differences and similarities in terms of novelty and continuity.

Keywords

Mehmed Emīn Üsküdārī Ottoman Turkish theoretical thought Infinity al-Dawānī’s impact on Ottoman thought