Qutb al-Din al-Razi on the Notion of Assent and Its Philosophical Implications


This article examines the main argument made by Quṭb al-Dīn al-Rāzī in his treatise al-Risāla al-ma‘mūla fī al-taṣawwur wa-l-taṣdīq. To this end, after providing a summary of the content of the treatise, it will indicate some of the conclusions drawn regarding logic and epistemology based on his ideas of assent. He suggests that while the category of conception includes the subject, the predicate, the judgement made (i.e., the relation between these first two, which is set by the mind), the state of being in relation (relationality [intisāb], the subject and the predicate becoming connected to each other due to the relation set by the mind), and the proposition itself, assent consists of only idh‘ān or qabūl, the conviction that the judgement made is solely its correspondence with nafs al-amr (things as they are in themselves). The article’s main argument is that according to his explanation of assent, even though we divide knowledge into conception and assent, it is neither adequate nor suffcient to consider those beliefs that remain at the level of conception and are unaccompanied by the second belief, namely, correspondence as the knowledge of a true subject, despite the fact that these beliefs t the definition of knowledge. For otherwise, the human subject turns into a mere carrier of information, and thus even though one realizes the cognitive content of what is being carried, one gains no insight into its epistemological value.


Quṭb al-Dīn al-Rāzī conception assent knowledge logic