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World is an imagination: a phenomenological approach to the ontology and hermeneutics of Ibn Al-Arabi

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2009
Kars, Aydoğan
The aim of this study is to analyze the intertwined ontology and hermeneutics of the famous Muslim figure Ibn al-‘Arabī with a phenomenological hermeneutical approach. The research subject Ibn al-‘Arabī is to be scrutinized in comparison with Western phenomenology and hermeneutics. Hence, both phenomenology and hermeneutics will be not only the subject of the present study, but also its method of analysis. Throughout the study, Ibn al-‘Arabī’s question of being and hermeneutics will be compared with Western phenomenology and hermeneutics, with particular focus on Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty and Gadamer. In his account of ontology, the encounter of human being with the world happens always subjectively. On the side of hermeneutics, the world, which is textual, unfolds itself always through and only with interpretation. These two points can be unified and summed up in Ibn al-‘Arabī’s claim that world is an imagination. World is disclosed always subjectively and via interpretation; it is an imagination both hermeneutically and ontologically.