عنوان مقاله [English]
One of the most fundamental foundations of transcendent philosophy is gradation in existence which has been used as a basis for explanation and affirmation of several philosophical problems, and to which Mulla Sadra Shirazi owes many of his innovations in different philosophical fields. The problem of union of the knower and the known is one of his most important innovations in epistemology in which gradation has a basic role. Philosophers before Mulla Sadra regarded the amount of abstraction of known from material and its consequents as the criterion for the kinds of perception and the difference between perceptions as the result of difference in the amount of abstraction of essence from its contradictory affairs because they neglected the problem of gradation in existence. Rejecting the theory of Taqhshir (decortication or abstraction through which the mind eliminates redundancies to obtain the essence of perception or intellectual stage), however, Mulla Sadra believes that difference in perceptions is the result of difference in modes of abstract being. In transcendent philosophy, the criterion for being known is only justifiable on the basis of gradational system of existence. Accepting collective existence in gradational system of existence, he believes in modes of being in a longitudinal order for an essence, which necessitates another predication called "real and delicate predication". Accordingly, the criterion for being known is based on solidification of existence. The more intensive is existence in terms of actualization and realization the more is its being known, and the less intensive is existence in terms of actualization and realization the less is its being known; and the soul unites with any known in its very stage to perceive it.