5 • “If Only Necessity Were God’s Quiddity”
Analysis of the Debate
According to the Ottoman biobibliographical sources, the debate between Zeyrek and Ḫocazāde continued for five days and, on the sixth, the Sultan asked the scholars to prepare copies of their responses for further evaluation on the next day. The extant texts reproduced in the Appendix include these accounts from the last day of the debate. Due to the fragmented nature of both responses, it is hard to determine which objection followed which response exactly. Given that post-classical disputations followed a standard of specific sets of objections and explanations along with rejoinders and counter-objections in reply, the analysis below intends to include a possible timeline of the debate, matching each scholar’s lemmata on a given day, and thereby showing how the debate evolved over the course of one week. The blow-by-blow reconstruction, in this sense, provides us with fresh insights about how the Ottoman scholars defended their points within the formal framework of debate etiquette and how the method of verification and referencing past scholarship were further utilized.