Home > Catalogo > Annali di Ca’ Foscari. Serie orientale > 57 | 2021 > Polysemy as Hermeneutic Key in Ibn ʿArabī’s Fuṣūṣ al-Ḥikam

Polysemy as Hermeneutic Key in Ibn ʿArabī’s Fuṣūṣ al-Ḥikam

Federico Salvaggio    Università degli Studi di Udine, Italia    



The present contribution discusses the role of polysemy within Ibn ʿArabī’s hermeneutic approach in the Fuṣūṣ al-Ḥikam. It argues that the Andalusian master’s conception of polysemy bears implications that stretch far beyond the field of Arabic linguistics, strictly understood, and that are tightly related to his vision of the polysemous and pansemiotic nature of existence. Thus, when investigated in the light of his metaphysical views, Ibn ʿArabī’s hermeneutic use of word polysemy, as arbitrary as it might appear at first sight, results perfectly consistent with his conception of the descent of language through multiple states of being and of the conjunction of form and meaning in the world of imagination. These metaphysical premises provide the epistemological foundations for Ibn ʿArabī’s linguistic and hermeneutic practices and build up one the finest and most complete metaphysical conceptions of language elaborated within the broader context of what might be defined the domain of ‘Islamic linguistics’.

30 Giugno 2021
04 Maggio 2021
08 Febbraio 2021

Keywords: Arabic linguistic traditionAkbarian studiesIslamic linguistic thoughtSemanticsKoranic Hermeneutics

Copyright: © 2021 Federico Salvaggio. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.