Logic Functions in the Philosophy of Al-Farabi

Handbook of the 6th World Congress and School on Universal Logic (2018)
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Abu Nasr Muhammad Al-Farabi (870–950 AD), the second outstanding representative of the Muslim peripatetic after al Kindi (801–873 AD), was born in Turkestan about 870 AD. Al-Farabi’s studies commenced in Farab, then he travelled to Baghdad, where he studied logic with a Christian scholar named Yuhanna b. Hailan. Al-Farabi wrote numerous works dealing with almost every branch of science in the medieval world. In addition to a large number of books on logic and other sciences, he came to be known as the “Second Teacher” (al-Mou’allim al-Thani), Aristotle being the first. One of Al-Farabi’s most important contributions was clarifying the func- tions of logic as follows: 1. He defined logic and compared it with grammar, and discussed the clas- sification and fundamental principles of science in a unique and useful manner. 2. He made the study of logic easier by dividing it into two categories: Takhayyul (idea) and Thubut (proof). 3. He believed that the objective of logic is to correct faults we may find in ourselves and in others, and faults that others find in us. 4. He said that if we do not comprehend logic, we must either have faith in all people, or mistrust all people, or differentiate between them. Such actions would be undertaken without a basis of evidence or experimen- tation. In this paper, I will analyse the functions of logic in Al-Farabi’s works, Enumeration of the Sciences, Book on the Syllogism, Book on Dialectic, Book on Demonstration and Ring Stones of Wisdom, in order to present his contributions in the field of logic.
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