Farabi’s Life and Sociopolitical Views

Farabi’s Life and Sociopolitical Views

June 27, 2021 Off By Felso

Ebu Nasır Muhammed bin Muhammed bin Tarhan bin Uzlug Al-Farabi (879-950) (Alpharabus in the west) was born in the city of Faraba in Sır-ı Derya. Aristotle gained a reputation as a pedant, mathematician, and doctor. He visited Baghdad, Damascus, Harran and Aleppo to meet more closely with Syrian translators and interpreters of Aristotle’s and neoplatonists’ works.

Progressive thinkers of the Near and Middle East treated Aristotle with great respect. The Islamic scholastic misunderstood the texts of the great Greek philosophers. So much so that in the spirit of the new platonists, only logic was interpreted. Bartold writes: “The clear difference in the teaching of Plato and Aristotle (with its subsequent development in neoplatonism) was not entirely formed; Theology was written by Aristotle, which actually repeated Plato’s teaching.”

Al-Farabi recognized the real Aristotle and aimed to turn the path of development of philosophy to the side of Aristotelianism. It must be said that he succeeded in releasing the teaching of Greek thinkers from the mystical layers put forward by various commentators. It is not a coincidence that they called him the “Second Aristotle” in the Middle East while he was still alive.

Al-Farabi’s legacy was immense and diverse. He learned morality, politics, psychology, nature, and music, along with all the well-known scientists of the time. But in the first place was philosophy, and especially logic. His work in the field of logic brought him wide fame in all the countries of the Near East.

Al-Farabi wrote about 100 works in the field of natural sciences and the history of philosophy, some of which we know yet. A significant part of his philosophical work is connected with the learning of Aristotelian philosophy. The interpretation of the Neoplatonist Porphyry’s “Isagogue” also belongs to him. All these works come about when al-Farabi devoted his attention to Aristotle’s encyclopedic legacy, not to the idealism of Plato and the neoplatonists.

But Al-Farabi’s actions were not limited to interpretation; He also produced many original works. The most famous is his little treatise, “The Pearl of the Mind,” which briefly describes the whole essence of his teaching. Plato’s thesis called “The Views of the Natives of the Honorable City”, which does not neutralize his studies on the state, also arouses great interest. In this, the author tries to answer important questions such as the formation of the state and the causes of social inequality.

The theses of “Ore”, “Time”, “Space”, “The Unity of Plato and Aristotle Philosophy” belong to him. He defended Aristotle by criticizing Galenos and Ion in his works “Against Galenos” and “Ion Against Ielopeneski”.

Al-Farabi also wrote his work “The Movement of the Sky” and the theses “About the Spirit”, “About the Power of the Spirit”, “About Multiplicity and Oneness”, “Reason and Consciousness” in the field of psychology. Some of these works were translated into Latin and XVII. century has come. Al-Farabi also gave musical works that are famous in the Near East.

For the analysis of al-Farabi’s philosophical views, it is necessary to examine the parts of his science. Al-Farabi writes: “As the head of all sciences, I claim that it is linguistics that gives names to things, that is, gives substance. The second science is grammar: It teaches how to name the specified items, how to form speech and word, how to express the state of matter and the accent that comes from this result. The third science is logic: it teaches how to use story sentences to make judgments from them, by virtue of knowing the unknown according to the figures of logic and understanding what is true and what is false. The fourth science is poetry.” Then Al-Farabi enumerates the teaching sciences:

“a) Number sciences (theoretical and practical),

navigational science,
weight science

The fifth science is physics, the science of physical bodies and phenomena (the physical bodies are the sky, the earth, and between them, plants and animals). It has 7 parts that maintain their natural harmony: sky, earth, death, minerals, plants, animals and spirit. The sixth science is metaphysics, which consists of three parts:

Examination of the real world made up of real items,
The study of principles of evidence in special theoretical sciences,
The study of real objects that do not consist of and do not end in the body.

The seventh science is the science of the state, which studies the various types of movements and movements of human desires, the specific purposes that make up the movement and use traditions. This science consists of two parts:

a) Determination of happiness,

b) Determination of character traits, life and movement structure.

The eighth science is the right of Islam and the ninth science is theology.”

The classification of sciences put forward by al-Farabi is the same way Aristotle studied. Al-Farabi, who strongly supports Aristotle’s classification of science, includes Islamic and theological sciences according to the historical situation. This is explained by the fact that it is the only and general problem that is basically solved in the context of philosophical problems in the areas of the most violent war of ideas, in the example of natural sciences in Greek schools, and in the near and middle east countries according to the religion of Islam.

Philosophers at that time believed that God’s nature, quality