Science, Philosophy, and Religion in Alfarabi’s Enumeration of the Sciences

Part of the Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science book series (BSPS, volume 26)


One of the striking features of classical Islamic philosophy is the prominence of political philosophy and the incorporation of jurisprudence and theology into philosophy by subordinating them to political philosophy. During the ten centuries that separated Cicero from Alfarabi, one cannot point to a single great philosopher for whom the problem of philosophy was inseparable from the problem of political philosophy or in whose writings political philosophy occupies a massive, central, or decisive position. Political philosophy may not be totally absent from pagan and Christian Platonism in the Hellenistic period, but it is marginal and subterranean, or else overwhelmed by metaphysics, theology, and mysticism.1


Political Philosophy Positive Disposition Practical Science Practical Philosophy Theoretical Science 
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  1. 2.
    Sa ’id al-Andalusī, Classes of Nations (Tabaqāt al-Umam), ed. Louis Cheikho (Beirut, 1912), p. 53.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht-Holland 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Harvard UniversityUSA

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