The Epistemological and Political Significance of Logic in Al-Fārābī‘s Philosophy
The paper seeks to present the significance which al-Fārābī assigned to the study of the Organon and
especially to the Analytica Posteriora which occupied the center-stage in the philosopher’s epistemology.
The study draws on the famous story, Fī Z. uhūr al-falsafa, whose authorship is ascribed to al-Fārābī. Mo-
reover, the utmost importance of Analytica Posteriora and the apodictic argument which is also gleaned
from other al-Fārābī treatises, especially his Ih. s.ā` al-‘ulūm, a treatise which presents al-Fārābī’s understan-
ding of the hierarchy of sciences. Moreover, by employing the famous discussion between Abū Bišr and
as-Sīrāfī, the paper showsas that philosophers’ claims about logic being the only tool to gaining infallible
knowledge caused a controversy in the intellectual circles of the Abbasid empire. This was mainly due to
its political implications. Even though grammar was an indispensable tool for the fuqahā` in their dealings
with legal documents, and hence a science indispensable for the government, the philosophers saw them-
selves as the true elite. They were the only ones actually fit to rule. As the paper shows this claim rested
mainly on their mastery of Aristotelian logic, especially the Analytica Posteriora.
Key Words: logic, analytica posteriora, al-Fārābī, classical arab philosophy. .