Science Logic and Mathematics. Oral historiography David P. Page 5 — For on the surface history is no more than information about political events, dynasties, and occurrences of the remote past, elegantly presented and spiced with proverbs. Translated From the Arabic by Franz Rosenthal. Muqaddimah Fi Ilm Al-Adab. I did not read The Muqaddimah fully, the first pages I read, but after that I just skimmed.
|Published (Last):||11 December 2006|
|PDF File Size:||15.72 Mb|
|ePub File Size:||9.1 Mb|
|Price:||Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]|
In turn, luxury again increases in correspondence with the increasing profit, and the customs and needs of luxury increase. Crafts are created to obtain luxury products. The value realized from them increases, and, as a result, profits are again multiplied in the town.
Production there is thriving even more than before. And so it goes with the second and third increase. All the additional labor serves luxury and wealth, in contrast to the original labor that served the necessity of life. He also noted macroeconomic forces of population growth, human capital development, and technological developments effects on development. Ibn Khaldun held that population growth was a function of wealth. He described labor as the source of value, necessary for all earnings and capital accumulation, obvious in the case of craft.
He argued that even if earning "results from something other than a craft, the value of the resulting profit and acquired capital must also include the value of the labor by which it was obtained. Without labor, it would not have been acquired. At the end of the dynasty, taxation yields a small revenue from large assessments. Laffer curve[ edit ] Ibn Khaldun introduced the concept now popularly known as the Laffer curve , that increases in tax rates initially increase tax revenues, but eventually the increases in tax rates cause a decrease in tax revenues.
This occurs as too high a tax rate discourages producers in the economy. Ibn Khaldun used a dialectic approach to describe the sociological implications of tax choice which now forms a part of economics theory : In the early stages of the state, taxes are light in their incidence, but fetch in a large revenue As time passes and kings succeed each other, they lose their tribal habits in favor of more civilized ones.
Their needs and exigencies grow Hence they impose fresh taxes on their subjects But the effects on business of this rise in taxation make themselves felt.
For business men are soon discouraged by the comparison of their profits with the burden of their taxes Consequently production falls off, and with it the yield of taxation. This analysis is very similar to the modern economic concept known as the Laffer curve. Laffer does not claim to have invented the concept himself, noting that the idea was present in the work of Ibn Khaldun and, more recently, John Maynard Keynes.
The Muslims achieved a definite advance beyond previous historical writing in the sociological understanding of history and the systematisation of historiography. The development of modern historical writing seems to have gained considerably in speed and substance through the utilization of a Muslim Literature which enabled western historians, from the seventeenth century on, to see a large section of the world through foreign eyes. The Muslim historiography helped indirectly and modestly to shape present day historical thinking.
The originality of Ibn Khaldun was to claim that the cultural difference of another age must govern the evaluation of relevant historical material, to distinguish the principles according to which it might be possible to attempt the evaluation, and lastly, to feel the need for experience, in addition to rational principles, in order to assess a culture of the past. Ibn Khaldun often criticized "idle superstition and uncritical acceptance of historical data".
As a result, he introduced a scientific method to the study of history, which was considered something "new to his age", and he often referred to it as his "new science", now associated with historiography. Rational in its approach, analytical in its method, encyclopaedic in detail, it represents an almost complete departure from traditional historiography, discarding conventional concepts and cliches and seeking, beyond the mere chronicle of events, an explanation—and hence a philosophy of history.
Khaldun was quite concerned with the effect of raising the standard of evidence when confronted with uncomfortable claims, and relaxing it when given claims that seemed reasonable or comfortable. He was a jurist, and sometimes participated reluctantly in rulings that he felt were coerced, based on arguments he did not respect. Toynbee , a 20th-century British historian. Ibn Khaldun also examines why, throughout history, it has been common for historians to sensationalize historical events and, in particular, exaggerate numerical figures: Whenever contemporaries speak about the dynastic armies of their own or recent times, and whenever they engage in discussions about Muslim or Christian soldiers, or when they get to figuring the tax revenues and the money spent by the government, the outlays of extravagant spenders, and the goods that rich and prosperous men have in stock, they are quite generally found to exaggerate, to go beyond the bounds of the ordinary, and to succumb to the temptation of sensationalism.
When the officials in charge are questioned about their armies, when the goods and assets of wealthy people are assessed, and when the outlays of extravagant spenders are looked at in ordinary light, the figures will be found to amount to a tenth of what those people have said. The reason is simple. It is the common desire for sensationalism, the ease with which one may just mention a higher figure, and the disregard of reviewers and critics.
In the Introduction to the Muqaddimah, Ibn Khaldun directs this criticism towards to famous historians such as Al-Masudi ,  who is today regarded as the " Herodotus of the Arabs"  and whom Ibn Khaldun himself regarded as one of the most famous historians up until his time.
Ibn Khaldun criticizes Al-Masudi for failing to take into account certain logistics , questioning whether Egypt and Syria could have possibly held such a large number of soldiers, or whether an army of that size would be able to march or fight as a unit.
He notes that the whole available territory would have been too small for such a large army, and argues that if "it were in battle formation, it would extend" several times "beyond the field of vision. He argues that the "situation in the present day testifies to the correctness of this statement" since the "past resembles the future more than one drop of water another".
The Muqaddimah states that if the Israelites really did have such a large army, the extent of their empire would have been far larger, as "the size of administrative units and provinces under a particular dynasty is in direct proportion to the size of its militia and the groups that support the dynasty".
Ibn Khaldun argues that it "is improbable that the descendants of one man could branch out into such a number within four generations". He states that Jews have claimed the unrealistically large increase in the Israelite population within several generations was possible because it was a miracle of God, a claim that Ibn Khaldun did not dismiss completely.
He considers such a miracle highly unlikely, but appears to be open to the possibility. He was also a critic of Neoplatonism , particularly its notion of a hierarchy of being. Ibn Khaldun also covers the historical development of Islamic logic in the context of theology, as he viewed logic as being distinct from early Islamic philosophy , and believed that philosophy should remain separate from theology.
We thus know that they are true and come from the world of truth. He disagreed with the use of reason in the evaluation of a hadith , arguing that "there is no place for the intellect in them, save that the intellect may be used in connection with them to relate problems of detail with basic principles.
He states that: the statement concerning the alteration of the Torah by the Jews is unacceptable to thorough scholars and cannot be understood in its plain meaning, since custom prevents people who have a revealed religion from dealing with their divine scriptures in such a manner.
This was mentioned by al-Bukhari in the Sahih. Ibn Khaldun wrote that " Jurisprudence is the knowledge of the classification of the laws of God.
There is rather, change with days and epochs, as well as passing from one state to another It started out from the minerals and progressed, in an ingenious, gradual manner, to plants and animals. The last stage of minerals is connected with the first stage of plants, such as herbs and seedless plants. The last stage of plants, such as palms and vines, is connected with the first stage of animals, such as snails and shellfish which have only the power of touch.
The animal world then widens, its species become numerous, and, in a gradual process of creation, it finally leads to man, who is able to think and reflect. The higher stage of man is reached from the world of monkeys, in which both sagacity and perception are found, but which has not reached the stage of actual reflection and thinking. At this point we come to the first stage of man. This is as far as our physical observation extends.
The Muqaddimah also states in Chapter 6: We explained there that the whole of existence in all its simple and composite worlds is arranged in a natural order of ascent and descent, so that everything constitutes an uninterrupted continuum.
The essences at the end of each particular stage of the worlds are by nature prepared to be transformed into the essence adjacent to them, either above or below them. This is the case with the simple material elements; it is the case with palms and vines, which constitute the last stage of plants, in their relation to snails and shellfish, which constitute the lowest stage of animals. It is also the case with monkeys, creatures combining in themselves cleverness and perception, in their relation to man, the being who has the ability to think and to reflect.
The preparedness for transformation that exists on either side, at each stage of the worlds, is meant when we speak about their connection.
Therefore, the sages rarely turned to them. Animals are the last and final stage of the three permutations. Minerals turn into plants, and plants into animals, but animals cannot turn into anything finer than themselves. Ibn Khaldun was also an adherent of environmental determinism. The Muqaddimah discusses the history of alchemy, the views of alchemists such as Jabir ibn Hayyan , and the theories of the transmutation of metals and elixir of life. One chapter of the book contains a systematic refutation of alchemy on social,  scientific, philosophical and religious grounds.
He argues that some alchemists resort to fraud , either openly by applying a thin layer of gold on top of silver jewelry, or by secretly using an artificial procedure of covering whitened copper with sublimated mercury. Ibn Khaldun states that most alchemists are honest and believe that the transmutation of metals is possible, but he argues that transmutation is an implausible theory since there has been no successful attempt to date.
Extraordinary things are either miracles or witchcraft They are unbounded; nobody can claim to acquire them. Yet he argues that men and tribes need to defend themselves from potential attacks, and thus political communities are formed. Ibn Khaldun calls this state blameworthy. Yet the worst type of state, according to Ibn Khaldun, is a tyranny wherein government usurps property rights and rules with injustice against the rights of men.
Ibn Khaldun writes that civilizations have lifespans like individuals, and that every state will eventually fall because sedentary luxuries distract them, and eventually government begins to overtax citizens and begin injustice against property rights, and "injustice ruins civilization". Eventually after one dynasty or royal authority falls, it is replaced by another, in a continuous cycle.
However, he was aware that much knowledge of the past had been lost, and thus he was open to the possibility that someone might have anticipated him but that their work had not survived: Perhaps they have written exhaustively on this topic, and their work did not reach us. There are many sciences. There have been numerous sages among the nations of mankind. The knowledge that has not come down to us is larger than the knowledge that has.
Where are the sciences of the Chaladaeans , the Syrians and the Babylonians , and the scholarly products and results that were theirs? Where are the sciences of the Copts , their predecessors? He was successful in this direction because he had many translators at his disposal and spent much money in this connection. He never refers to that final group as being Arabs, and instead refers to them by their ethnicity or places of origin i.
They pillage everything that they can take without fighting or taking risks, then flee to their refuge in the wilderness, and do not stand and do battle unless in self-defense. So when they encounter any difficulty or obstacle, they leave it alone and look for easier prey.
And tribes well-fortified against them on the slopes of the hills escape their corruption and destruction, because they prefer not to climb hills, nor expend effort, nor take risks.
This happened to the Arabs at the beginning of Islam during the Muslim conquests. The armies of the Muslims at al-Qadisiyah and at the Yarmuk numbered some 30, in each case, while the Persian troops at al-Qadisiyah numbered ,, and the troops of Heraclius , according to al-Waqidi , , Neither of the two parties was able to withstand the Arabs, who routed them and seized what they possessed.
All of them were of non-Arab Persian descent They invented rules of Arabic grammar Thus the truth of the statement of the prophet becomes apparent, "If learning were suspended in the highest parts of heaven the Persians would attain it" The intellectual sciences were also the preserve of the Persians, left alone by the Arabs, who did not cultivate them This situation continued in the cities as long as the Persians and Persian countries, Iraq, Khorasan and Transoxiana , retained their sedentary culture.
FRANZ ROSENTHAL MUQADDIMAH PDF