Less than half of Al-Farabi’s writings have been discovered that were listed in the medieval catalogues. It is said to be able to fully understand Alfarabi’s texts and what he is trying to convey, one needs to read the texts not once, but several times before one is able to comprehend what Alfarabi is speaking about. He wrote of physics, metaphysics, music, politics and various other topics. Alfarabi was referred to as the “second teacher” in the Islamic world, the first being Aristotle, because of his commentaries on Aristotle and his work in logic. Not only did he make commentaries on Aristotle’s work, but also on Plato and his work. Alfarabi integrated their views into the Islamic world and into his own Islamic based theories. Alfarabi’s writings on Aristotle and Plato are considered to be his most notable work.
Al-Farabi divided his studies into two categories, one being physics and the other being metaphysics. Physics applied to the physical sciences and metaphysics applied to ethics, philosophy, and theology. Further, Alfarabi also divided the study of logic into two categories, imagination and proof. His reason behind creating these two categories, imagination and proof, can be explained by using religious faith and philosophy as examples. Alfarabi believed separating theology and philosophy, which leads to the explanation of why he created the categories of imagi...
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...hose who philosophized in the right manner. He followed the Greek example and the highest rank of happiness was allocated to his ideal sovereign whose soul was ‘united as it were with the Active Intellect’. Although Alfarabi followed the Greek example he did not confine his interest of happiness to the ruler, he was concerned of the happiness of all the classes.
Al-Farabi was one of the greatest philosophers in my opinion. He is considered to be the second teacher of philosophy after Aristotle. To me that means he is held at almost the same esteem that Aristotle is held at. It is unfortunate that more than half of his writings have not been found. He is often overshadowed by other philosophers because we do not know much about him. Nonetheless, he was one of the greatest Islamic philosophers of all time and has influenced many well-known philosophers after his time.
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