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5 - Dialectic and Education

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 October 2019

David M. DiPasquale
Affiliation:
Boston College, Massachusetts
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Summary

If, as I have suggested from the outset, Alfarabi’s Book of Dialectic is meant to portray the very dialectical education it describes, what precisely is the student of the book to have learned by the time he or she has finished it? In order to help clarify this matter, I seek help from the commentaries on the Metaphysics by Alexander of Aphrodisias. Alexander's attentiveness to ‘form’ or formal causality in these writings points to the reason why Alfarabi's treatment of the Topics is at the same time a consideration of Platonic politics and Socrates’ famous ‘turn’ to the logos: Socrates’ dialectical method was meant to be a correction of the method of his predecessors. Just as in Chapter Three I point to the way in which Alfarabi's dialectic considers nothing less than the question concerning the creation or eternity of the world, here I take up the manner in which his treatment of the various interrogative particles (and especially the particle ma, or “what is”) is intended to point to its proper resolution. The education to which the Jadal is leading has, in the end, not a little to do with the knowledge of the essential limitations to any such resolution.

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Chapter
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Alfarabi's Book of Dialectic (Kitab al-Jadal)
On the Starting Point of Islamic Philosophy
, pp. 239 - 278
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2019

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  • Dialectic and Education
  • David M. DiPasquale, Boston College, Massachusetts
  • Book: Alfarabi's <i>Book of Dialectic (Kitab al-Jadal)</i>
  • Online publication: 11 October 2019
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108277822.007
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  • Dialectic and Education
  • David M. DiPasquale, Boston College, Massachusetts
  • Book: Alfarabi's <i>Book of Dialectic (Kitab al-Jadal)</i>
  • Online publication: 11 October 2019
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108277822.007
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Dialectic and Education
  • David M. DiPasquale, Boston College, Massachusetts
  • Book: Alfarabi's <i>Book of Dialectic (Kitab al-Jadal)</i>
  • Online publication: 11 October 2019
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108277822.007
Available formats
×