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Alpharabius- The Second Teacher


Alpharabius - A master of solving intellectual jigsaw puzzles, navigated and shaped the humanistic thoughts of a period now referred to as the as the Golden Age of the East. Al-Farabi made a fundamental contribution to Arabic literature and produced Arabic commentary and interpretation of Aristotle, Plato, and other ancient classics at a time when European were heedless about the Greek Language, and neither had the taste to understand the Greek contribution. In fact, it took about two hundred years for Al- Farabi’s commentary to be translated into Latin, by which Greece became the foundation of Western cultural history as per record.


For a long time I've been thinking about seriously understanding logic from a serious and well-grounded effort just to know that the decisions i make in my life are the right ones. The more I ponder about, what is actually logical, the more grainy and hazy things become, to me logic can be quite elusive. Actually i have been wondering if the same metrics, variables, characteristics that apply and create beauty and serenity in music, art, design, poetry, so on and so forth, could be somehow applied to create a well frame-worked civic society, one that functions with beauty and grace. But such things are easier said than done, its hard to combine practice with theory. Especially with innovative ideas regarding areas where new things don't happen much or is frowned upon. The solutions might lie somewhere else, people might just be looking in the wrong box. This is why I feel it is quite important, to look at scenarios from multiple perspectives and a have a multi-disciplinary understanding of things. This enables humanity to push the boundaries and achieve overall progress with regards to the human condition.


Al-Farabi also known as Alpharabius in the western circles was a man of multiple disciplines. He explored areas such as political philosophy, ethics, metaphysics, ethics, and logic. One of the quotes he is well known for is “An isolated individual could not achieve all the perfections by himself, without the aid of other individuals.” One possible interpretation of this thought is that one cannot perform in isolation in order to grow or prosper.


He stated “It is the innate disposition of every human to join others in the labor they ought to perform. In order to achieve what they can of that perfection, every man needs to stay in the neighborhood of others and associate with them." He came up with such ideas in 872 in his text Al-Madina al-Fadila.


Alpharabius's contribution to Philosophy was so deep that there is a school of thought named after him, commonly referred to as Farabism, this school of thought was later forgotten when Avicennism took over. Regardless what was highly important about Farabism is that it broke with the philosophy of Plato and Aristotle, since it jumped from metaphysics to methodology. Many scholars are of the opinion that his research can be interpreted as pre-cursor to modernity.


Al-Farabi was one of the few who united theory and practice, thus he was pushing the limits of human knowledge. He had a great influence on science and philosophy for several centuries and is widely regarded and second only to Aristotle in understanding the depth of human condition.


Al-Farabi viewed religion as a symbolic rendering of the truth. His life goal as a philosopher was to provide guidance to the state. Just like senior management gives governance/consulting advise to external organizations and their subordinates before, during, after a project. Al-Farabi’s goal was to provide guidance to the state aiming for peace & progress.