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    The Ikhwan al-Safa’ (Brethren of Purity), the anonymous adepts of a tenth-century esoteric fraternity based in Basra and Baghdad, hold an eminent position in the history of science and philosophy in Islam due to the wide reception and assimilation of their monumental encyclopaedia, the Rasa’il Ikhwan al-Safa’ (Epistles of the Brethren of Purity). This compendium contains fifty-two epistles offering synoptic accounts of the classical sciences and philosophies of the age; divided into four classificatory parts, it treats themes in mathematics, logic, natural philosophy, psychology, metaphysics, and theology, in addition to didactic fables. The Rasa’il constitutes a paradigmatic legacy in the canonisation of philosophy and the sciences in mediaeval Muslim civilisation, as well as having shown a permeating influence in Western culture.

    The present volume is the second of this definitive series, consisting of the very first critical edition of the Rasa’il in its original Arabic, complete with the first fully annotated English translation. Prepared by Professor Carmela Baffioni, Epistles 10–14 comprise the foundations of logic, which remained a fundamental component in pedagogy until the twentieth century. The Ikhwan treat the Isagoge and the larger part of the Organon, both of which were circulating through the Islamic world at that time, as they set about detailing the ten categories of existents, the five predicables, and other such commonplaces of Aristotelian logic, including his seminal method of syllogistic inference. With the claim that logic is the noblest of man’s arts, and man the noblest of creatures, the Ikhwan cast Aristotelian tropes in a spiritual light.

  • Acknowledgements xv
    Foreword xvii
    Introduction 1
    Technical Introduction 35
    Epistle 10: On the Meaning of the Isagoge 63
    Epistle 11: On the Meaning of the Categories 85
    Epistle 12: On the Meaning of the On Interpretation 101
    Epistle 13: On the Meaning of the Prior Analytics 111
    Epistle 14: On the Meaning of the Posterior Analytics 125
    Appendix A: Additions to Epistle 10 from the Atif Manuscript 157
    Appendix B: Epistle 10 in the Bodleian Manuscripts 167
    Appendix C: Addition to Epistle 12 from the Esad Effendi 3638 Manuscript 181
    Bibliography 187
    Subject Index 191
    Index Locorum 197
    Rasa’il 10 – 14 (Arabic Text and Variants) [Arabic pagination 3–198]
    Arabic Index [Arabic pagination 199–202]

     

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  • Prof. Carmela Baffioni

    English
    Carmela Baffioni is a Senior Research Associate at the Institute of Ismaili Studies, having previously been Professor of the History of Islamic Philosophy and of the History of Muslim Philosophies and Sciences at the University of Naples ‘L’Orientale’ until 2012. Her publications include several monographs on the transmission of Greek thought into Islam; translations of works by the Ikhwan al-Safaʾ, al-Farabi, and Ibn Rushd (Averroes), as well as al-Shahrastani; in addition, she has written a monograph on Aristotle’s Meteorologica IV (1981) and books on the history of Muslim philosophy...Read more