The Unity of Knowledge in Arabic and Islamic Philosophy: Abū Naṣr al-Fārābī's Classification of the Sciences


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships


Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies


This project offers a new and comprehensive analysis of the Islamic philosopher Abū Naṣr al-Fārābī’s (d. 950) classification of various academic disciplines by focusing on the philosophical basis of his classification that has been largely neglected by modern scholarship. It examines how al-Fārābī organized the corpus of knowledge and adopts a multidisciplinary approach that investigates where religious concepts intersect with philosophical discourse on human knowledge. In doing so, this project illuminates how al-Fārābī adapted features of earlier Greek classification systems in a way that spoke to the concerns of 10th-century Islamic society, an endeavor which resulted in the formulation of an innovative classificatory system that had a lasting impact in the Islamic world and beyond.