al- Farabi

Farabi, al- (äl-färäˈbē) [key], d. 950, Islamic philosopher. He studied in Baghdad and later flourished in Aleppo as a sufi mystic (see Sufism). He died in Damascus. Al-Farabi was the author of an encyclopedic work drawn largely from Aristotle; he was one of the earliest Islamic thinkers to develop a philosophical method reconciling Aristotle and Islam, though he believed human reason to be superior to revelation. Political theory was one of his major concerns; he believed that the philosopher was the proper ruler of the state. In his own philosophy he is clearly influenced by Neoplatonism, especially that of the Greek school of Alexandria. A renowned musician, he is considered the greatest Islamic music theorist. He is known in the West by the name Alfarabius.

See bibliography by N. Rescher (1962).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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