The paper first presents the necessary background to appreciate al-Fârâbî’s views and his originality. It explains the issues Anicent philosophers faced: the natural vs. the conventional origin of language, the problem of ambiguous words, and the difficulty to express Greek thought into Latin. It then sketches andcontrasts the views of Christianity and Islam on the origin of language and the diversity of idioms. It argues that al-Fârâbî follows the philosophical tradition butdevelops it in sophisticated and original manner by telling the story of the origin and development of language and giving little place to the Islamic tradition. Foral-Fârâbî language emerges naturally but develops by convention in three phases: (1) The constitution of utterances and crafts to ensure basic necessities; (2) The development of rhetoric, poetry, memorizing, writing, and the language arts; (3) the development of dialectic, sophistical reasoning and demonstration that leads to philosophy reaching its perfection with with Aristotle. Religion for him is posterior to philosophy and derives form it. As for al-Fârâbî philosophy in Islamic lands was imported from Greece, he includes rules to translate technical philosophical terms from one language into another
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.5840/acpaproc2010841
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,658
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Muhammad Ali Khalidi (2003). Al-Fārābi on the Democratic City. British Journal for the History of Philosophy 11 (3):379 – 394.
Georgios Steiris (2012). Al-Farabi’s Ecumenical State and its Modern Connotations. Skepsis: A Journal for Philosophy and Interdisciplinary Research (iii):253-261.
Richard C. Taylor (2006). Abstraction in Al-Fârâbî. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 80:151-168.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

18 ( #152,160 of 1,725,989 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

3 ( #210,870 of 1,725,989 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.