IbnKhaldun (1332-1395)(Abd al-RahmanIbn Mohammad) • Born Tunisia • Lived Cairo, Egypt as Judge & Academic at Al-Azhar University (world’s oldest university - founded 971 AD)
Assabiyah • Group Solidarity – Periphery of dissolving Empires • Unified strength under strong leadership • Establish power at center of Empire • Focus: maintain legitimacy • Less coordinated, less disciplined • Unity turns to individualism • Lack of social cohesion of ruling leads to Group Solidarity on the periphery of that Empire.
Cultural Diffusion • What enabled a man from North Africa to visit with Timur in Baghdad? • What does this say about the role of Islam? • How does IbnKhaldun’s cycle of civilization apply to the Mongols?
General Influence • Influence on the subjects of history, philosophy of history, sociology, political science and education • Muqaddimahconsidered in league with and rival of Machiavelli’s ThePrince (written a century later)
Educational Influence Khaldun’s analysis concludes that science & education & teaching determine cultural prosperity & that “open minded thinking” about unknown principles and crossing disciplines is key; advocates comprehensive but staged education using simple humane (non-aggressive) methods combining balanced mix of theory & practice.
Influence on Sociology • Underlying Laws of Economics and Social behavior created by God; • Such Laws can be shown scientifically to produce best social policies; • Laws dictate limited state functions: defense, to protect property, to prevent fraud; to safeguard currency; wise leadership • Condemns high taxes & government competition with private sphere (lowers productivity & destroys incentive)
Khaldun’s Description of his Science • An “Original” Science; • Objects of science: 1) Local Human Social Organization, and 2) World Civilization; • Purpose of Science: to explain conditions that attach themselves to civilization; • Utility: cultural prosperity through education
Observations & Discussion The Muqaddimah
1.) Group Feeling • (Respect for) blood ties is something natural among men … It leads to affection for one’s relations and blood relatives, (the feeling that) no harm ought to befall them nor any destruction come upon them …(p.98)
2.) Royal Authority & Sedentary Civilization • Religious propaganda emerges (naturally) from group feeling • Royal authority then catalyzed by religious propaganda by minimizing jealousies and inculcating search for common truths • Dynasties enable the dispense of group feeling, the foundation of the state, the growth of civilization and the emergence of new Nationalism(p. 130) and sedentary civilizations (p. 263-95)
3.) Profit, Property and Economics • … the capital a person earns and acquires, if resulting from a craft, is the value realized from his labour. This is the meaning of ‘acquired (capital)’. There is nothing here originally except the labour, and it is not desired by itself as acquired (capital, but as the value realized from it)…(p.298) [basis of Marxist arguments]
4.) How Science comes to be • As civilization advances, surplus labour becomes available; that labour is used for activities beyond the need to earn a living. (p.343) • Establishing Legitimacy
Educational Approach: Pedagogy • Students should not be forced to memorize • Subjects should not be taught in a broken sequence • Two subjects should not be taught together • Appropriate length of subjects taught • It is harmful to be very strict on a student • Traveling and conferencing with scholars is useful for education • Education should be practical • Learning science requires skill