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Muqqadimah Ibn Khaldun.docx

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Tufts University
Political Science
Malik Mufti

Muqaddimah Ibn Khaldun (1332-1406)(1377) • Ibn Khaldun (1332-1406) Aristocrat, political actor, religious judge 1375– took refuge for 3 years in North Africa and started his books • "All records, by their very nature, are liable to error... 1. ...Partisanship towards a creed or opinion... 2. ...Over-confidence in one's sources... (Blind acceptance of past “knowledge”) 3. ...The failure to understand what is intended... 4. ...A mistaken belief in the truth... 5. ...The inability to place an event in its real context 6. ...The common desire to gain favor of those of high ranks, by praising them, by spreading their fame... 7...The most important is the ignorance of the laws governing the transformation of human society." • Khaldun criticized "idle superstition and uncritical acceptance of historical data." SO introduced the scientific method to the social sciences. • Culture is the central theme. Primitive culture (nomadic) –noble savage Advanced culture (sedentary) –the one he values most Maximizing, developing potential of culture Humans achieve their greatest point in the context of advanced culture • Humans NEED to live together (cf texte for reasons) but once this happens they need a central authority. They need this because evil is present within human nature (always a potential). Restraints make humans act well, behave. Realism stems from the notion of evil being inherent in human nature. • Restraints: unchallengeable authority, religion IK argues that there have been prosperous civilizations without a central religion. Evolutions of political groups: -Starts with a blood connection in the wild (desert) held together by necessity (fear, need…) -These groups compete over resources and swallow each other up, expanding (human nature to expand and conquer –war is the norm according to realists) -Groups turn into clans, into cities, civilizations • What is better? Primitive Bedouin? Advanced civilization? -Primitive: courage, fortitude, Asabiyyah ▯ need these to fight and grow -Advanced: flourishing of human culture coming from wars and expansion (that ca
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