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Document Details :
Title: Ikhwân al-Safâ: des arts scientifiques et de leur objectif
Author(s): DE CALLATAY, Godefroid
Journal: Le Muséon
Volume: 116 Issue: 1-2 Date: 2003
In the whole corpus of the Rasâ'l Ikhwân al-‡”afâ', Epistle VIII (“The Scientific Arts and their aim”) could be singled out as the one most specifically devoted to the problem of organizing and classifying human knowledge. The intrinsic interest of this rather short epistle (about 20 pages in the Beirut edition) lies above all in the tripartite classification of the sciences (“propaedeutic”, “religious/conventional” and “philosophical/real”) as displayed by the Brethren of Purity at the end — a very original classification which is especially interesting to compare with the arrangement of the Rasâ'il as it has come down to us. The French translation to be found here — the first of the epistle into any European language — is given with notes as well as with a brief overall presentation.