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The Poetic Syllogism according to al-Fārābī: an Incorrect Syllogism of the Second Figure

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 August 2002

Maroun Aouad
Affiliation:
Centre d'histoire des sciences et des philosophies arabes et médiévales, 7 rue Guy Môquet, B.P. no 8, 94801 Villejuif Cedex, France
Gregor Schoeler
Affiliation:
Orientalisches Seminar der Universität Basel, 64a Missionsstrasse, 4055 Basel, Switzerland

Abstract

It is well-known that the Arab philosophers of the Aristotelian tradition, like some of their Alexandrian predecessors, attached rhetoric and poetics to logic, and supported this inclusion by the idea that the principal poetic procedure - that is, essentially, metaphor - is a kind of syllogism: the poetic syllogism. However, until now, no texts prior to those of Avicenna had been identified which render the structure of this syllogism explicit. In the present contribution, we present and translate a passage from al-Fārābī which shows that for him, the poetic syllogism is an incorrect syllogism of the second figure - a different interpretation from that which will be given by Avicenna.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© 2002 Cambridge University Press

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