Bronze and Gold

Al-Fārābī on Medicine

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  • 1 University of Barcelona, Section of Arabic and Islamic Studies, Barcelona, Spain

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Abstract

Al-Fārābī wrote about the status of medicine in many of his works, and his definition of medicine as a productive art influenced many later scholars. This definition demystified a philosophized conception of medicine that was current among the first physicians of Islam. However, al-Fārābī’s discourse is by no means unambiguous. He says that medicine may be a science, an art, and an art that may be composite, practical, stochastic and not self-sufficient. The article analyzes the textual basis of al-Fārābī’s discourse on medicine and its most salient references and influences, in connection with al-Fārābī’s understanding of Aristotle’s scientific method.

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