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Table of Contents
                            p.[57]
	p.58
	p.59
	p.60
	p.61
	p.62
	p.63
	p.64
	p.65
	p.66
	p.67
	p.68
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	p.71
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		Front Matter [pp.1-1]
		Dedication [pp.2-2]
		Sources of Ibn Abī 'L-Dunyā's Kitāb Maqtal Amīr Al-Muʾ Minīn ʿAlī [pp.3-19]
		The Malady of Love [pp.21-55]
		Ibn Hazm of Cordova on Logic [pp.57-72]
		"Taṣawwuf Is... ": On a Type of Mystical Aphorism [pp.73-80]
		A Mandaic Miscellany [pp.81-85]
		On Vowel Reduction in Aramaic [pp.87-95]
		Architecture and Astronomy: The Ventilators of Medieval Cairo and Their Secrets [pp.97-133]
		Humanism in the Renaissance of Islam: A Preliminary Study [pp.135-164]
		Abū Muslim al-Khurāsānī: The Emergence of a Secret Agent from Kurāsān, Irāq, or Was It Iṣfahān? [pp.165-175]
		Irāda, Ikhtiyār, Qudra, Kasb the View of Abū Manṣur al-Māturīdī [pp.177-191]
		An Unpublished Work by Al-ʿÂmirî and the Date of the Arabic De causis [pp.193-199]
		The Arabic Elements in the Jewish Neo-Aramaic Texts of Nerwa and ʿAmādīya, Iraqi Kurdistan [pp.201-211]
		The Length of the Reign of Ḫallušu-Inšušinak [pp.213-217]
		Back Matter
                        
Document Text Contents
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Page 2

IBN HAZM OF CORDOVA ON LOGIC1

ANWAR G. CHEJNE

UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA

LOGIC (CILM AL-MANTIQ) OCCUPIED AN IMPORTANT

PLACE in Islamic culture, and received the attention of
a good number of writers over the centuries.2 However,
no sooner had logic developed fully than it became
the object of heated controversy within the general
context of the sciences. As a result, it had both ardent
supporters and uncompromising opponents. To its ad-
vocates, logic is a noble science and an indispensable
tool (alah) for all the sciences. To its opponents, it is
not only useless, but detrimental to religious belief in
that it leads to doubt and diminution of faith.3 This
dichotomy of views which had its locus in eastern
Islam reached al-Andalus with all the attending con-
sequences. Due to the ultra conservative posture of
Andalusians toward issues affecting religious belief and
practice, logic appears to have been condemned at the
outset by pietists, who were for a long time the guard-
ians of an unadulterated orthodoxy. This notwithstand-
ing, the free circulation of books from the East and
the frequent travel of scholars from al-Andalus to the
East and vice-versa were important factors in making
logic and other unpopular disciplines known to the
curious student. Under the circumstances, logic was
pursued in a clandestine manner in al-Andalus, and
had its early supporters prior to the time of Ibn Hazm
in the eleventh century.

Ibn Hazm received a broad education in both the
religious and secular sciences, and may be considered
one of the most erudite scholars of al-Andalus. He
was an enthusiastic defender of the sciences of the
Ancients ('ul2um al-awa'il), which comprised logic,
mathematics, astronomy, medicine, and other sciences.
He considered these not only noble and useful, but

This paper is an expanded version of some points dealt
with by the author in his forthcoming work, Ibn Hazm of
Cordova and His Conception of the Sciences.

2 See Rescher, Development and Studies; Madkour, Or-
ganon; El', s.v. Mantik; and von Grunebaum, Logic.

3Goldziher, Stellung; Nashshar, Mandhij, 181ff.; and
Rosenthal, Legacv, 75.

attempted to reconcile them within the framework of
the religious sciences.4 He also emphasized the value
of logic within the context of both the religious and
secular sciences, and was its staunch defender through-
out his career, even when he became devoted almost
wholly to the study of the religious disciplines. His
work on logic, Facilitating the Understanding of the
Rules of Logic and Introduction Thereto (al-TaqrTb
li-hudufd al-mantiq wa-madkhaluh), was written early
in his career, between 1025 and 1029.5 The work is not
only an apologia for logic, but a lucid treatment of
the subject with the declared intention of simplifying
it by using a new vocabulary and examples derived
from the religious law and every day experience. He
hoped, thereby, to make the discipline readily compre-
hensible to a large audience.6 It was this new approach,
perhaps, that led some of his Andalusian contempo-
raries to criticize Ibn Hazm and accuse him of deviat-
ing from Aristotelian logic and of dabbling in things
beyond his capability.7 This assessment was followed
uncritically by Eastern biographers,8 who appear to
have failed to consult Ibn Hazm's TaqrTb in order to

4 This point is discussed at great length in his Maratib al-
culum. See Chejne, Ibn Hazm.

In his Taqrnb, 200, Ibn Hazm states: "We composed this
book of ours and many others while we were in exile and far
away from homeland, family and offspring." This could not
have taken place during his first exile (1013-19). See his
Tawq, 251. All indications are that he stayed in Cordova
until the accession of al-Mustakfi (1023-25), who placed him
in jail and caused his expulsion later on. Ibn Hazm appears
to have returned to Cordova in about 1029 and remained
there until about 1035 when he was exiled for the third time,
never to return again.

6 See below, notes 88ff.

Mainly, Sacid, Tabaqat, 101; Ibn Hayyan as quoted by
Ibn Bassam, DhakhTrah, I:ii, 140; and Ibn Sa'cd, Mughrib, 1,
354. See below, notes 96ff.

8 Mainly, Yquit, Irshdd, V, 87; DhahabT, Sivar, 438, who
depended on Sagid and Ibn Hayyan. See below, notes 95ff.

Page 8

CHEJNE: Ibn Hazm of Cordova on Logic

of words (hudud al-kaldm), their structure, the formula-
tion of premises, and the drawing of conclusions on
which rests the proof that is always certain; nor will
he be able to discern between true and false prem-
ises."80

To Ibn Hazm, logic is measured by its high degree
of utility, since it has immediate and broad applica-
tions. However important and useful, the pursuit of
logic for its own sake would be a futile endeavor,
since logic is essentially a means to an end. "To those
who attain the fundamentals of logic and claim exper-
tise in it, we say, 'You have acquired a knowledge that
has no benefit except within the framework of the rest
of the sciences. You are like someone who gathered
materials for building but failed to use them for that
purpose, thus, leaving them idle and meaningless.'"8'
In other words, logic ought to be put into practice in
conformity with its true objective, that is, serving the
rest of the sciences.

Ibn Hazm also devotes considerable space to refut-
ing the arguments of the opponents of logic. The follow-
ing passages reveal his thinking. To the question that
the ancestors (salaf) did not cultivate, or have any
need for logic, Ibn Hazm retorts:

If an ignorant man were to ask us, "Did anyone among
the pious ancestors deal with this discipline?" the
answer will be that this science is imbedded in the
soul of anyone who possesses brains (luhh). The bright
intellect can arrive at the utility of this science in pro-
portion to the amount of understanding God has pro-
vided for him. The ignorant man is like a blind person
and you have to caution him. This is true for all the
sciences.82

He adds that the pious ancestors had the advantage
of witnessing prophecy with their own eyes, and were
able to reproduce the divine ordinances without mak-
ing any grammatical, lexical, or legal mistakes. How-
ever, after them when ignorance became rampant and
people began to make gross mistakes in grammar and
lexicography, the need for writing on these subjects
arose. The same can be said about the need for writing
books on logic, which was due mainly to the realization
of its importance in understanding God's utterances
and those of His Prophet, and to the attending con-
fusion of not being able to distinguish between false-
hood and the truth.

80
Ibid., 10.

81 Ibn Hazm, Maratih al-'ulIum, 89/246.
82 Ibn Hazm, TaqrTh, 3ff.

Despite such need, logic remained shrouded with
gross misunderstandings among the people, whom he
divides into four categories: 1) An uninformed group
that condemns books on logic maintaining that they
contain wrong belief and lead to heresy; they are people
who "judge before ascertaining, consent without knowl-
edge, and jump to conclusions without proofs."83 2) A
group that considers logic as frivolous and an idle
occupation; they belong to the majority of people who
are quick to oppose things they are ignorant of, and
denigrate what they do not know. 3) A group that
reads books on logic with preconceived ideas and
vested interests and with the pretense of knowing it all
when in reality they are completely ignorant. 4) An
intelligent and perceptive group that has a full under-
standing of logic and of its true objective; for them
logic is a true companion by means of which they
reaffirm God's unity, and perceive the division of
created things and God's impact on them.84

It is because of the calamities (baldayat) affecting the
first three groups of people that Ibn Hazm resolved to
compose his TaqrTb in simple language calling atten-
tion to the inestimable value of logic and to its pre-
eminent place among the sciences, hoping thereby to
facilitate the understanding of the discipline to people
of all walks of life. He considers it a duty to share and
disseminate that knowledge by all means possible,
through popularization, preaching in the streets and
to groups, financial support and rewards for those
who pursue and acquire the knowledge of logic.85

This notwithstanding, Ibn Hazm reflects that not
all people are capable of pursuing logic, which he
compares to a strong drug. If such a drug is taken by
a healthy and strong person, it will benefit him enor-
mously; but if taken by a sick and weak individual, it
will increase his malady and may even lead to death.86

All in all, Ibn Hazm's passionate plea for the impor-
tance of logic as a tool for establishing proof (burhan)
in secular and religious matters, coupled with his
defense of it against the onslaught of its opponents,
mainly the religious scholars, was born out of his deep
commitment to and familiarity with logic. This may
be attested by the following summary-analysis of his
TaqrTb.

83
Ibid., 6. Ibn Hazm reiterates the point in his Fisal, 11, 95

and his Tawqtf, 41.
84

Ibid., 6ff.
85

Ibid., 7.
86

Ibid., 9. His categorization of people according to their

ability is reiterated in his Tavwqtf, 36.

63

Page 9

Journal of the American Oriental Society 104.1 (1984)

A SUMMARY-ANALYSIS OF THE TAQRIB

The following paragraphs are intended to give a
general idea of the manner in which Ibn Hazm wrote
about logic, indicating his innovative approach within
the framework of Aristotelian logic and the works of
his Muslim predecessors in general. A summary-
analysis of his TaqrTh reveals that Ibn Hazm was a
logician to be reckoned with. In fact, logic appears to
permeate most of his works in that he often prefers to
use the Aristotelian syllogism over the dialectical
method of arguments and counter-arguments of the
theologians. This tendency appears early in his works,
indicating that the TaqrTb was composed at an early
stage of his career, probably by the time he composed
his literary masterpiece, the Tawq, and his literary
anthology, the Fadl al-Andalus, both of which were
written in all probability between 1025 and 1030.87
However, his reference to Fisal in his TaqrTh88 and to
the TaqrTb in his Fisal89 poses a problem of chronology
as to which one precedes the other. The Fisal, a large
composition consisting of a multiplicity of subjects,
may have been written over a long span of time, which
would explain such a cross reference.

In view of his passionate defense of logic and of his
many references to it in his major works,90 it is easy to
assume that logic had a strong impact on the formation
of his intellectual perspective. On the other hand, it is
difficult to determine the extent of the dissemination
of the TaqrTb and its possible impact on Arabic logic.
Although the majority of Ibn Hazm's biographers cite
the TaqrTh as one of his principal works, they often
denigrate it. An exception is al-HumaydT (d. 1095),
Ibn Hazm's pupil, who says: "Facilitating the Defini-
tion of Logic and Introduction Thereto is written in

popular language with juridical examples. He under-
took the task of elucidating [logic], eliminating mis-
conception about it, and refuting the lies of swindlers
concerning it. As far as we know, no one before him
had written such a work in this manner."91

On the other hand, his contemporary Sacid of
Toledo says that Ibn Hazm "concerned himself with
the science of logic, and composed a book on it which
he called Facilitating the Definition of Logic. He ex-

plained at length the manner of attaining knowledge

87 See above, note 5.
88

TaqrTh, 27, 65, 180, 202.
89 Fisal, I, 47; 111, 68, 90; V, 70.
90 See above, notes 9, 10, 11, 12.
9' Humaydi, Judhwah, no. 708.

and used extensive juridical examples drawn from the
religious law. He differed from Aristotle, the founder
of this science, with respect to some of the funda-
mentals of logic as someone who did not understand
Aristotle's aim, not having accepted his book. For this
reason, his book was full of mistakes."92 Another con-
temporary, the historian Ibn Hayyan (d. 1075), adds
that Ibn Hazm "has written many books on logic and
philosophy which are full of mistakes and rubbish.
This is so because of his audacity in delving into these
sciences, especially logic."93 These statements by two
of Ibn Hazm's contemporaries were incorporated
almost verbatim by Ibn Sa'Td al-MaghribT (d. 1274),94
and the eastern scholars Yaquit (d. 1229),9 QiftT
(d. 1248),96 Ibn Khallikan (d. 1282),97 and DhahabT
(d. 1348).98

This general antagonism to the work must be under-
stood within the context of Ibn Hazm's tense relation-
ship with many religious scholars whom he attacked
vehemently, and who in turn declared him a heretic
and frowned upon his works. It is clear that his biog-
raphers simply incorporated the statement of a con-
temporary without scrutiny and without having had
first hand information about the actual content and
purpose of the TaqrTb. Moreover, they failed to take
into account Ibn Hazm's commitment to and defense
of the philosophical sciences in general, and his insis-
tence on reconciling them with the religious sciences,
in particular. As a result, such a negative evaluation
remained uncontested for centuries, and has been cur-
rent even among modern scholars,99 some of whom
were to dismiss the value of the work and to attribute
to al-GhazzalT some of its innovative approach, namely,
popularizing the discipline and providing it with new
examples and a new terminology.'00 These notions,

92
Sc'id, Tabaqat, 101.

93 As quoted by Ibn Bassam, DhakhTrah, l:ii, 140.
94 Ibn Sac'd, Mughrih, I, 354.
95 Yaqut, Irshdd, V, 87.
96

QiftT, Td'rTkh, 232-233.
97 Ibn Khallikan, Wafaiat, III, 13-14.
98 DhahabT, Siyar, 438.
99 For instance, C. van Arendonk in El' under Ibn Hazm;

and Nashshar, Mandhij, 81.
'00 For instance, Madkour, Organon, 243; and Jabre, Certi-

tude, 108. Both of their works were written before the edition
of the TaqrTh. On the other hand, Asin Palacios, Abenhdzam,
1, 250, considers Ibn Hazm the precursor of al-Ghazzal,

although he suggests that Ibn Hazm may have modeled his

TaqriT on the works of Ibn Sina.

64

Page 16

CHEJNE: Ibn Hazm of Cordova on Logic

Moreover, Ibn Hazm complains not only about the

onslaught against logic, but about those who accused
him of heresy for having been an avid reader of the
books of the Ancients (kutub al-awadil),'65 and about
those who denigrated his works without having read
them.'66 This antagonism to the man and his works is
also reflected in the majority of his biographers, who

acknowledged his wide erudition. Under the circum-

stances, it is difficult to gauge the impact of his works
on succeeding generations. This notwithstanding, it is

significant to note that Ibn Hazm's conception of logic,
and his attempt to simplify and popularize it coincide

165 Ibn Hazm, Radd, 10.
166 Ibn Hazm, Fisal, II, 95.
167 See above, note 100. It should be added that the con-

nection between Ibn Hazm and al-Ghazzall cannot be ruled
out since al-Ghazzall himself acknowledges Ibn Hazm's au-

thority with respect to the beautiful names of God. See al-
GhazzalT, Maqsad, 126; Dhahabi, Siyar, 402. One may add
that Ibn Taymiyyah, Radd, 131-132, mentions Ibn Hazm's
involvement with logic.

168 Ibn Bajjah wrote among other things commentaries on
al-FarabT's commentaries on logic. See Brockelmann, GAL,
I, 460; Rescher, Development, 171ff.

169 The philosopher-physician Ibn Tufayl does not appear
to have written on logic. However, his Hayy Ibn Yaqzdn

with the work of the eastern theologian al-GhazzalT,
who attempted in his Mihakk and MiCyar to show not

only the utility of logic, but to make it accessible to a

large audience through simplification and the use of

examples drawn from the religious law.'67 Finally, Ibn
Hazm was a towering figure in an Andalusian context,
and a worthy predecessor of his compatriots-the

great philosophers Ibn Bajjah (d. 1138),168 Ibn Tufayl

(d. 1185),169 and Ibn Rushd (d. 1198)'7--who gave
the intellect and demonstrative reasoning a deserving

place in the search for truth.''

covers the whole intellectual process where the intellect plays
a most important role in perceiving the truth.

170 Ibn Rushd wrote commentaries on the Organon and the

Eisagoge, and other works bearing on logic. See Rescher,
Development, 177ff.

171 Among other Andalusians who concerned themselves
with logic may be cited: Abui-l-Salt (d. 1134) of Denia, author
of the TaqwTm on logic (see Rescher, Development, 167ff.);
Ibn Tumlis (d. 1223), author of the Madkhal, who lamented
the neglect of logic in al-Andalus, and defended it in language
similar to that used by Ibn Hazm. (See Rescher, Develop-
ment, 188ff.) and the mystic Ibn Sab'Cn (d. 1270). See
Rescher, Development, 201ff.

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