Enumeration of the Sciences

Alfarabi: The Political Writings. Trans. Charles Butterworth. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2001.


“1. Political science investigates the sorts of voluntary actions and ways of life; the dispositions, moral habits, inclination, and states of character from which those actions and ways of ife come about; the goals for the sake of which they are performed; how they ought to exist in a human being; how to order them in him according to the manner they ought to exist in him; and the way to preserve them for him.

It distinguishes the goals for the sake of which the actions are performed and the ways of life practiced.

It explains that some of them are truly happiness and that some are presumed to be happiness without being so and that it is not possible for the one which is truly happiness to come to be in this life, but rather in a life after this one, which is the next life, whereas what is presumed to be happiness – life affluence, honor, and pleasures – is what is set down as goals only for this life.”

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