Keywords: Islamic civilization,classification of science,philosophers,religious scholars,mathematics



The classification of the sciences is an issue which has been dealt by many thinkers starting from ancient times. The first systematic classi- fication is the classification of Aristotle (384-322 BC) and has influ- enced the subsequent classification of sciences. The works of the clas- sification of the sciences in the Islamic world have begun to be written in order to reveal the relationship between the philosophical sciences which have been transferred to Arabic by translation recently and the religious sciences. There are two different approaches which philoso- phers and religious scholars adopt for the classification of science in Islamic thought. According to the first approach; true knowledge is philosophical knowledge and religious knowledge is a branch of op- erative philosophy. According to the second approach; revelation is the highest truth, and philosophical sciences are common knowledge reached by the human mind. In this article, unlike the literature, the position of mathematics in the works of classification of the sciences written in the Islamic world has been examined. In the study, selec- tion of sampling has been made among the works of science classi- fication in the Islamic world, taking into consideration the power of representation and influence. Fârâbî and İbn Sînâ have been chosen to represent the philosophers; Harism and Ibn Khaldun have been cho- sen to represent the scholars. Taşköprîzâde has also been included in the study since he made a successful synthesis of the two classification traditions, although he originally belongs to the classification tradition of scholars. It has been contented with giving brief information about the other works of classification of science. In the Islamic world; It is seen that the sciences such as logic, philosophy, mysticism and history are counted among the sciences in some classifications and not count- ed in others. However, in all the classifications made by both philos- ophers and religious scholars, mathematics has been included in the category of sciences. Since ancient times, it has been seen that there is a consensus that mathematics is a science. The position of mathemat- ics is generally under the headings of philosophical sciences, wisdom sciences, theoretical sciences. It has been seen that only some of the practical subjects of mathematics have been included in operational sciences. The branches of mathematics have been generally classified as arithmetic, geometry, astronomy and music, as in the ancient Greek classification tradition. The category of being has been effective in the ranking of mathematics among sciences. Such a ranking is not related to the degree of significance of the sciences but related to the rela- tionship of the sciences to the substance. Accordingly, mathematics is in the middle science category because it can be abstracted from the matter in the mind, but it cannot be abstracted from the matter in the outside world. No significant difference has been seen in the way philosophers and religious scholars handled mathematics as a science. Both philosophers and scholars have seen mathematics as useful and necessary.