The Relationship Between Ilm-i Hiyel and Algebra
Keywords: History of Islamic science,Islamic mathematics,ilm-i hiyel (technology),algebra and reduction (mukabele),Farabî
When an investigation is made in Ancient Greece over the concept of ilm-i hiyel, the terms of tekhné and episteme are obtained. Tekhné, which traveled with the episteme until Plato's time, means knowing something like episteme in the broadest sense. They mean to know something like the back of their hand and to have a say on something. Knowing is a way of revealing something. Aristotle makes a definite distinction between episteme and tekhné concepts according to what they reveal and how. Tekhné is not to manufacture, but to bring it into existence by revealing something. Thus, the tekhné is a form of disclosure. When we consider that Tekhné is a mental quality and means bringing into existence by revealing something, we understand that the concept of tekhné includes the activity of making art as well as technical knowledge and skill. Plato divides technical knowledge (tekhné) into theoretical and experimental knowledge. According to him, technology is the replication of the entity, and it cannot be reali- zed independently of the ideal.
In the Encyclopedia of Islam the word hiyel is the plural form of trick (hile), which has not only positive meanings like talent, solution and method but also negative meanings like trick and deceptionin Arabic. Trick or the term trick is mentioned as the word precaution and described as practical part of mathematical sciences in İhsân'ül-Ulum which was written by Farabî, one of the first Works on classification in Islamic World. While ilm-i hiyel (technology) was initially considered as a sub-branch of mathematics, it was limited to the knowledge of machinery and engineering from the 10th century onwards as was positioned as a separate brunch of science outside mathematics. The science of algebra is one of the most important fields of mathematics that has been known science Mesopotamians but has had a new perspective with Muslim mathematicians. One of the two important steps of Muslim mathematicians in the development of algebra; they used Indian number system and they expanded the scope of the definition of the numbers, allowing irrational numbers to be treated as rational numbers through algebra and reduction (mukabele).
In this article, firstly historical backgrounds of ilm-i hiyel and algebra will be given, and then the reliationship between ilm-i hiyel and algebra will be tried to be revealed through irrational number problem.