Free AIOU Solved Assignment Code 4670 Spring 2021

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Free AIOU Solved Assignment Code 4670 Spring 2021

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Course: Social Theory – II (4670)
Semester: Spring, 2021
Assignment No. 1

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Q.1   “Laws should be adapted” to the people for whom they are framed … to the nature and principle of each government, …. Make a critical analysis of this statement in the light of works of Montesquieu ‘The Spirit of the Laws’.                                                                                         

Montesquieu was one of the great political philosophers of the Enlightenment. Insatiably curious and mordantly funny, he constructed a naturalistic account of the various forms of government, and of the causes that made them what they were and that advanced or constrained their development. He used this account to explain how governments might be preserved from corruption. He saw despotism, in particular, as a standing danger for any government not already despotic, and argued that it could best be prevented by a system in which different bodies exercised legislative, executive, and judicial power, and in which all those bodies were bound by the rule of law.

The Persian Letters is an epistolary novel consisting of letters sent to and from two fictional Persians, Usbek and Rica, who set out for Europe in 1711 and remain there at least until 1720, when the novel ends. When Montesquieu wrote the Persian Letters, travellers’ accounts of their journeys to hitherto unknown parts of the world, and of the peculiar customs they found there, were very popular in Europe. While Montesquieu was not the first writer to try to imagine how European culture might look to travellers from non-European countries, he used that device with particular brilliance.

Many of the letters are brief descriptions of scenes or characters. At first their humor derives mostly from the fact that Usbek and Rica misinterpret what they see. Thus, for instance, Rica writes that the Pope is a magician who can “make the king believe that three are only one, or else that the bread one eats is not bread, or that the wine one drinks is not wine, and a thousand other things of the same kind” (Letter 24); when Rica goes to the theater, he concludes that the spectators he sees in private boxes are actors enacting dramatic tableaux for the entertainment of the audience. In later letters, Usbek and Rica no longer misinterpret what they see; however, they find the actions of Europeans no less incomprehensible. They describe people who are so consumed by vanity that they become ridiculous, scholars whose concern for the minutiae of texts blinds them to the world around them, and a scientist who nearly freezes to death because lighting a fire in his room would interfere with his attempt to obtain exact measurements of its temperature.

Interspersed among these descriptive letters are the Persians’ reflections on what they see. Usbek is particularly given to such musings, and he shares many of Montesquieu’s own preoccupations: with the contrast between European and non-European societies, the advantages and disadvantages of different systems of government, the nature of political authority, and the proper role of law. He also seems to share many of Montesquieu’s views. The best government, he says, is that “which attains its purpose with the least trouble”, and “controls men in the manner best adapted to their inclinations and desires” (Letter 80). He notes that the French are moved by a love of honor to obey their king, and quotes approvingly the claim that this “makes a Frenchman, willingly and with pleasure, do things that your Sultan can only get out of his subjects by ceaseless exhortation with rewards and punishments” (Letter 89). While he is vividly aware of the importance of just laws, he regards legal reform as a dangerous task to be attempted “only in fear and trembling” (Letter 129). He favors religious toleration, and regards attempts to compel religious belief as both unwise and inhumane. In these reflections Usbek seems to be a thoughtful and enlightened observer with a deep commitment to justice.

However, one of the great themes of the Persian Letters is the virtual impossibility of self-knowledge, and Usbek is its most fully realized illustration. Usbek has left behind a harem in Persia, in which his wives are kept prisoner by eunuchs who are among his slaves. Both his wives and his slaves can be beaten, mutilated, or killed at his command, as can any outsider unfortunate enough to lay eyes on them. Usbek is, in other words, a despot in his home. From the outset he is tortured by the thought of his wives’ infidelity. It is not, he writes, that he loves his wives, but that “from my very lack of feeling has come a secret jealousy which is devouring me” (Letter 6). As time goes on problems develop in the seraglio: Usbek’s wives feud with each other, and the eunuchs find it increasingly difficult to keep order. Eventually discipline breaks down altogether; the Chief Eunuch reports this to Usbek and then abruptly dies. His replacement is clearly obedient not to Usbek but to his wives: he contrives not to receive any of Usbek’s letters, and when a young man is found in the seraglio he writes: “I got up, examined the matter, and found that it was a vision” (Letter 149). Usbek orders another eunuch to restore order: “leave pity and tenderness behind. … Make my seraglio what it was when I left it; but begin by expiation: exterminate the criminals, and strike dread into those who contemplated becoming so. There is nothing that you cannot hope to receive from your master for such an outstanding service” (Letter 153). His orders are obeyed, and “horror, darkness, and dread rule the seraglio” (Letter 156). Finally, Roxana, Usbek’s favorite wife and the only one whose virtue he trusted, is found with another man; her lover is killed, and she commits suicide after writing Usbek a scathing letter in which she asks: “How could you have thought me credulous enough to imagine that I was in the world only in order to worship your caprices? that while you allowed yourself everything, you had the right to thwart all my desires? No: I may have lived in servitude, but I have always been free. I have amended your laws according to the laws of nature, and my mind has always remained independent” (Letter 161). With this letter the novel ends.

The Persian Letters is both one of the funniest books written by a major philosopher, and one of the bleakest. It presents both virtue and self-knowledge as almost unattainable. Almost all the Europeans in the Persian Letters are ridiculous; most of those who are not appear only to serve as a mouthpiece for Montesquieu’s own views. Rica is amiable and good-natured, but this is largely due to the fact that, since he has no responsibilities, his virtue has never been seriously tested. For all Usbek’s apparent enlightenment and humanity, he turns out to be a monster whose cruelty does not bring him happiness, as he himself recognizes even as he decides to inflict it. His eunuchs, unable to hope for either freedom or happiness, learn to enjoy tormenting their charges, and his wives, for the most part, profess love while plotting intrigues. The only admirable character in the novel is Roxana, but the social institutions of Persia make her life intolerable: she is separated from the man she loves and forced to live in slavery. Her suicide is presented as a noble act, but also as an indictment of the despotic institutions that make it necessary.

AIOU Solved Assignment Code 4670 Spring 2021

Q.2   Montesquieu had justified slavery in two types of countries. Elaborate the reason on the basis of which he justified slavery.                                                                                         

Montesquieu is among the greatest philosophers of liberalism, but his is what Shklar has called “a liberalism of fear” (Shklar, Montesquieu, p. 89). According to Montesquieu, political liberty is “a tranquillity of mind arising from the opinion each person has of his safety” (SL 11.6). Liberty is not the freedom to do whatever we want: if we have the freedom to harm others, for instance, others will also have the freedom to harm us, and we will have no confidence in our own safety. Liberty involves living under laws that protect us from harm while leaving us free to do as much as possible, and that enable us to feel the greatest possible confidence that if we obey those laws, the power of the state will not be directed against us.

If it is to provide its citizens with the greatest possible liberty, a government must have certain features. First, since “constant experience shows us that every man invested with power is apt to abuse it … it is necessary from the very nature of things that power should be a check to power” (SL 11.4). This is achieved through the separation of the executive, legislative, and judicial powers of government. If different persons or bodies exercise these powers, then each can check the others if they try to abuse their powers. But if one person or body holds several or all of these powers, then nothing prevents that person or body from acting tyrannically; and the people will have no confidence in their own security.

Certain arrangements make it easier for the three powers to check one another. Montesquieu argues that the legislative power alone should have the power to tax, since it can then deprive the executive of funding if the latter attempts to impose its will arbitrarily. Likewise, the executive power should have the right to veto acts of the legislature, and the legislature should be composed of two houses, each of which can prevent acts of the other from becoming law. The judiciary should be independent of both the legislature and the executive, and should restrict itself to applying the laws to particular cases in a fixed and consistent manner, so that “the judicial power, so terrible to mankind, … becomes, as it were, invisible”, and people “fear the office, but not the magistrate” (SL 11.6).

Liberty also requires that the laws concern only threats to public order and security, since such laws will protect us from harm while leaving us free to do as many other things as possible. Thus, for instance, the laws should not concern offenses against God, since He does not require their protection. They should not prohibit what they do not need to prohibit: “all punishment which is not derived from necessity is tyrannical. The law is not a mere act of power; things in their own nature indifferent are not within its province” (SL 19.14). The laws should be constructed to make it as easy as possible for citizens to protect themselves from punishment by not committing crimes. They should not be vague, since if they were, we might never be sure whether or not some particular action was a crime. Nor should they prohibit things we might do inadvertently, like bumping into a statue of the emperor, or involuntarily, like doubting the wisdom of one of his decrees; if such actions were crimes, no amount of effort to abide by the laws of our country would justify confidence that we would succeed, and therefore we could never feel safe from criminal prosecution. Finally, the laws should make it as easy as possible for an innocent person to prove his or her innocence. They should concern outward conduct, not (for instance) our thoughts and dreams, since while we can try to prove that we did not perform some action, we cannot prove that we never had some thought. The laws should not criminalize conduct that is inherently hard to prove, like witchcraft; and lawmakers should be cautious when dealing with crimes like sodomy, which are typically not carried out in the presence of several witnesses, lest they “open a very wide door to calumny” (SL 12.6). Montesquieu’s emphasis on the connection between liberty and the details of the criminal law were unusual among his contemporaries, and inspired such later legal reformers as Cesare Beccaria.

AIOU Solved Assignment 1 Code 4670 Spring 2021

Q.3   What do you know about Mill’s philosophy of language and logic? Explain in detail.                

John Stuart Mill (1806–73) was the most influential English language philosopher of the nineteenth century. He was a naturalist, a utilitarian, and a liberal, whose work explores the consequences of a thoroughgoing empiricist outlook. In doing so, he sought to combine the best of eighteenth-century Enlightenment thinking with newly emerging currents of nineteenth-century Romantic and historical philosophy.

Though Mill holds that basic human thought is possible without language, “in complicated cases [it] can take place in no other way” (System, VII: 19). As such, a study of human beings’ theoretical engagement with the world demands clarity on this “fundamental instrument of thought” (System, VIII: 663; see also Losonsky 2006: 119–28). Mill’s account of language turns upon a distinction between the denotation and connotation of a word. Words denote the objects which they are true of; they connote specific attributes of those objects. The word “man”, for instance, denotes, or is true of, all men—“Peter, Paul, John, and an indefinite number of other individuals” (System, VII: 31). But it connotes the attributes in virtue of which the word “man” applies to these individuals—“corporeity, animal life, rationality, and a certain external form, which for distinction we call the human” (System, VII: 31). Connotation determines denotation in the following sense: to know the connotation of a word is to know the necessary and sufficient conditions to determine whether a given object is denoted by that word.

Not all words have connotation. Mill notes that words can be singular or general. “Cicero” is a singular name—applying to only one object, namely Cicero. “Roman” is, by contrast, a general name—applying to many objects, including Cicero but also Augustus, Nero, and many others. While “all concrete general names are connotative” (System, VII: 32)—signaling the attributes which justify our application of the name to individual objects—the same cannot be said of singular names. To be sure, some singular names are connotative—“the author of De Re Publica” is, as we would say, a definite description, and picks out one individual by way of signaling its attributes—but not all are. The name “Cicero” does not connote any attributes at all—but is a proper name, and serves simply as a marker for that individual (Schwartz 2014).[1]

The analysis affords a simple means of determining the meaning of a vast range of simple propositions—those portions of discourse “in which one predicate is affirmed or denied of one subject” by way of a copula such as is, or is not (System, VII: 81)—and their composition into more complex linguistic entities (Skorupski 1989: 178–92). The proposition S is P can be understood, in the case that P is a connoting term, as the claim that the object denoted by S has the attribute connoted by P. “The summit of Chimborazo is white” asserts a fact about the world—that the object denoted by the name “the summit of Chimborazo” has the attribute connoted by the name “white” (System, VII: 97). The proposition S is P, where P is a non-connoting term, can be understood as the claim that the object denoted by S is the same object as that denoted by P. “Tully is Cicero” asserts merely a fact about those names—that the name “Tully” is used to refer to the same object as the name “Cicero”.

The difference is key. We learn nothing about the world when we learn that “Tully is Cicero” is true—this proposition does not convey a fact about how things are, but rather about our own linguistic conventions of naming (System, VII: 110). The proposition is, in Mill’s terminology, merely verbal. Such propositions are key to understanding the uninformative nature of a priori propositions and a priori reasoning. Mill, quite rightly, does not make the claim that a priori propositions such as “every man is a living creature” are, like “Tully is Cicero”, assertions merely about our own conventions of naming. But he does argue that such propositions share the feature of conveying no genuine information about the world. For the connotation of “man”—the attributes it signals—includes the connotation of “living creature”. Someone who already knows the meaning of the term “man” is not told anything about how the world is when told that “every man is a living creature” (Kroon 2017: 214–6).

Deductive or a priori reasoning, Mill thinks, is similarly empty. Predating the revolution in logic that the late nineteenth-century ushered in, Mill thinks of deductive reasoning primarily in terms of the syllogism. Syllogistic reasoning, he argues can elicit no new truths about how the world is: “nothing ever was, or can be proved by syllogism which was not known, or assumed to be known, before” (System, VII: 183).

Premise 1: All men are mortal,

Premise 2: Socrates is a man,

Conclusion: Socrates is mortal.

In standard syllogistic inferences, he argues, for arguments to be valid, the conclusion must already have been asserted in the premises. By way of example, in the above argument, the conclusion must already have been asserted in the Premise 1—the proposition that all men are mortal must be said to include the proposition that Socrates is mortal if the argument is to be valid. No new knowledge is therefore acquired in reasoning from premises to conclusion. The claim is perhaps more difficult to support than Mill appreciates, depending, as it does, upon equating of the meaning of a universal statement with the meaning of a conjunction of singular statement (Fumerton 2017: 200). Nevertheless, Mill’s argument that we can learn nothing about the world by reflecting on our language dovetails neatly with his naturalistic claim that all genuine cognitive advancement must take place by observation.


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The suggestion that deductive reasoning cannot lead us to any new knowledge prompts two questions. Firstly, if not the advancement of knowledge, what is the function of syllogistic reasoning? And, secondly, what are we to say about apparently deductive reasoning which manifestly does lead us to new knowledge? To the first question, Mill answers that syllogistic reasoning allows us “test” our commitment to general propositions (System, VII: 196). In making arguments such as the one above, we cannot acquire new knowledge: for no facts beyond those which are in the premises are present in the conclusion. But the implications of holding a general premise are more clearly displayed by the syllogistic reasoning, and this, in certain instances, may cause us to re-evaluate our commitment to that premise. To the second question, Mill holds that where we do gain genuinely new knowledge—in cases of mathematics and geometry, for instance—we must, at some level, be reasoning inductively. Mill, that is to say, attempts to account for the genuine informativeness of mathematical and geometric reasoning by denying that they are in any real sense a priori.

AIOU Solved Assignment 2 Code 4670 Spring 2021

Q.4   Discuss in detail ‘Relativity of Human Knowledge;’ as has been described by Mill.

Our theoretical engagement with the world is always mediated by our conditioning faculties—and as such our representations of the world are always representations of what the world is like for beings such as ourselves.

Mill calls this insight “one of great weight and significance, which impresses a character on the whole mode of philosophical thinking of whoever receives it”. The doctrine ultimately pushes Mill towards Idealism. One might hold that, though we are only familiar in experience with mental impressions, we can nevertheless infer the existence of non-mental objects lying behind such mental objects. But such an inference could not be supported within experience by enumerative induction—no non-mental objects are ever observed behind mental objects—but only by a hypothesis to some unobserved entity. As was noted above, however, Mill rejects the method of hypothesis as an autonomous form of reasoning—no such inference to unobserved non-mental objects could for him be valid. Mill is forced towards the conclusion that we can have no warrant for believing in non-mental entities.

All that can be established inductively is that a certain class of objects of sensation are stable—that they can be returned to, after durations in which they go unperceived. Such, Mill thinks, is the true content of our notion of the external world.

Matter, then, may be defined, a Permanent Possibility of Sensation. If I am asked, whether I believe in matter, I ask whether the questioner accepts this definition of it. If he does, I believe in matter: and so do all Berkeleians. In any other sense than this, I do not.

The idea of an external world is not present in the content of experience. Rather, our idea of externality is derived from the recognition that certain sensations can be revisited: that

though I have ceased to see it […] I believe that when I again place myself in the circumstances in which I had those sensations […] I shall again have them; and further, that there is no intervening moment at which this would not have been the case.

Our idea of matter is exhausted by the idea of something which exists when we are not thinking of it; which existed before we had ever thought and would exist if we were annihilated. But matter, so conceived, is not “intrinsically distinct” from sensation itself.  Mill’s claim about the relativity of knowledge extends to our knowledge of mind itself.

[O]ur knowledge of mind, like that of matter, is entirely relative […] We have no conception of Mind itself, as distinguished from its conscious manifestations.

We know our own self, Mill claims, only as it phenomenally appears to us—and we know of other selves only by inference from our own case. Mill rejects the “common theory of Mind, as a so-called substance” (Examination, IX: 206). But he also resists the total reduction of mind to the existence of sensations—or even to the existence of possible sensations—on the grounds that there remains a unity to apperception. As he points out, a reduction of self to sensations cannot be wholly satisfactory, because a sense of the self enters into many sensations as a constituent part. When I recall a memory, for instance, the sensation is of a memory which has as part of its content that it is my memory.

If, therefore, we speak of the Mind as a series of feelings, we are obliged to complete the statement by calling it a series of feelings which is aware of itself as past and future; and we are reduced to the alternative of believing that the Mind, or Ego, is something different from any series of feelings, or possibilities of them, or of accepting the paradox, that something which ex hypothesi is but a series of feelings, can be aware of itself as a series.

On the surface, Mill’s motivations towards idealism is epistemic—that we can never experience unmediated non-mental objects, and so cannot be warranted in believing in their existence. But the argument goes deeper, suggesting that we cannot even imagine what it would be to believe in the existence of non-mental objects. “[E]ven an imaginary object is but a conception, such as we are able to form, of something which would affect our senses” Indeed, Mill at times suggests a semantic version of the argument, which would establish that the very meaning of our words—determined, as they are, by experience—obstructs us from referring to anything beyond experience.

It would, no doubt, be absurd to assume that our words exhaust the possibilities of Being. There may be innumerable modes of it which are inaccessible to our faculties, and which consequently we are unable to name. But we ought not to speak of these modes of Being by any of the names we possess. These are all inapplicable, because they all stand for known modes of Being. Its bears emphasis that Mill’s argument about the limits of human cognition does not depend on our current state of scientific knowledge—or indeed upon the particular sense faculties we possess. Even if we had extra sense faculties or could come to perceive in new ways, he notes, all knowledge that would still be “merely phaenomenal” Cognition, in any sentient creature must be mediated by some method of cognising—and if even if we came to possess new ways of cognizing the world, “[w]e should not, any more than at present, know things as they are in themselves”. Indeed, to say even that “the Creator” knows things as they are in themselves is to commit a confusion.

AIOU Solved Assignment Code 4670 Autumn 2021

Q.5   How Ibn Khaldun has differentiated different regions of the world on the basis of abundance and scarcity of food? Explain in detail.

Human activities contribute to climate change by causing changes in Earth’s atmosphere in the amounts of greenhouse gases, aerosols (small particles), and cloudiness. The largest known contribution comes from the burning of fossil fuels, which releases carbon dioxide gas to the atmosphere.

Greenhouse gases and aerosols affect climate by altering incoming solar radiation and out-going infrared (thermal) radiation that are part of Earth’s energy balance. Changing the atmospheric abundance or properties of these gases and particles can lead to a warming or cooling of the climate system.

Since the start of the industrial era (about 1750), the overall effect of human activities on climate has been a warming influence. The human impact on climate during this era greatly exceeds that due to known changes in natural processes, such as solar changes and volcanic eruptions.

People’s personalities may be shaped by the temperatures of the places in which they grew up, a new study suggests. This could mean that as climate change influences temperatures around the globe, shifts in personality may follow.

The idea that someone’s personality may be affected by where that person lives is not new: Previous research has suggested that many aspects of human personality vary from one geographical region to another, according to the new study. But the causes of these personality differences have remained unclear.

One potential explanation is temperature, according to senior author Lei Wang, a social and cultural psychologist at Peking University in Beijing, and his colleagues. Because temperatures vary markedly across the world, the study authors reasoned that this factor might shape personality by influencing people’s habits. For instance, temperature might have an impact on whether people like exploring their surroundings, interacting with others, trying new activities or engaging in collective outdoor work such as farming.

But instead of simply looking at whether people grew up in hot or cold climates, the researchers took a more nuanced approach, looking at whether people grew up in milder climates, where temperatures are closer to about 71 degrees Fahrenheit (22 degrees Celsius), or if they lived in places with more extreme temperatures.

In the new paper, the researchers conducted two separate studies within two large, yet culturally distinct countries — China and the United States. By looking at data from these two countries, the researchers hoped to eliminate confounding effects from other factors — such as cultural or economic differences —that might also have influenced the subjects’ personality.

The scientists analyzed data from more than 5,500 people from 59 Chinese cities and data from about 1.66 million people from about 12,500 ZIP codes in the United States. They examined data from personality questionnaires as well as the average temperatures of places where those people grew up.

The scientists discovered that the people who grew up in climates with milder temperatures were generally more agreeable, conscientious, emotionally stable, extroverted and open to new experiences. These findings held true for people in both countries, despite gender, age and average income.

It’s possible that mild temperatures can influence personality by encouraging social interactions and supporting a wider range of activities, the researchers said.

These new findings do not suggest that climate was the sole factor that shaped a person’s destiny, said Evert Van de Vliert, a cross-cultural psychologist at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, who was not involved in the new study.

“I would caution … against thinking that our ancestors, and we ourselves of course, are passive products of where we live,” Van de Vliert told Live Science. “By intelligently and actively using property and money, humans can and do create their own identity and destiny in harsher climates.”

Indeed, the study found that despite living in climates that are similarly harsh, people in certain Chinese regions differ, personality-wise, from people living in northern states in the U.S., suggesting that other factors aside from temperature play a role, Van de Vliert said.

For example, in China, where people are relatively poor compared with those living in the United States, those “who live in the harsher climates of Heilongjiang, Xinjiang and Shandong have a more collectivist personality than their compatriots living in the more temperate climates of Sichuan, Guangdong and Fujian,” Van de Vliert said.

In contrast, in the United States, those “who live in the harsher climates of North and South Dakota, Montana and Minnesota have a more individualist personality than their compatriots in the more temperate climates of Hawaii, Louisiana, California and Florida,” he said.

Van de Vliert noted that questions about potential links between personality and geographical regions have often led to controversy. For example, by suggesting that climate essentially controls a person’s destiny, some researchers “have put forward self-serving claims about the intellectual superiority of some races and the inferiority of others,” he said. Such claims have led others to avoid “research into climatic influences on people,” he said.

The authors of the study said that more research is still needed to understand the potential effects of temperature on personality. However, the researchers noted that “as climate change continues across the world, we may also observe [associated] changes in human personality. Of course, questions about the size and extent of these changes await future investigation.”

Ibn Khaldūn was born in Tunis in 1332; the Khaldūniyyah quarter in Tunis still stands almost unchanged and, in it, the house where he is believed to have been born.

As Ibn Khaldūn relates in his autobiography (Al-taʿrīf bi Ibn Khaldūn), the family claimed descent from Khaldūn, who was of South Arabian stock, and had come to Spain in the early years of the Arab conquest and settled in Carmona. The family subsequently moved to Sevilla (Seville), played an important part in the civil wars of the 9th century, and was long reckoned among the three leading houses of that city. In the course of the next four centuries, the Ibn Khaldūns successively held high administrative and political posts under the UmayyadAlmoravid, and Almohad dynasties; other members of the family served in the army, and several were killed at the Battle of Al-Zallāqah (1086), which temporarily halted the Christian reconquest of Spain. But the respite thus won proved short, and in 1248, just before the fall of Sevilla and Córdoba, the Ibn Khaldūns and many of their countrymen judged it prudent to cross the Straits of Gibraltar and landed at Sabtah (now Ceuta, a Spanish exclave), on the northern coast of Morocco.

In 1349, however, the Black Death struck Tunis and took away both his father and his mother.

Ibn Khaldūn gives a detailed account of his education, listing the main books he read and describing the life and works of his teachers. He memorized the Qurʾān, studied its principal commentaries, gained a good grounding in Muslim law, familiarized himself with the masterpieces of Arabic literature, and acquired a clear and forceful style and a capacity for writing fluent verse that was to serve him well in later life when addressing eulogistic or supplicatory poems to various rulers. Striking by their absence are books on philosophy, history, geography, or other social sciences; this does not mean that he did not study these subjects—scholars know that he wrote summaries of several books by the 12th-century Arab philosopher Averroës—but it is to be presumed that Ibn Khaldūn acquired most of his very impressive knowledge in these fields after he had completed his formal education.

This came at age 20, when he was given a post at the court of Tunis, followed three years later by a secretaryship to the sultan of Morocco in Fez (Fès). By then he was married. After two years of service, however, he was suspected of participation in a rebellion and was imprisoned. Released after nearly two years and promoted by a new ruler, he again fell into disfavour, decided to leave Morocco, and crossed over to Granada, for whose Muslim ruler he had done some service in Fez and whose prime minister, the brilliant writer Ibn al-Khaṭīb, was a good friend. Ibn Khaldūn was then 32 years old.

The following year Ibn Khaldūn was sent to Sevilla to conclude a peace treaty with Pedro I of Castile. There he saw “the monuments of my ancestors.” Pedro “treated me with the utmost generosity, expressed his satisfaction at my presence and showed awareness of the preeminence of our ancestors in Sevilla.” Pedro even offered him a post in his service, promising to restore his ancestral estates, but Ibn Khaldūn politely declined. He gladly accepted the village that the sultan of Granada bestowed on him, however, and, feeling once more secure, brought over his family, whom he had left in safety in Constantine. But, to quote him once more, “enemies and intriguers” turned the all-powerful prime minister, Ibn al-Khaṭīb, against him and raised suspicions regarding his loyalty; it can be conjectured that the task of these enemies must have been greatly facilitated by the apparent jealousy between the two most brilliant Arab intellectuals of the age. Once more, Ibn Khaldūn found it necessary to take his leave, and he returned to Africa. The following 10 years saw him change employers and employment with disconcerting rapidity and move from Bejaïa (Bougie) to Tilimsān (Tlemcen), Biskra, Fez, and once more to Granada, where he made an unsuccessful effort to save his old rival and friend, Ibn al-Khaṭīb, from being killed by order of its ruler.

During this period Ibn Khaldūn served as prime minister and in several other administrative capacities, led a punitive expedition, was robbed and stripped by nomads, and spent some time “studying and teaching.” This extreme mobility is partly explained by the instability of the times. The Almohad Empire, which had embraced the whole of North Africa and Muslim Spain, had broken down in the middle of the 13th century, and the convulsive process from which Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia were subsequently to emerge was under way; wars, rebellions, and intrigues were endemic, and no man’s life or employment was secure. But in Ibn Khaldūn’s case two additional factors might be suspected—a certain restlessness and a capacity to make enemies, which may account for his constant complaints about the “intriguers” who turned his employers against him.

 

        

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