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Ibn Khaldun$
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Syed Farid Alatas

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780198090458

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198090458.001.0001

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Ibn Khaldun and the Science of Society

Ibn Khaldun and the Science of Society

(p.25) 2 Ibn Khaldun and the Science of Society
Ibn Khaldun

Syed Farid Alatas

Oxford University Press

Chapter 2 focuses on Ibn Khaldun’s ‘new science’. His approach was a positive rather than a normative one – the study of state and society as they are rather than as they should be. In this sense, he departed from the dominant pattern of writings on state and society. Ibn Khaldun’s rationale for developing a new field of science is based on his critique of the conventional historical science of his time. That critique of conventional history and his argument for a new science to overcome its shortcomings are explained in detail, with emphasis on the key methodological aspects of the new science and its main features.

Keywords:   Ibn Khaldun, ‘new science’, historical science, science of human society, ‘asabiyya

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