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Ibn Khaldun and Hegel on Causality in History: Aristotelian Legacy Reconsidered

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There have been several attempts to identify the 'four causes' of history in Ibn Khaldun and Hegel. These attempts have been inspired by the presupposition that both Ibn Khaldun and Hegel are basically Aristotelian in their outlook, and that Aristotle's four causes, which, for him, pertained to physics and metaphysics, were simply extended to the domain of history by Ibn Khaldun and Hegel. However, it is the main thesis of this study that Ibn Khaldun's and Hegel's approaches to causality cannot be reduced to a mechanical application of Aristotelian doctrine and that in developing their philosophies of history, both Ibn Khaldun and Hegel transformed the Aristotelian doctrine of the four basic causes. Their transformations of this doctrine were so profound that it is an oversimplification and a distortion to simply impose the Aristotelian scheme on their systems.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Philosophy, Fatih University


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