The purpose of this book is to present, in as brief and systematic a way, the whole philosophy of Alfarabi and the influence it exerted on Medieval Thought. My efforts in this field were prompted by a sincere desire to render service to philosophy and to those who are fond of philosophy. Therefore, in outlining Alfarabi's Philosophy I shall bring out, as far as possible, the elements it has in common with Scholasticism.
My efforts will have been amply rewarded if the study of this book enables the reader to find through its pages two facts: first, that Alfarabi was well acquainted with Greek philosophy; so well acquainted, in fact, that he was able, through diligent study, to perfect some of its old theories and work out new ones. Second, that the Schoolmen borrowed from him a great amount of material which hitherto has been regarded by many as a product of their speculation, while in reality it is not. In all justice to Alfarabi and other Arabian thinkers, we should candidly admit that Christian philosophy owes a great deal to them.
It is good for the reader to know that in writing this book, I used the Arabic works of Alfarabi. I read them with care, and when anything attracted my attention, I tried to examine it closely.
My heartfelt thanks are due to my many friends for their kind encouragement and valuable suggestions. To Father Arnold Rodriguez, O. F. M., of St. Francis Cathedral, Santa Fe, I am especially indebted for his kindness in editing and typing this manuscript.
Tucumcari, New Mexico
August 10, 1946