Ladder of Light to the true sciences
About the Instructor
Mustafa Styer is project head of Living Insights Foundation for Education (LIFE). He is an educationalist with QTS, Ma (University of London, Institute of Education in Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment), DPhil (Oxon, in Theology, pending), and experience as head-teacher, curriculum coordinator, curriculum developer, and teacher trainer. He is part of Tabah Foundation's Classifications of the Science project. He has studied the traditional arts and sciences for over fifteen years (ongoing) and is certified to teach traditional logic.
Background and context to this course
This course will teach traditional logic in English in an interactive manner aiming to convey confidence in application of logic in simple settings. It will treat logic as one of the liberal arts and trivium and a means for assessing arguments, analysing texts, and producing and ordering knowledge. It will re-position logic within the modern context, but also in the sophisticated discussions of classical Islam rather than in a defensive reformer discourse. A balanced view of logic will be presented which holds that it provide the rules for the unique human faculty by which mankind was worthy of religious obligation: the intellect. However, it acknowledges some scholars stated that holding logic to be the only means to knowledge effectively blocks the higher faculty of the spirit (ruh).
In this context, this text will be taught as a introduction to the science of logic and as a key to further study of commentaries on the Isaghuji, Tahdhib, and Shamsiyya which contain the further tools for applying logic in sophisticated scientific and metaphysical contexts needed to operationalise and take classical disciplines off the shelf and make them a reality and move beyond scientism and nominalism. The course will introduce how the traditional science of logic clarifies misnomers such as distinctions between fact and theory and subject and objective taught in modern education.
This course is designed to empower parents and mature students to operate the classical disciplines in English or to pave the way to seekers of knowledge, especially those who wish to translate classical Islamic knowledge into English, for instance to refute New Atheism and atheism whose arguments are in fact full of logical fallacies or reach out to English audiences.
This core skills of introductory, traditional logic are the method of forming definitions and assembling (or analysing) valid arguments. In addition to teaching these, this course will explain the link between terms and concepts from a realist—as opposed to nominalist or scientistic reductivist—perspective. The traditional understanding of abstraction which explains the relation between particulars and universals—the so-called 'problem of universals'—will be used to clarify this point.
Future courses will go further into material logic (including epistemology and necessary metaphysics for handling questions in the subject disciplines) and the role of logic in determining the internal organisation of the sciences.