Keynote Speech by Dr. Syed Farid Alatas on Contemporary Significance of Ibn Khaldon
The origin of the video is the keynote of Speaker Prof. Syed Farid Alatas at the International Symposium on Sociology and the Question of Indigenization held by the Ibn Khaldun Center on October 26, 2019 This video discusses the significance of Ibn Khaldun for the social sciences with reference to a number of methodological and theoretical dimensions. The discussion revolves around what I refer to as the levels of scholarship on Ibn Khaldun, which range from the meta-theoretical to the empirical and applied. It is claimed that in order for Ibn Khaldun to be taken seriously by the major disciplines in the social sciences, more work of a meta-theoretical and theoretical nature on his writings needs to be done. It is further argued that when considered in terms of all the levels of scholarship, Ibn Khaldun’s work should be viewed as an exemplar for a modern social science that is rooted in Islamic tradition. The paper makes the case for Khaldunian sociology as an aborted tradition in the modern social sciences, introduces the levels of scholarship, and discusses the levels at which Khaldunian scholarship is more and less prominent. The paper also raises a methodological and theoretical issue in relation to Ibn Khaldun’s work.