The Ikhwān al-Ṣafāʾ (Brethren of Purity), the anonymous adepts of a tenth-century esoteric fraternity based in Basra and Baghdad, hold an eminent position in the history of science and philosophy in Islam due to the wide reception and assimilation of their monumental encyclopaedia, the Rasāʾil Ikhwān al-Ṣafāʾ (Epistles of the Brethren of Purity). This compendium contains fifty-two epistles offering synoptic accounts of the classical sciences and philosophies of the age; divided into four classificatory parts, it treats themes in mathematics, logic, natural philosophy, psychology, metaphysics, and theology, in addition to didactic fables.

The present volume is the second of this definitive series, consisting of the very first critical edition of the Rasāʾil in its original Arabic, complete with a fully annotated English translation. Prepared by Professor Carmela Baffioni, Epistles 10–14 detail the foundations of Aristotelian logic, including the ten categories of existents, the five predicables, and his formative method of syllogistic inference. With the claim that logic is the noblest of man’s arts, and man the noblest of creatures, the Ikhwān cast the topic in an innovatively spiritual light.