fuad mahbub siraj

Written by: Fuad Mahbub Siraj

A. Introduction

Tasawuf as a mysticism aspect in Islam actually is a realization of the human communication relationship with God, which later on grow the sense of imminence with God. The imminence relationship is understood as “Spiritual Dzauqiyah experience with God” which later will bring out the grasp that everything in this world is His[1]. That means that all existence that relative and proportionate is nothing in front of the Absolute Existence.

Writer sees this intimacy and sufi’s slaving to their Khalik will bear different perspective and understanding between one sufi and another. This intimacy and imminence will be elaborated so it will extend to two main categories. The first category, based on its simple understanding of sufistic experience, and could be understood by the laity. This first experience will extend to Sunni Mysticism, which the experts included are Al-Junaid, Al-Qusyairi and Al-Ghazali. In Indonesia, the Sunni Mysticism is developed by some figure like Nuruddin Al-Raniri, Al-Singkili and Syeikh Burhanuddin Ulakan. The second understanding will be extended the complex and deeper understanding, with symbolical and philosophical language. Later on, this second conception or understanding will become Philosophical Mysticism, which included in this expertise are Abu Yazid Al-Bustami, Al-Hallaj, Ibn Arabi, and Al-Jilli. The Philosophical Mysticism in Indonesia was developed by figures such as Hamzah Fansuri and Syamsuddin Sumatrani.

In this essay, the writer will discuss about the editorial of philosophical mysticism in the history of Islamization growth in Indonesia in the 17th century and perhap it can be called as a foundation of mysticism thought in Indonesia and gave a big influence to the development of Islam in Indonesia and Malay . The discussion will be further goes by discussing the history of the emergence of philosophical mysticism in the Ilam world, its development, and expansion which later will be continued to the philosophical mysticism in Indonesia.

B. The Debate

1. Philosophical Mysticism In Muslim World

In spite of the controversy which runs by the fuqaha that infidel this model of mysticism, actually based on the founder, the philosophical mysticism still positioned Al-Qur’an and Al-Hadith as the main resources. The assumption that this mysticism is out of the line of The Qur’an and Hadith is clearly political rather that the aim to purify the Islamic teaching. The execution cases to Al-Halaj, Suhrawardi and Syeikh Siti Jenar are some examples that cannot be denied.

The journey of philosophical mysticism is actually a development of several stages from Sunni Mysticism. On the other words, the extension of philosophical mysticism seeing the phenomena of philosophical sufi cannot be realized without based on Sunni mysticism. If known that “Al-Ma’rifah” is a culmination achievement of sunni mysticism, so the sufi will later have further experiment and inner peregrination and found the theory of al-Fana’, al-Hulul dan al-Ittihad until the wahdatul wujud. The latest theories, because they are difficult to be understand and comprehend by the laity because they are more into philosophical arena, so it commonly called by philosophical mysticism.

Philosophical mysticism could be simply defined as a study and esoteric path in Islam to extend the inner holiness which is rich with philosophical views[2]. The existence of philosophical mysticism in one side has attracted the attention of Muslim scholars whom at the beginning were not happy with the philosophical study in Muslim world. On the other hand, for other Muslim scholars that enjoy this philosophical study and also becoming expert, philosophical mysticism is like a river where the water is so pure and striking to dive in.

The first Muslim scholar that could be assumed as philosophical mysticism expert was Ibnu Massarah, (died 319 H/931 AD), who came from Andalusia. He also assumed to be the first sufi philosopher in Muslim world. His philosophical view is an emanation that has similarity with Plotinus emanation.[3] He argued that human mysticism journey could release his soul from his own burden and would grant him God’s blessing which also an enlightened of spirit by God’s nur. A ma’rifah will give the absolute happiness. He also embraced the view where hereafter is a religious matter so in the hereafter later human resurrection will be done by taking over their spirit only without the body. There was also a, almost, similar view with Ibn Sina about human resurrection in hereafter.

The second scholar which has a huge impact in philosophical mysticism world was Suhrawardi Al-Maqtul, a sufi who was killed by Aleppo in 587 H/1191 AD because of his view that has out of Islam according to fuqaha Muslim scholars[4]. Suhrawardi was also an adherent of Ibn Sina emanation.

When sunni mystisicm has gotten its final form on the hand of Imam Al-Ghazali, then philosophical mysticism has come to the peak of perfectness under the teaching of Ibn Arabi, a sufi who has also come from Andalusia. Ibn Arabi wide knowledge in Islamization and philosophical studies made able to create a lot of books such as Al-Futuhat Al-Makkiyah and Fushush Al-Hikam. It could be said that sufi community during that time could be studied and later explained the sufficient explanation.

The centralized teaching of Ibn Arabi is about the unity of existence or wahdatul wujud. He argued that wujud is one, which is the wujud that stand by Himself, and that is God, the Most Righteous. The nature has its own existence but it could not have its existence by itself but because of God existence or wujud.

The nature’s existence is imaginary, which means if it looks as if it has its own existence so actually it has the existence of God. Because of that, later it could be said that God’s existence and the nature’s existence is one, not two or more (united).

The diversity of universe is a manifestation or the appearance of oneness of God’s existence. Virtually, the universe has come from God while from its manifestation angle; the universe is definitely different with God. Nature is not God and neither does the opposite[5].

There are many sufi philosopher that has come after the death of Ibn Arabi in Damascus, some of them are; Jalaluddin Rumi and Al-Jilli and many others. This model of philosophical mysticism later has its journey to popularity in Persia. Generally, the Shiates acknowledge this conception.

Philosophical mysticism has come to its peak under the hands of Ibn Arabi which later on develop under the teaching of other philosopher after his death and also spread out to the Muslim world with the connection that has been stated by Azyumardi Azra in his teaching connection. By that connection, also, philosophical mysticism has entered Indonesia and generates Indonesian sufi philosophers like Hamzah Fansuri and Syamsuddin Sumatrani[6].

Compared with Sunni mysticism, philosophical mysticism is richer with ideas and views about God and the metaphysical universe. The ideas, by its own sufi, viewed as not opposing the teaching of Al-Qur’an and Hadith, while sunni mysticism does not take care of the speculative ideas and views in the area of philosophy. The sunni sufi has thought that the aqidah understanding is enough to be taught in the tauhidic studies. The question of nature’s qadim and the life in hereafter that religious is not under the teaching of sunni mysticism because it is viewed as not true or opposing the teaching of mutakallimin.

2. The Philosophical Mysticism in Indonesia and Malay

The editorial of philosophical mysticism in Indonesia might have been developed by Hamzah Fansuri and Syamsuddin Sumatrani, both are sufi philosopher from Sumatera in the 17th century. Even though in 15th century there was an tragedy of Syeikh Siti Jenar execution over Wali Songo’s[7] decision because his teaching embrace sufistic doctrine which is considered as bid’ah is a recognition of a unity of human existence and God’s The Absolute existence. But so far the writer has not found the literature that explains whether the concept that embrace by Syeikh Siti Jenar in Muslim world in Indonesia. At least based in Alwi Shihab, Syeikh Siti Jenar and his mislead teaching was considered as the first stage of philosophical mysticism development in Indonesia. Alwi Shihab called it as the stage of introduction[8]. Syeikh Siti Jenar’s execution was actually fainted the philosophical mysticism development in Indonesia for long time until the coming of Hamzah Fansuri and Syamsuddin Sumatrani in Sumatera.

Hamzah Fansuri is Malay who was born in Fansur or Barus, the researcher has not found the valid proof about his birth date. He was estimated to born at the end of 16th century or the beginning of 17th century before or during the Sultan ‘Ala Al-Din Ri’yat Syaht government that came to power in 977-1011 H/1589-1602 AD. Hamzah was considered to be death before 1076 H/1607 AD[9].

Hamzah started his education in Barus, his hometown which during his that has developed and centre of the city under the government of Sultan Iskandar Musa and Iskandar Tsani. There were enough quality of education at Aceh and made Hamzah could learnt religious studies like fiqh, tauhid, akhlaq, mysticism, and also literature, history, and logic. After finished his education there he continued his education to middle east, especially Persia and Arab, so he could understand Arabic and Persia and if possible Urdu[10]. In philosophical mysticism he probably learnt from Iraqi, student of Shadr Al-Din Al-Qunawi, most loved students of Ibn Arabi[11].

When he has got back from doing his education, Hamzah taught religious studies in Aceh through traditional education institute (pesantren) called Dayah at Oboh right-side, which actually came from left-side Dayah which was adopted by his brother Syeikh Ali Fansuri, father of Abdur Rauf Al-Singkili. Besides teaching, Hamzah was also active writing book. But unfortunately his creation could not be found anymore because it was destroyed by his rivals that opposed the concept of wujudiyah that was developed by Hamzah[12].

Hamzah’s view about the teaching of wujudiyah was attached in his writing Zinat Al-Wahidin that consist of 7 chapters, based on Hamzah’s opinion, virtual grace has come from The Absolute Existence, Qadim, and The Creator of universe that could not be decided or described. In this matter for Hamzah, the universe that at the beginning has religious values then later on changed into physical is a manifestation from God’s existence that accommodated all the living existence so in the transcendent aspect God’s existence has no limit. From the immanent aspect, God’s existence also could not be separated from the universe. Furthermore, Hamzah explained the stages of God’s relationship with His manifestation, the universe.

The first stage is called by la ta’ayun. In this stage the Almighty God has not yet has direct connection with the universe. Then how God created the universe while an impossible thing has come directly from Him, God the Absolute, and they are relative. Based on Hamzah, the creation from the Absolute Matter, God, to a relative universe need some stages to go through. He divided the stages into 5 stages which called by ta’ayun or the appearance.

First is ta’ayun awwal, the stage when God showed Himself through His knowledge and His Light (nur)[13]. The ideas of God-thing in the teaching of Syamsuddin Sumatrani was still global or Ijmali. Second is ta’ayun tsani which caused the come up of detailed knowledge about the essence of universe (a’yan tsabitah) because of God’s manifestation. In the teaching of Hamzah a’yan tsabitah was stressed out to have no actual look. This factor is a permanent pattern and complete about the universe. The universe is realized by God as actual as the patterns mentioned. Third is ta’ayun tsalist which is the appearance of God in the apparition space. This stage is happened outside the absolute material and so called a’yan kharijah. The fourth is the appearance to all creation but still in the .. which is called ta’ayun rabi’. And the fifth stage is ta’ayun khamis which is last God’s appearance to human’s space and the whole universe[14].

These stages of creation is only a hierarchy that has been constructed to be understood easier about what is really happening gradually and suddenly. With this thinking, Hamzah explained that God’s appearance is actually not happened just like than or directly but through special stages so the supremacy and the purity of God will not be complicated absolutely.

Hamzah’s teaching about wujudiyyah was later on developed by one of his student Syamsuddian Sumatrani. Most of the researcher argued that their relation is teacher and his student. Abdul Aziz also correct A. Hasyim opinion about Hamzah’s realtion with Syamsuddin as student and khalifah because in his opinion there was two Syamsuddin books that has been found which actually a review or syarah of Hamzah’s teaching which are Syarah Ruba’I Hamzah fansuri dan Syarah Sair Ikan Tongkol.[15]

There are some information about Syekh’s personal portrait, some of them are Hikayat Aceh, Adat Aceh, Bustan Al-Salathin and travelers information also foreigner researchers. From these information it could be said that Syamsuddin might born on 1589 and died on February 24, 1630.

The giving of the meaning “There is no other existence but Allah” of La Ilaha Illa Allah is only done by the sufis who embraced the concept of wujudiyah among other sufis. The confession that there is no other existence but Him is called as tauhid hakiki or the pure oneness in Syamsuddin’s teaching. In his opinion, the pure oneness is consider as new in a person if he confess that there is no other actor or creator but Allah, there is none other master to be served but Him[16].

Syamsuddin in his teaching about the meaning of tauhidic sentences also reminds his followers about their different belief between the true tauhidic followers with the people that he called as zindiq. In his opinion, both has agreed in deciding the meaning of the tauhidic sentences La Ilaha Illa Allah, which means there is no other existence but Him, while the other existence in the universe is only a delusion, majazi, or hallucination compared to Allah’s existence. For the zindiq, their concept of God’s existence is nothing but with the existence of the universe as well whether physically or apparition (ta’ayun-ta’ayun). They decided the basic of unity into plurality of the universe without differ God’s position with the universe. This concept is called by the wrong concept by Syamsuddin , the untrue concept and rejected by the true tauhidic followers[17]. Based on this argument it seemed that far before Nuruddin Ar-Raniry criticizing on Syamsuddin’s concept of mulhid, he himself has already explained which one is wujudiyah mulhidan and which is muwhid based on previous explanation[18].

Syamsuddin teaching about God with the concept of wujudiyyah is also known as the teaching of Martabat Tujuh or about an existence with its seven statuses. This teaching might be similar with the teaching of Al-uhanpuri which assumed as the first man that had divided the seven statuses to seven categories. The seven categories are: martabatahadiyah, martabat wahdah, martabat wahidiyah, martabat alam arwah, martabat alam mitsal, martabat alam ajsam and martabat alam insan. Al-Burhanpuri has reminded that the term of God’s status cannot be use for the universe’s status nor the other way around[19].

Nevertheless, Al-Burhanpuri’s work cannot be explained implicitly about that. Syamsuddin as adherent of the seven statuses in Indonesia has categorized God’s status and the creation’s status as has been concluded by Abdul Aziz Dahlan. In his opinion, Syamsuddin work, explicitly, could show the first 3 statuses called Aniyah Allah which is the actual look of God and the other four statuses are called as Anniyah Al-Makhluq which means the status of actual existence of creation[20].

This concept of seven statuses is the one that distinct Syamsuddin and his teacher Hamzah Fansuri, which in Hamzah’s work we could not found this concept. Yet, both has stressed in the concept of pure comprehension of tauhid or oneness of God, that God is could not be compared or mixed with the universe form or in Hamzah’s teaching it is called by la ta’yun while Syamsuddin Sumtrani’s term is aniyyat Allah which explained the teaching of Al-Burhanpuri not to mixed up God’s status and His creation’s status.

3. The Respond and Influence of Philosophical Mysticism Concept in Indonesia after the Time of Hamzah Fansuri and Syamsuddin Sumatrani

Actually, Hamzah Fansuri’s and Syamsuddin Sumatrani’s basically are categorized as the same ideologies; both are supporting the famous comprehension of mystic philosophy wahdat al-wujud. Nonetheless there are some differences in stressing of the concept yet both still influenced, essentially, by Ibn Arabi. The core concept of their teaching is the existence of universe is caused by apparition of God. This idea and the next development persuade the opposition like Al-Raniry to misjudge them as panteis.

In Nuruddin Al-Raniry point of view, the discussion of God’s realization could be divided into two; wujud muwahhid and wujudiyah mulhid. Hamzah is categorized as wujudiyah mulhid and called as zindiq. Furthermore, based on Aziz Dahlan, Syamsuddin and his followers never called themselves as the follower of wujudiyah concept or mulhid. As explained at the previous sub chapter, they believe in true tauhidic and viewed themselves as the people of Al-Muwahiddin Al-Shiddiqin.

It could not be said that with the come up of Al-Raniry whom criticizing and destroyed the concept of philosophical mysticism then the concept itself would also be destroyed. Based on Taufik Abdullah research, during Nuruddin Al-Raniry life time, Sultan Iskandar Tsani replaced him because he was suddenly left Aceh and he was in a rush. As a matter of fact, Bustan Al-Salathin said that as stated on diary of Dutch Opper Kodman, the designation of Iskandar Tsan has given chance to the moderate (Syamsuddin) to oppose intolerate and anti-intellectual as done by Al-Raniry.

So, during the 16th-17th AD, in Indonesia, the development of philosophical mysticism was not only at Aceh but also other part of the country. Although there are efforts to apply the shari’ah but something could not be distinct from the Islamic scope at the time. Hamzah Fansuri’s and Syamsuddin Sumatrani’s writing has persuaded the concept. Nevertheless, they could not be frankly stated denied the shari’ah. They have given contribution to the intellectual religious life for the Muslim in 16th-17th AD.

4. Conclusion

As the explanation above, we could conclude that sufistic mysticism editorial has developed fast as the development of Islam in Indonesia. We could see from the source and its connection until the 17th century, that philosophical mysticism was brought in by sufi traveler and Muslim scholar that came from Persia and India although after that time there was an emergence of Haramain scholar implication that was assumed as another competitor over philosophical mysticism concept which at the end criticizing philosophical mysticism that has developed before.

Philosophical mysticism which has developed in Indonesia came from either the essential teaching from sufi philosopher Ibn Arabi that obtained by Indonesian scholar through Ibn Arabi follower or learned from Ibn Arabi’s work that found during his travel to middle east- Persia to study.

Hamzah Fansuri and Syamsuddin Sumatrani as the representative of the concept of wujudiyah in Indonesia has stressed on the concept of original tauhidic concept and oneness of God. Especially for Hamzah, he was stressed the concept of la ta’yun as pure essence of God. However, Syamsuddin Sumatrani stressed on his follower to the concept of Al-Muwahiddin Al-Shiddiqin which means, not to compare God with the universe but to comprehend it with logic and to think that the existence is God.

However, all of that thought had been a discourses in the early time of Islam in Indonesia and Malay and those thought had been helped and gave big influences to the development of Islam and added the discourses of Islamic thought.


[1] Harun Nasution, Islam Ditinjau Dari Berbagai Aspeknya, (Jakarta: UI Press, 1986), 2 ed, p. 71

[2] Abdul Aziz Dahlan, Tasawuf Sunni dan Tasawuf Falsanafi: Tinjauan Filosofis, (Jakarta: Ulumul Qur’an no. 8 vol. 2, 1991), p. 31

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Said Agiel Siraj, Majalah Sufi, 05 September 2000 edition/Jumadil Akhir 1421 H, (Jakarta: fakultas Ushuluddin IAIN Syarif Hidayatullah), p. 27

[6] Azyumardi Azra, Jaringan Ulama: Timur Tengah dan Kepulauan Nusantara Abad XVII dan XVIII, (bandung: Mizan, 1998), p.

[7] Azyumardi Azra, Jaringan Global dan Lokal, (Bandung: Mizan, 2002), p. 117

[8] Alwi Shihab, Sufistik, (Bandung: Mizan, 2001), p. 122

[9] Azyumardi Azra, Jaringan Ulama: Timur Tengah dan Kepulauan Nusantara Abad XVII dan XVIII, p. 166, see also: ensiklopedi Islam, (Jakarta: Ichtiar Baru, 1994), p. 78

[10] Ibid., p. 167

[11] Abdul Hadi WM, Hamzah Fansuri; Risalah Tasawuf dan Puisi-Puisinya, (Bandung: Mizan, 1995), p. 21

[12] Duski Samad, Sufi Nusantara dan Pemikirannya, (The Minangkabau Foundations, 2002), p. 12

[13] Abdul Hadi, Hamzah Fansuri; Risalah Tasawuf dan Puisi-Puisinya, p. 85

[14] Ibid.

[15] Abdul Aziz Dahlan, penilaian Atas Paham Wahdat al-Wujud, Tuhan, Alam dan Manusia dalam Tasawuf Syamsuddin Sumatrani, (Padang: IAIN IB Press, 1999), p. 14

[16] Syamsuddin Sumatrani, Jawahir al-Haqa’iq, C. A edition O. Nieuwenhuaej, Samsu al-Din Van Passai, (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 19450, p. 62

[17] Ibid.

[18] Further about wujudiyah Mulhid and wujudiyah Muwahhid, see: Ahmad Duli, Allah dan Manusia Dalam Konsepsi Nuruddin al-Raniry, (Jakarta: Rajawali Press, 1983), p. 201

[19] Muh. Al-Burhanpuri, Tuhfah al-Mursalah ila Ruh al-Nabi, Included in Johns A. H. The Gift to the Spirit of the Prophet, (Canberra: Australian National University, 1965), p. 131

[20] Abdul Aziz Dahlan, penilaian Atas Paham Wahdat al-Wujud, Tuhan, Alam dan Manusia dalam Tasawuf Syamsuddin Sumatrani, p. 50

Oleh: fuadsiraj | November 9, 2008

Islamic philosophy

Fuad MS

Islamic philosophy may be defined in a number of different ways, but the perspective taken here is that it represents the style of philosophy produced within the framework of Islamic culture. This description does not suggest that it is necessarily concerned with religious issues, nor even that it is exclusively produced by Muslims (see Islam, concept of philosophy in).

1 The early years of Islamic philosophy

Islamic philosophy is intimately connected with Greek philosophy, although this is a relationship which can be exaggerated. Theoretical questions were raised right from the beginning of Islam, questions which could to a certain extent be answered by reference to Islamic texts such as the Qur’an, the practices of the community and the traditional sayings of the Prophet and his Companions. On this initial basis a whole range of what came to be known as the Islamic sciences came to be produced, and these consisted largely of religious law, the Arabic language and forms of theology which represented differing understandings of Islam.

The early conquests of the Muslims brought them into close contact with centres of civilization heavily influenced by Christianity and Judaism, and also by Greek culture. Many rulers wished to understand and use the Greek forms of knowledge, some practical and some theoretical, and a large translation project started which saw official support for the assimilation of Greek culture (see Greek philosophy: impact on Islamic philosophy). This had a powerful impact upon all areas of Islamic philosophy. Neoplatonism definitely became the prevalent school of thought (see Neoplatonism in Islamic philosophy), following closely the curriculum of Greek (Peripatetic) philosophy which was initially transmitted to the Islamic world. This stressed agreement between Plato and Aristotle on a range of issues, and incorporated the work of some Neoplatonic authors. A leading group of Neoplatonic thinkers were the Ikhwan al-Safa’ (Brethren of Purity), who presented an eclectic philosophy designed to facilitate spiritual liberation through philosophical perfection (see Ikhwan al-Safa’). However, there was also a development of Aristotelianism in Islamic philosophy, especially by those thinkers who were impressed by the logical and metaphysical thought of Aristotle, and Platonism was inspired by the personality of Socrates and the apparently more spiritual nature of Plato as compared with Aristotle (see Aristotelianism in Islamic philosophy; Platonism in Islamic philosophy). There were even thinkers who seem to have been influenced by Greek scepticism, which they turned largely against religion, and Ibn ar-Rawandi and Muhammad ibn Zakariyya’ al-Razi presented a thoroughgoing critique of many of the leading supernatural ideas of Islam.

Al-Kindi is often called the first philosopher of the Arabs, and he followed a broadly Neoplatonic approach. One of the earliest of the philosophers in Baghdad was in fact a Christian, Yahya Ibn ‘Adi, and his pupil al-Farabi created much of the agenda for the next four centuries of work. Al-Farabi argued that the works of Aristotle raise important issues for the understanding of the nature of the universe, in particular its origination. Aristotle suggested that the world is eternal, which seems to be in contradiction with the implication in the Qur’an that God created the world out of nothing. Al-Farabi used as his principle of creation the process of emanation, the idea that reality continually flows out of the source of perfection, so that the world was not created at a particular time. He also did an enormous amount of work on Greek logic, arguing that behind natural language lies logic, so that an understanding of the latter is a deeper and more significant achievement than a grasp of the former. This also seemed to threaten the significance of language, in particular the language – Arabic – in which God transmitted the Qur’an to the Prophet Muhammad. A large school of thinkers was strongly influenced by al-Farabi, including al-‘Amiri, al-Sijistani and al-Tawhidi, and this surely played an important part in making his ideas and methodology so crucial for the following centuries of Islamic philosophy.

Ibn Sina went on to develop this form of thought in a much more creative way, and he presented a view of the universe as consisting of entirely necessitated events, with the exception of God (see Causality and necessity in Islamic thought). This led to a powerful reaction from al-Ghazali, who in his critique of Peripatetic philosophy argued that it was both incompatible with religion, and also invalid on its own principles. He managed to point to some of the major difficulties with the developments of Neoplatonism which had taken place in Islamic philosophy, and he argued that while philosophy should be rejected, logic as a conceptual tool should be retained. This view became very influential in much of the Islamic world, and philosophy came under a cloud until the nineteenth century.

2 Philosophy in Spain and North Africa

A particularly rich blend of philosophy flourished in al-Andalus (the Islamic part of the Iberian penninsula), and in North Africa. Ibn Masarra defended a form of mysticism, and this type of thinking was important for both Ibn Tufayl and Ibn Bajja, for whom the contrast between the individual in society and the individual who primarily relates to God became very much of a theme. The argument was often that a higher level of understanding of reality can be attained by those prepared to develop their religious consciousness outside of the framework of traditional religion, a view which was supported and became part of a highly sophisticated account of the links between religion and reason as created by Ibn Rushd. He set out to defend philosophy strenuously from the attacks of al-Ghazali, and also to present a more Aristotelian account than had been managed by Ibn Sina. He argued that there are a variety of routes to God, all equally valid, and that the route which the philosopher can take is one based on the independent use of reason, while the ordinary member of society has to be satisfied with the sayings and obligations of religion. Ibn Sab‘in, by contrast, argued that Aristotelian philosophy and logic were useless in trying to understand reality since those ideas fail to mirror the basic unity which is implicit in reality, a unity which stems from the unity of God, and so we require an entirely new form of thinking which is adequate to the task of representing the oneness of the world. A thinker better known perhaps for his work on history and sociology than in philosophy is Ibn Khaldun, who was nonetheless a significant philosophical writer; he presents an excellent summary of preceding philosophical movements within the Islamic world, albeit from a conservative (Ash‘arite) point of view.

3 Mystical philosophy

Mystical philosophy in Islam represents a persistent tradition of working philosophically within the Islamic world (see Mystical philosophy in Islam). Some philosophers managed to combine mysticism with Peripatetic thought, while others saw mysticism as in opposition to Peripateticism. Al-Ghazali had great influence in making mysticism in its Sufi form respectable, but it is really other thinkers such as al-Suhrawardi and Ibn al-‘Arabi who produced actual systematic mystical thought. They created, albeit in different ways, accounts of how to do philosophy which accord with mystical approaches to reality, and which self-consciously go in opposite directions to Peripateticism. Ibn al-‘Arabi concentrated on analysing the different levels of reality and the links which exist between them, while al-Suhrawardi is the main progenitor of Illuminationist philosophy (see Illuminationist philosophy). This tries to replace Aristotelian logic and metaphysics with an alternative based on the relationship between light as the main principle of creation and knowledge, and that which is lit up – the rest of reality. This tradition has had many followers, including al-Tusi, Mulla Sadra, Mir Damad and al-Sabzawari, and has been popular in the Persian world right up to today. Shah Wali Allah extended this school of thought to the Indian subcontinent.

4 Islamic philosophy and the Islamic sciences

Islamic philosophy has always had a rather difficult relationship with the Islamic sciences, those techniques for answering theoretical questions which are closely linked with the religion of Islam, comprising law, theology, language and the study of the religious texts themselves. Many theologians such as Ibn Hazm, al-Juwayni and Fakhr al-Din al-Razi presented accounts of Islamic theology which argued for a particular theory of how to interpret religious texts (see Islamic theology). They tended to advocate a restricted approach to interpretation, rejecting the use of analogy and also the idea that philosophy is an objective system of enquiry which can be applied to anything at all. Most theologians were Ash‘arites (see Ash‘ariyya and Mu‘tazila), which meant that they were opposed to the idea that ethical and religious ideas could be objectively true. What makes such ideas true, the Ash‘arites argued, is that God says that they are true, and there are no other grounds for accepting them than this. This had a particularly strong influence on ethics (see Ethics in Islamic philosophy), where there was much debate between objectivists and subjectivists, with the latter arguing that an action is just if and only if God says that it is just. Many thinkers wrote about how to reconcile the social virtues, which involve being part of a community and following the rules of religion, with the intellectual virtues, which tend to involve a more solitary lifestyle. Ibn Miskawayh and Al-Tusi developed complex accounts of the apparent conflict between these different sets of virtues.

Political philosophy in Islam looked to Greek thinkers for ways of understanding the nature of the state, yet also generally linked Platonic ideas of the state to Qur’anic notions, which is not difficult given the basically hierarchical nature of both types of account (see Political philosophy in classical Islam). Even thinkers attracted to Illuminationist philosophy such as al-Dawani wrote on political philosophy, arguing that the structure of the state should represent the material and spiritual aspects of the citizens. Through a strict differentiation of role in the state, and through leadership by those skilled in religious and philosophical knowledge, everyone would find an acceptable place in society and scope for spiritual perfection to an appropriate degree.

Particular problems arose in the discussions concerning the nature of the soul (see Soul in Islamic philosophy). According to the version of Aristotle which was generally used by the Islamic philosophers, the soul is an integral part of the person as its form, and once the individual dies the soul disappears also. This appears to contravene the notion of an afterlife which is so important a part of Islam. Even Platonic views of the soul seem to insist on its spirituality, as compared with the very physical accounts of the Islamic afterlife. Many of the philosophers tried to get around this by arguing that the religious language discussing the soul is only allegorical, and is intended to impress upon the community at large that there is a wider context within which their lives take place, which extends further than those lives themselves. They could argue in this way because of theories which presented a sophisticated view of different types of meaning that a statement may have in order to appeal to different audiences and carry out a number of different functions (see Meaning in Islamic philosophy). Only the philosopher really has the ability to understand this range of meanings, and those who work in the Islamic sciences do not know how to deal with these issues which come outside of their area of expertise. While those skilled in dealing with the law will know how to adjudicate between different legal judgements, we need an understanding of the philosophy of law in Islam if we are to have access to what might be called the deep structure of law itself (see Law, Islamic philosophy of). Similarly, although the Qur’an encourages its followers to discover facts about the world, it is through the philosophy of science that we can understand the theoretical principles which lie behind that physical reality (see Science in Islamic philosophy).

Many of the problems of religion versus philosophy arose in the area of aesthetics (see Aesthetics in Islamic philosophy). The rules of poetry which traditionally existed in the Arabic tradition came up against the application of Aristotle’s Poetics to that poetry. One of the interesting aspects of Islamic aesthetics is that it treated poetry as a logical form, albeit of a very low demonstrative value, along the continuum of logical forms which lie behind all our language and practices. This is explained in studies of both epistemology and logic (see Epistemology in Islamic philosophy; Logic in Islamic philosophy). Logic came to play an enormous role in Islamic philosophy, and the idea that logic represents a basic set of techniques which lies behind what we think and what we do was felt to be very exciting and provocative. Many theologians who attacked philosophy were staunch defenders of logic as a tool for disputation, and Ibn Taymiyya is unusual in the strong critique which he provided of Aristotelian logic. He argued that the logic entails Aristotelian metaphysics, and so should be abandoned by anyone who wishes to avoid philosophical infection.

However, the general respect for logic provides the framework for the notion that there is a range of logical approaches which are available to different people, each of which is appropriate to different levels of society. For the theologian and the lawyer, for instance, dialectic is appropriate, since this works logically from generally accepted propositions to conclusions which are established as valid, but only within the limits set by those premises. This means that within the context of theology, for example, if we accept the truth of the Qur’an, then certain conclusions follow if we use the principles of theology; but if we do not accept the truth of the Qur’an, then the acceptability of those conclusions is dubious. Philosophers are distinguished from everyone else in that they are the only people who use entirely certain and universal premises, and so their conclusions have total universality as well as validity. When it comes to knowledge we find a similar contrast. Ordinary people can know something of what is around them and also of the spiritual nature of reality, but they are limited to the images and allegories of religion and the scope of their senses. Philosophers, by contrast, can attain much higher levels of knowledge through their application of logic and through their ability to perfect their understanding and establish contact with the principles which underlie the whole of reality.

5 Islamic philosophy in the modern world

After the death of Ibn Rushd, Islamic philosophy in the Peripatetic style went out of fashion in the Arab world, although the transmission of Islamic philosophy into Western Europe started at this time and had an important influence upon the direction which medieval and Renaissance Europe was to take (see Averroism; Averroism, Jewish; Translators; Islamic philosophy: transmission into Western Europe). In the Persian-speaking world, Islamic philosophy has continued to follow a largely Illuminationist curriculum right up to today; but in the Arab world it fell into something of a decline, at least in its Peripatetic form, until the nineteenth century. Mystical philosophy, by contrast, continued to flourish, although no thinkers matched the creativity of Ibn al-‘Arabi or Ibn Sab‘in. Al-Afghani and Muhammad ‘Abduh sought to find rational principles which would establish a form of thought which is both distinctively Islamic and also appropriate for life in modern scientific societies, a debate which is continuing within Islamic philosophy today (see Islamic philosophy, modern). Iqbal provided a rather eclectic mixture of Islamic and European philosophy, and some thinkers reacted to the phenomenon of modernity by developing Islamic fundamentalism (see Islamic fundamentalism). This resuscitated the earlier antagonism to philosophy by arguing for a return to the original principles of Islam and rejected modernity as a Western imperialist instrusion. The impact of Western scholarship on Islamic philosophy has not always been helpful, and Orientalism has sometimes led to an overemphasis of the dependence of Islamic philosophy on Greek thought, and to a refusal to regard Islamic philosophy as real philosophy (see Orientalism and Islamic philosophy). That is, in much of the exegetical literature there has been too much concern dealing with the historical conditions under which the philosophy was produced as compared with the status of the ideas themselves. While there are still many disputes concerning the ways in which Islamic philosophy should be pursued, as is the case with all kinds of philosophy, there can be little doubt about its major achievements and continuing significance.

Oleh: fuadsiraj | November 9, 2008

Ancient philosophy


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The philosophy of the Greco-Roman world from the sixth century bc to the sixth century ad laid the foundations for all subsequent Western philosophy. Its greatest figures are Socrates (fifth century bc) and Plato and Aristotle (fourth century bc). But the enormously diverse range of further important thinkers who populated the period includes the Presocratics and Sophists of the sixth and fifth centuries bc; the Stoics, Epicureans and sceptics of the Hellenistic age; and the many Aristotelian and (especially) Platonist philosophers who wrote under the Roman Empire, including the great Neoplatonist Plotinus. Ancient philosophy was principally pagan, and was finally eclipsed by Christianity in the sixth century ad, but it was so comprehensively annexed by its conqueror that it came, through Christianity, to dominate medieval and Renaissance philosophy. This eventual symbiosis between ancient philosophy and Christianity may reflect the fact that philosophical creeds in late antiquity fulfilled much the same role as religious movements, with which they shared many of their aims and practices.

Only a small fraction of ancient philosophical writings have come down to us intact. The remainder can be recovered, to a greater or lesser extent, by piecing together fragmentary evidence from sources which refer to them.

1 Main features

‘Ancient’ philosophy is that of classical antiquity, which not only inaugurated the entire European philosophical tradition but has exercised an unparalleled influence on its style and content. It is conventionally considered to start with Thales in the mid sixth century bc, although the Greeks themselves frequently made Homer (c.700 bc) its true originator. Officially it is often regarded as ending in 529 ad, when the Christian emperor Justinian is believed to have banned the teaching of pagan philosophy at Athens. However, this was no abrupt termination, and the work of Platonist philosophers continued for some time in self-imposed exile (see Aristotle commentators; Neoplatonism §1; Simplicius §1).

Down to and including Plato (in the first half of the fourth century bc), philosophy did not develop a significant technical terminology of its own – unlike such contemporary disciplines as mathematics and medicine. It was Plato’s pupil Aristotle, and after him the Stoics (see Stoicism), who made truly decisive contributions to the philosophical vocabulary of the ancient world.

Ancient philosophy was above all a product of Greece and the Greek-speaking parts of the Mediterranean, which came to include southern Italy, Sicily, western Asia and large parts of North Africa, notably Egypt. From the first century bc, a number of Romans became actively engaged in one or other of the Greek philosophical systems, and some of them wrote their own works in Latin (see Lucretius; Cicero; Seneca; Apuleius). But Greek remained the lingua franca of philosophy. Although much modern philosophical terminology derives from Latinized versions of Greek technical concepts, most of these stem from the Latin vocabulary of medieval Aristotelianism, not directly from ancient Roman philosophical writers.

2 The sixth and fifth centuries bc

The first phase, occupying most of the sixth and fifth centuries bc, is generally known as Presocratic philosophy. Its earliest practitioners (Thales; Anaximander; Anaximenes) came from Miletus, on the west coast of modern Turkey. The dominant concern of the Presocratic thinkers was to explain the origin and regularities of the physical world and the place of the human soul within it (see especially Pythagoreanism; Heraclitus; Anaxagoras; Empedocles; Democritus), although the period also produced such rebels as the Eleatic philosophers (Parmenides; Zeno of Elea; Melissus), whose radical monism sought to undermine the very basis of cosmology by reliance on a priori reasoning.

The label ‘Presocratic’ acknowledges the traditional view that Socrates (469–399 bc) was the first philosopher to shift the focus away from the natural world to human values. In fact, however, this shift to a large extent coincides with the concerns of his contemporaries the Sophists, who professed to teach the fundamentals of political and social success and consequently were also much concerned with moral issues (see Sophists). But the persona of Socrates became, and has remained ever since, so powerful an icon for the life of moral scrutiny that it is his name that is used to mark this watershed in the history of philosophy. In the century or so following his death, many schools looked back to him as the living embodiment of philosophy and sought the principles of his life and thought in philosophical theory (see especially Socratic schools).

3 The fourth century bc

Socrates and the Sophists helped to make Athens the philosophical centre of the Greek world, and it was there, in the fourth century, that the two greatest philosophers of antiquity lived and taught, namely Plato and Aristotle. Plato, Socrates’ pupil, set up his school the Academy in Athens. Plato’s published dialogues are literary masterpieces as well as philosophical classics, and develop, albeit unsystematically, a global philosophy which embraces ethics, politics, physics, metaphysic, epistemology, aesthetics and psychology.

The Academy’s most eminent alumnus was Aristotle, whose own school the Lyceum came for a time to rival the Academy’s importance as an educational centre. Aristotle’s highly technical but also often provisional and exploratory school treatises may not have been intended for publication; at all events, they did not become widely disseminated and discussed until the late first century bc. The main philosophical treatises (leaving aside his important zoological works) include seminal studies in all the areas covered by Plato, plus logic, a branch of philosophy which Aristotle pioneered. These treatises are, like Plato’s, among the leading classics of Western philosophy.

Platonism and Aristotelianism were to become the dominant philosophies of the Western tradition from the second century ad at least until the end of the Renaissance, and the legacy of both remains central to Western philosophy today.

4 Hellenistic philosophy

Down to the late fourth century bc, philosophy was widely seen as a search for universal understanding, so that in the major schools its activities could comfortably include, for example, biological and historical research. In the ensuing era of Hellenistic philosophy, however, a geographical split helped to demarcate philosophy more sharply as a self-contained discipline. Alexandria, with its magnificent library and royal patronage, became the new centre of scientific, literary and historical research, while the philosophical schools at Athens concentrated on those areas which correspond more closely to philosophy as it has since come to be understood. The following features were to characterize philosophy not only in the Hellenistic age but also for the remainder of antiquity.

The three main parts of philosophy were most commonly labelled ‘physics’ (a primarily speculative discipline, concerned with such concepts as causation, change, god and matter, and virtually devoid of empirical research), ‘logic’ (which sometimes included epistemology) and ‘ethics’. Ethics was agreed to be the ultimate focus of philosophy, which was thus in essence a systematized route to personal virtue and happiness. There was also a strong spiritual dimension. One’s religious beliefs – that is, the way one rationalized and elaborated one’s own (normally pagan) beliefs and practices concerning the divine – were themselves an integral part of both physics and ethics, never a mere adjunct of philosophy.

The dominant philosophical creeds of the Hellenistic age (officially 323–31 bc) were Stoicism (founded by Zeno of Citium) and Epicureanism (founded by Epicurus). Scepticism was also a powerful force, largely through the Academy, which in this period functioned as a critical rather than a doctrinal school, and also, starting from the last decades of the era, through Pyrrhonism.

5 The imperial era

The crucial watershed belongs, however, not at the very end of the Hellenistic age (31 bc, when the Roman empire officially begins), but half a century earlier in the 80s bc. Political and military upheavals at Athens drove most of the philosophers out of the city, to cultural havens such as Alexandria and Rome. The philosophical institutions of Athens never fully recovered, so that this decentralization amounted to a permanent redrawing of the philosophical map. (The chairs of Platonism, Aristotelianism, Stoicism and Epicureanism which the philosopher-emperor Marcus Aurelius (§1) established at Athens in ad 176 were a significant gesture, but did not fully restore Athens’ former philosophical pre-eminence.) Philosophy was no longer, for most of its adherents, a living activity within the Athenian school founded by Plato, Aristotle, Zeno or Epicurus. Instead it was a subject pursued in small study groups led by professional teachers all over the Greco-Roman world. To a large extent, it was felt that the history of philosophy had now come to an end, and that the job was to seek the correct interpretation of the ‘ancients’ by close study of their texts. One symptom of this feeling is that doxography – the systematic cataloguing of philosophical and scientific opinions– concentrated largely on the period down to about 80 bc, as did the biographical history of philosophy written c. ad 300 by Diogenes Laertius.

Another such symptom is that a huge part of the philosophical activity of late antiquity went into the composition of commentaries on classic philosophical texts. In this final phase of ancient philosophy, conveniently called ‘imperial’ because it more or less coincides with the era of the Roman empire, the Hellenistic creeds were gradually eclipsed by the revival of doctrinal Platonism, based on the close study of Plato’s texts, out of which it developed a massively elaborate metaphysical scheme. Aristotle was usually regarded as an ally by these Platonists, and became therefore himself the focus of many commentaries (see Platonism, Early and Middle; Peripatetics; Neoplatonism; Aristotle Commentators). Despite its formal concern with recovering the wisdom of the ancients, however, this age produced many powerfully original thinkers, of whom the greatest is Plotinus.

6 Schools and movements

The early Pythagoreans constituted the first philosophical group that can be called even approximately a ‘school’. They acquired a reputation for secrecy, as well as for virtually religious devotion to the word of their founder Pythagoras. ‘He himself said it’ (best known in its Latin form ‘ipse dixit’) was alleged to be their watchword. In some ways it is more accurate to consider them a sect than a school, and their beliefs and practices were certainly intimately bound up in religious teachings about the soul’s purification.

It is no longer accepted, as it long was, that the Athenian philosophical schools had the status of formal religious institutions for the worship of the muses. Their legal and institutional standing is in fact quite obscure. Both the Academy and the Lyceum were so named after public groves just outside the walls of Athens, in which their public activities were held. The Stoics too got their name from the public portico, or ‘stoa’, in which they met, alongside the Athenian agora. Although these schools undoubtedly also conducted classes and discussions on private premises too, it was their public profile that was crucial to their identity as schools. In the last four centuries bc, prospective philosophy students flocked to Athens from all over the Greek world, and the high public visibility of the schools there was undoubtedly cultivated partly with an eye to recruitment. Only the Epicurean school kept its activities out of the public gaze, in line with Epicurus’ policy of minimal civic involvement.

A school normally started as an informal grouping of philosophers with a shared set of interests and commitments, under the nominal leadership of some individual, but without a strong party line to which all members owed unquestioning allegiance. In the first generation of the Academy, for example, many of Plato’s own leading colleagues dissented from his views on central issues. The same openness is discernible in the first generations of the other schools, even (if to a much lesser extent) that of the Epicureans. However, after the death of the founder the picture usually changed. His word thereafter became largely beyond challenge, and further progress was presented as the supplementation or reinterpretation of the founder’s pronouncements, rather than as their replacement.

To this extent, the allegiance which in the long term bound a school together usually depended on a virtually religious reverence for the movement’s foundational texts, which provided the framework within which its discussions were conducted. The resemblance to the structure of religious sects is no accident. In later antiquity, philosophical and religious movements constituted in effect a single cultural phenomenon, and competed for the same spiritual and intellectual high ground. This includes Christianity, which became a serious rival to pagan philosophy (primarily Platonism) from the third century onwards, and eventually triumphed over it. In seeking to understand such spiritual movements of late antiquity as Hermetism, Gnosticism, Neo-Pythagoreanism, Cynicism and even Neoplatonism itself, and their concern with such values as asceticism, self-purificaton and self-divinization, it is inappropriate to insist on a sharp division between philosophy and religion .

‘Ancient philosophy’ is traditionally understood as pagan and is distinguished from the Christian Patristic philosophy of late antiquity. But it was possible to put pagan philosophy at the service of Judaism (see Philo of Alexandria) or Christianity (see for example Clement of Alexandria; Origen; Augustine; Boethius; Philoponus), and it was indeed largely in this latter capacity that the major systems of ancient philosophy eventually became incorporated into Medieval philosophy and Renaissance philosophy, which they proceeded to dominate.

This extensive overlap between philosophy and religion also reflects to some extent the pervasive influence of philosophy on the entire culture of the ancient world. Rarely regarded as a detached academic discipline, philosophy frequently carried high political prestige, and its modes of discourse came to infect disciplines as diverse as medicine, rhetoric, astrology, history, grammar and law. The work of two of the greatest scientists of the ancient world, the doctor Galen and the astronomer Ptolemy, was deeply indebted to their respective philosophical backgrounds.

7 Survival

A very substantial body of works by ancient philosophical writers has survived in manuscript. These are somewhat weighted towards those philosophers – above all Plato, Aristotle and the Neoplatonists – who were of most immediate interest to the Christian culture which preserved them throughout the Middle Ages, mainly in the monasteries, where manuscripts were assiduously copied and stored. Some further ancient philosophical writings have been recovered through translations into Arabic and other languages, or on excavated scraps of papyrus. The task of reconstituting the original texts of these works has been a major preoccupation of modern scholarship.

For the vast majority of ancient philosophers, however, our knowledge of them depends on secondary reports of their words and ideas in other writers, of whom some are genuinely interested in recording the history of philosophy, but others bent on discrediting the views they attribute to them. In such cases of secondary attestation, strictly a ‘fragment’ is a verbatim quotation, while indirect reports are called ‘testimonia’. However, this distinction is not always rigidly maintained and indeed the sources on which we rely rarely operate with any explicit distinction between quotation and paraphrase.

It is a tribute to the philosophical genius of the ancient world that, despite the suppression and distortion which its contributions have suffered over two millennia, they remain central to any modern conspectus of what philosophy is and can be.

Oleh: fuadsiraj | November 9, 2008

Aristotle on Causality

Each Aristotelian science consists in the causal investigation of a specific department of reality. If successful, such an investigation results in causal knowledge; that is, knowledge of the relevant or appropriate causes. The emphasis on the concept of cause explains why Aristotle developed a theory of causality which is commonly known as the doctrine of the four causes. For Aristotle, a firm grasp of what a cause is, and how many kinds of causes there are, is essential for a successful investigation of the world around us.

1. Introduction

Aristotle was not the first person to engage in a causal investigation of the world around us. From the very beginning, and independently of Aristotle, the investigation of the natural world consisted in the search for the relevant causes of a variety of natural phenomena. From the Phaedo, for example, we learn that the so-called “inquiry into nature” consisted in a search for “the causes of each thing; why each thing comes into existence, why it goes out of existence, why it exists” (96 a 6-10). In this tradition of investigation, the search for causes was a search for answers to the question “why?”. Both in the Physics and in the Metaphysics Aristotle places himself in direct continuity with this tradition. At the beginning of the Metaphysics Aristotle offers a concise review of the results reached by his predecessors (Metaph. I 3-7). From this review we learn that all his predecessors were engaged in an investigation that eventuated in knowledge of one or more of the following causes: material, formal, efficient and final cause. However, Aristotle makes it very clear that all his predecessors merely touched upon these causes (Metaph. 988 a 22-23; but see also 985 a 10-14 and 993 a 13-15). That is to say, they did not engage in their causal investigation with a firm grasp of these four causes. They lacked a complete understanding of the range of possible causes and their systematic interrelations. Put differently, and more boldly, their use of causality was not supported by an adequate theory of causality. According to Aristotle, this explains why their investigation, even when it resulted in important insights, was not entirely successful.

This insistence on the doctrine of the four causes as an indispensable tool for a successful investigation of the world around us explains why Aristotle provides his reader with a general account of the four causes. This general account is found, in almost the same words, in Physics II 3 and Metaphysics V 2.

2. The Four Causes

In the Posterior Analytics, Aristotle places the following crucial condition on proper knowledge: we think we have knowledge of a thing only when we have grasped its cause (APost. 71 b 9-11. Cf. APost. 94 a 20). That proper knowledge is knowledge of the cause is repeated in the Physics: we think we do not have knowledge of a thing until we have grasped its why, that is to say, its cause (Phys. 194 b 17-20). Since Aristotle obviously conceives of a causal investigation as the search for an answer to the question “why?”, and a why-question is a request for an explanation, it can be useful to think of a cause as a certain type of explanation. (My hesitation is ultimately due to the fact that not all why-questions are requests for an explanation that identifies a cause, let alone a cause in the particular sense envisioned by Aristotle.)

In Physics II 3 and Metaphysics V 2 Aristotle offers his general account of the four causes. This account is general in the sense that it applies to everything that requires an explanation, including artistic production and human action. Here Aristotle recognizes four types of things that can be given in answer to a why-question:

  • The material cause: “that out of which”, e.g., the bronze of a statue.
  • The formal cause: “the form”, “the account of what-it-is-to-be”, e.g., the shape of a statue.
  • The efficient cause: “the primary source of the change or rest”, e.g., the artisan, the art of bronze-casting the statue, the man who gives advice, the father of the child.
  • The final cause: “the end, that for the sake of which a thing is done”, e.g., health is the end of walking, losing weight, purging, drugs, and surgical tools.

All the four (types of) causes may enter in the explanation of something. Consider the production of an artifact like a bronze statue. The bronze enters in the explanation of the production of the statue as the material cause. Note that the bronze is not only the material out of which the statue is made; it is also the subject of change, that is, the thing that undergoes the change and results in a statue. The bronze is melted and poured in a wax cast in order to acquire a new shape, the shape of the statue. This shape enters in the explanation of the production of the statue as the formal cause. However, an adequate explanation of the production of a statue requires also a reference to the efficient cause or the principle that produces the statue. For Aristotle, this principle is the art of bronze-casting the statue (Phys. 195 a 6-8. Cf. Metaph. 1013 b 6-9). This is mildly surprising and requires a few words of elaboration. There is no doubt that the art of bronze-casting resides in an individual artisan who is responsible for the production of the statue. But, according to Aristotle, all the artisan does in the production of the statue is the manifestation of specific knowledge. This knowledge, not the artisan who has mastered it, is the salient explanatory factor that one should pick as the most accurate specification of the efficient cause (Phys. 195 b 21-25). By picking the art, not the artisan, Aristotle is not just trying to provide an explanation of the production of the statue that is not dependent upon the desires, beliefs and intentions of the individual artisan; he is trying to offer an entirely different type of explanation; an explanation that does not make a reference, implicit or explicit, to these desires, beliefs and intentions. More directly, the art of bronze-casting the statue enters in the explanation as the efficient cause because it helps us to understand what it takes to produce the statue; that is to say, what steps are required to produce the statue. But can an explanation of this type be given without a reference to the final outcome of the production, the statue? The answer is emphatically “no”. A wax cast is made for producing the statue. The bronze is melted and poured in the wax cast. Both the prior and the subsequent stage are for the sake of a certain end, the production of the statue. Clearly the statue enters in the explanation of each step of the artistic production as the final cause or that for the sake of which everything is done.

In thinking about the four causes, we have come to understand that Aristotle offers a teleological explanation of the production of a bronze statue; that is to say, an explanation that makes a reference to the telos or end of the process. Moreover, a teleological explanation of the type sketched above does not crucially depend upon the application of psychological concepts such as desires, beliefs and intentions. This is important because artistic production provides Aristotle with a teleological model for the study of natural processes, whose explanation does not involve beliefs, desires, intentions or anything of this sort. Some have contended that Aristotle explains natural process on the basis of an inappropriately psychological teleological model; that is to say, a teleological model that involves a purposive agent who is somehow sensitive to the end. This objection can be met if the artistic model is understood in non-psychological terms. In other words, Aristotle does not psychologize nature because his study of the natural world is based on a teleological model that is consciously free from psychological factors. (For further information on the role that artistic production plays in developing an explanatory model for the study of nature, see Broadie 1987, pp. 35-50.)

One final clarification is needed. By insisting on the art of bronze-casting as the most accurate efficient cause of the production of the statue, Aristotle does not mean to preclude an appeal to the beliefs and desires of the individual artisan. There are cases where the individual realization of the art obviously enters in the explanation of the bronze statue. For example, one may be interested in a particular bronze statue because that statue is the great achievement of an artisan who has not only mastered the art but has also applied it with a distinctive style. In this case it is perfectly appropriate to make reference to the beliefs and desires of the artisan. Aristotle seems to make room for this case when he says that we should look “for general causes of general things and for particular causes of particular things” (Phys. 195 a 25-26). Note, however, that the idiosyncrasies that may be important in studying a particular bronze statue as the great achievement of an individual artisan may be extraneous to a more central (and more interesting) case. To understand why let us focus on the study of nature. When the student of nature is concerned with the explanation of a natural phenomenon like the formation of sharp teeth in the front and broad molars in the back of the mouth, the student of nature is concerned with what is typical about that phenomenon. In other words, the student of nature is expected to provide an explanation of why certain animals typically have a certain dental arrangement. We shall return to this example in due course. For the time being, however, it is important to emphasize this important feature of Aristotle’s explanatory project; a feature that we must keep in mind in trying to understand his theory of causality. This theory has in fact been developed primarily (but not exclusively) for the study of nature.

3. The Four Causes in the Science of Nature

In the Physics Aristotle builds on his general account of the four causes by developing explanatory principles that are specific to the study of nature. Here Aristotle insists that all four causes are involved in the explanation of natural phenomena, and that the job of “the student of nature is to bring the why-question back to them all in the way appropriate to the science of nature” (Phys. 198 a 21-23). The best way to understand this methodological recommendation is the following: the science of nature is concerned with natural bodies insofar as they are subject to change, and the job of the student of nature is to provide the explanation of their natural change. The factors that are involved in the explanation of natural change turn out to be matter, form, that which produces the change, and the end of this change. Note that Aristotle does not say that all four explanatory factors are involved in the explanation of each and every instance of natural change. Rather, he says that an adequate explanation of natural change may involve a reference to all of them. Aristotle goes on by adding a specification on his doctrine of the four causes: the form and the end often coincide, and they are formally the same as that which produces the change (Phys. 198 a 23-26). This is one of the several times where Aristotle offers the slogan “it takes a man to generate a man” (for example, Phys. 194 b 13; Metaph. 1032 a 25, 1033 b 32, 1049 b 25, 1070 a 8, 1092 a 16). This slogan is designed to point at the fundamental fact that the generation of a man can be understood only in the light of the end of the process; that is to say, the fully developed man. What a fully developed man is is specified in terms of the form of a man, and this form is realized in its full development at the end of the generation. But this does not explain why it takes a man to generate a man. Note, however, that a fully developed man is not only the end of generation; it is also what initiates the entire process. For Aristotle, the ultimate moving principle responsible for the generation of a man is a fully developed living creature of the same kind; that is, a man who is formally the same as the end of generation.

Thus the student of nature is often left with three types of causes: the formal/final cause, the efficient cause, and the material cause. However, the view that there are in nature causes besides material and efficient causes was controversial in antiquity. According to Aristotle, most of his predecessors recognized only the material and the efficient cause. This explains why Aristotle cannot be content with saying that formal and final causes often coincide, but he also has to defend his thesis against an opponent who denies that final causality is a genuine mode of causality.

4. Final Causes Defended

Physics II 8 contains Aristotle’s most general defense of final causality. Here Aristotle establishes that explaining nature requires final causality by discussing a difficulty that may be advanced by an opponent who denies that there are final causes in nature. Aristotle shows that an opponent who claims that material and efficient causes alone suffice to explain natural change fails to account for their characteristic regularity. Before considering how the defense is attempted, however, it is important to clarify that this defense does not perform the function of a proof. By showing that an approach to the study of nature that ignores final causality cannot account for a crucial aspect of nature, Aristotle does not thereby prove that there are final causes in nature. Strictly speaking, the only way to prove that nature exhibits final causality is to establish it on independent grounds. But this is not what Aristotle does in Physics II 8. Final causality is here introduced as the best explanation for an aspect of nature which otherwise would remain unexplained.

The difficulty that Aristotle discusses is introduced by considering the way in which rain works. It rains because of material processes which can be specified as follows: when the warm air that has been drawn up is cooled off and becomes water, then this water comes down as rain (Phys. 198 b 19-21). It may happen that the corn in the field is nourished or the harvest is spoiled as a result of the rain, but it does not rain for the sake of any good or bad result. The good or bad result is just a coincidence (Phys. 198 b 21-23). So, why cannot all natural change work in the same way? For example, why cannot it be merely a coincidence that the front teeth grow sharp and suitable for tearing the food and the molars grow broad and useful for grinding the food (Phys. 198 b 23-27)? When the teeth grow in just this way, then the animal survives. When they do not, then the animal dies. More directly, and more explicitly, the way the teeth grow is not for the sake of the animal, and its survival or its death is just a coincidence (Phys. 198 b 29-32).

Aristotle’s reply is that the opponent is expected to explain why the teeth regularly grow in the way they do: sharp teeth in the front and broad molars in the back of the mouth. Moreover, since this dental arrangement is suitable for biting and chewing the food that the animal takes in, the opponent is expected to explain the regular connection between the needs of the animal and the formation of its teeth. Either there is a real causal connection between the formation of the teeth and the needs of the animal, or there is no real causal connection and it just so happens that the way the teeth grow is good for the animal. In this second case it is just a coincidence that the teeth grow in a way that it is good for the animal. But this does not explain the regularity of the connection. Where there is regularity there is also a call for an explanation, and coincidence is no explanation at all. In other words, to say that the teeth grow as they do by material necessity and this is good for the animal by coincidence is to leave unexplained the regular connection between the growth of the teeth and the needs of the animal. Aristotle offers final causality as his explanation for this regular connection: the teeth grow in the way they do for biting and chewing food and this is good for the animal.

One thing to be appreciated about Aristotle’s reply is that the final cause enters in the explanation of the formation of the parts of an organism like an animal as something that is good either for the existence or the flourishing of the animal. In the first case, something is good for the animal because the animal cannot survive without it; in the second case, something is good for the animal because the animal is better off with it. This helps us to understand why in introducing the concept of end (telos) that is relevant to the study of natural processes Aristotle insists on its goodness: “not everything that is last claims to be an end (telos), but only that which is best” (Phys. 194 a 32-33).

Once his defense of the use of final causes is firmly in place, Aristotle can make a step further by focusing on the role that matter plays in his explanatory project. Let us return to the example chosen by Aristotle, the regular growth of sharp teeth in the front and broad molars in the back of the mouth. What explanatory role is left for the material processes involved in the natural process? Aristotle does not seem to be able to specify what material processes are involved in the growth of the teeth, but he is willing to recognize that certain material processes have to take place for the teeth to grow in the particular way they do. In other words, there is more to the formation of the teeth than these material processes, but this formation does not occur unless the relevant material processes take place. For Aristotle, these material processes are that which is necessary to the realization of a specific goal; that which is necessary on the condition (on the hypothesis) that the end is to be obtained. Physics II 9 is entirely devoted to the introduction of the concept of hypothetical necessity and its relevance for the explanatory ambition of Aristotle’s science of nature. In this chapter matter is reconfigured as hypothetical necessity. By so doing Aristotle acknowledges the explanatory relevance of the material processes, while at the same time he emphasizes their dependency upon a specific end.

5. The Explanatory Priority of Final Causes

In the Physics Aristotle builds on his general account of the four causes in order to provide the student of nature with the explanatory resources indispensable for a successful investigation of the natural world. However, the Physics does not provide all the explanatory resources for all natural investigations. Aristotle returns to the topic of causality in the first book of the Parts of Animals. This is a relatively independent and self-contained treatise entirely devoted to developing the explanatory resources required for a successful study of animals and animal life. Here Aristotle completes his theory of causality by arguing for the explanatory priority of the final cause over the efficient cause.

Significantly enough, there is no attempt to argue for the existence of four fundamental modes of causality in the first book of the Parts of Animals. Aristotle clearly expects his reader to be already familiar with his general account of the four causes as well as his defense of final causality. The problem that here concerns Aristotle is presented in the following way: since both the final and the efficient cause are involved in the explanation of natural generation, we have to establish what is first and what is second (PA 639 b 12-13). Aristotle argues that there is no other way to explain natural generation than by reference to what lies at the end of the process. This has explanatory priority over the principle that is responsible for initiating the process of generation. Aristotle relies on the analogy between artistic production and natural generation, and the teleological model that he has developed for the explanation of artistic production. Consider, for example, house-building. There is no other way to explain how a house is built, or is being built, than by reference to the final result of the process, the house. More directly, the bricks and the beams are put together in the particular way they are for the sake of achieving a certain end: the production of the house. This is true also in the case of natural generation. In this context Aristotle’ slogan is “generation is for the sake of substance, not substance for the sake of generation” (PA 640 a 18-19). This means that the proper way to explain the generation of an organism like an animal, or the formation of its parts, is by reference to the product that lies at the end of the process; that is to say, a substance of a certain type. From Aristotle we learn that Empedocles explained the articulation of the human spine into vertebrae as the result of the twisting and turning that takes place when the fetus is in the womb of the mother. Aristotle finds this explanation unacceptable (PA 640 a 19-26). To begin with, the fetus must have the power to twist and turn in the way it does, and Empedocles does not have an explanation for this fact. Secondly, and more importantly, Empedocles overlooks the fact that it takes a man to generate a man. That is to say, the originating principle of the generation is a fully developed man which is formally the same as the final outcome of the process of generation. It is only by looking at the fully developed man that we can understand why our spine is articulated into vertebrae and why the vertebrae are arranged in the particular way they are. This amounts to finding the role that the spine has in the life of a fully developed man. Moreover, it is only by looking at the fully developed man that we can explain why the formation of the vertebrae takes place in the particular way it does. (For further information about the explanatory priority of the final over the efficient cause, see Code 1997, pp. 127-143.)

Perhaps we are now in the position to understand how Aristotle can argue that there are four (types of) causes and at the same time say that proper knowledge is knowledge of the cause or knowledge of the why (APost. 71 b 10-12, 94 a 20; Phys. 194 b 17-20; Metaph. 981 a 28-30). Admittedly, at least at first sight, this is a bit confusing. Confusion dissolves when we realize that Aristotle recognizes the explanatory primacy of the final/formal cause over the efficient and material cause. Of course this does not mean that the other causes can be eliminated. Quite the contrary: Aristotle is adamant that, for a full range of cases, all four causes must be given in order to give an explanation. More explicitly, for a full range of cases, an explanation which fails to invoke all four causes is no explanation at all. At the same time, however, the final/formal cause is the primary cause and knowledge of this cause amounts to knowledge of the why. There is, however, a caveat to be considered when interpreting this claim. Aristotle is not committed to the view that everything has all four causes, let alone that everything has a final/formal cause. In the Metaphysics, for example, Aristotle says that an eclipse of the moon does not have a final cause (Metaph.1044 b 12). What happens when there is no final/formal cause like in the case of an eclipse of the moon? An eclipse of the moon is deprivation of light by the interposition of the earth which is coming in between the sun and the moon. The interposition of the earth, that is, its coming in between the sun and the moon, is to be regarded as the efficient cause of the eclipse. Interestingly enough, Aristotle offers this efficient cause as the cause of the eclipse and that which has to be given in reply to the question “why?” (Metaph. 1044 b 13-15). The example of the eclipse of the moon suggests that Aristotle’s view is something like this: in each and every case there is some cause that is the primary cause about which one needs to know in order to have proper knowledge or knowledge of the why, and where there is a final/formal cause, this is the cause that one needs to know, but where there is not, the efficient cause may fill its role. This may explain why Aristotle can confidently say that “we claim we know each thing when we think we know its primary cause” (Metaph. 983 a 25-26. Cf. Phys. 194 b 20).

6. Conclusion

Natural investigation was a search for answers to the question “why?” before and independently of Aristotle. A critical examination of the use of the language of causality by his predecessors together with a careful study of natural phenomena led Aristotle to elaborate a theory of causality. This theory is presented in its most general form in Physics II 3 and in Metaphysics V 5. Here Aristotle argues that a final, formal, efficient or material cause can be given in answer to a why-question.

Aristotle further elaborates on causality in the rest of Physics II as well as in Parts of Animals I. Here Aristotle explores the systematic interrelations among the four modes of causality and argues for the explanatory priority of the final cause. In so doing Aristotle not only expands on his theory of causality; he also builds explanatory principles that are specific to the study of nature. Aristotle considers these principles an indispensable theoretical framework for a successful investigation of the natural world. He expects the student of nature to have mastered these principles before engaging in the investigation of any aspect of the natural world.

Although Aristotle’s theory of causality is developed in the context of his science of nature, its application goes well beyond the boundaries of natural science. This is already clear from the most general presentation of the theory in Physics II 3 and in Metaphysics V 5. Here the four causes are used to explain human action as well as artistic production. In addition, any theoretical investigation that there might be besides natural science will employ the doctrine of the four causes. Consider, briefly, the case of Aristotle’s Metaphysics. Here Aristotle is seeking wisdom. Part of the argument of the Metaphysics is in an attempt to clarify what sort of wisdom Aristotle is seeking. Suffice it to say that Aristotle conceives of this wisdom as a science of substance that is, or is a part of, a science of being qua being (for further information about this argument, see the entry Aristotle’s Metaphysics, especially Sections 1 and 3.) What is important is that this science consists in a causal investigation, that is, a search for the relevant causes. This helps us to understand why the most general presentation of Aristotle’s theory of causality is repeated, in almost the same words, in Physics II 3 and in Metaphysics V 5. Although the Physics and the Metaphysics belong to two different theoretical enterprises, in both cases we are expected to embark on an investigation that will eventuate in causal knowledge, and this is not possible without a firm grasp of the interrelations between the four (types of) causes.

7. Glossary of Aristotelian Terminology

  • account: logos
  • art: technê
  • artisan: technitês
  • cause: aitia, aition
  • difficulty: aporia
  • end: telos
  • essence: to ti ên einai
  • form: eidos
  • generation: genesis
  • goal: telos
  • knowledge: epistêmê
  • necessity: anankê
  • principle: archê
  • substance:ousia
  • why: dia ti, dioti
  • wisdom: sophia

Bibliography

General survey

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The Four Causes

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  • Code, A., “Soul as Efficient Cause in Aristotle’s Embryology,” Philosophical Topics, 15 (1987), pp. 51-59.
  • Code, A., “The Priority of Final Causes over Efficient Causes in Aristotle’s Parts of Animals,” in W. Kullmann and S. Föllinger (eds.), Aristotelische Biologie (Stuttgart 1997), pp. 127-143.
  • Freeland, C., “Accidental Causes and Real Explanations,” in L. Judson (ed.), Aristotle’s Physics: A Collection of Essays (Oxford 1991), pp. 49-72.
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Art and Nature

  • Broadie, S., “Nature and Craft in Aristotelian Teleology,” in D. Devereux and P. Pellegrin (eds.), Biologie, Logique et Métaphysique chez Aristote (Paris 1990), pp. 389-403. This article is printed with the title “Nature, Craft, and Phronesis in Aristotle,” Philosophical Topics 15 (1987), pp. 35-50.
  • La Croce, E., “El concepto aristotelico de tecnica,” Ethos 4 (1976/77), pp. 253-265.
  • Jacobs, W., “Art and Biology in Aristotle,” in G. C. Simmons (ed.), Paideia, Special Aristotle Issue (New York 1978), pp. 16-29.
  • Solmsen, F., “Nature as Craftsman in Greek Thought,” Journal of the History of Ideas 24 (1963), pp. 473-496; reprinted in F. Solmsen, Kleine Schriften (Hildesheim/New York 1963), pp. 332-351.

Teleology and Necessity

  • Balme, D., “Teleology and Necessity,” in A. Gotthelf and J. G. Lennox (eds.), Philosophical Issues in Aristotle Biology (Cambridge 1987), pp. 275-286.
  • Bolton, R., “The Material Cause: Matter and Explanation in Aristotle’s Natural Science,” in W. Kullmann and S. Föllinger (eds.), Aristotelische Biologie (Stuttgart 1997), pp. 97-126.
  • Boylan, M., “Mechanism and Teleology in Aristotle’s Biology,” Apeiron 15 (1981), pp. 96-102.
  • Boylan, M., “The Place of Nature in Aristotle’s Teleology,” Apeiron 18 (1984), pp. 126-140.
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  • Cameron, R., “The Ontology of Aristotle’s Final Cause,” Apeiron 35 (2002), pp. 153-179.
  • Charles, D., “Aristotle on Hypothetical Necessity and Irreducibility,” Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 69 (1988), pp. 1-53; reprinted in T. Irwin (ed.), Classical Philosophy. Collected Papers (New York/London 1995), pp. 27-80.
  • Charles, D., “Teleological Causation in the Physics,” in L. Judson (ed.), Aristotle’s Physics: A Collection of Essays (Oxford 1991), pp. 101-128.
  • Cooper, J. M., “Aristotle on Natural Teleology,” in M. Schofield and M. Nussbaum (eds.), Language and Logos (Cambridge 1982), pp. 197-222, reprinted in J. M. Cooper, Knowledge, Nature and the Good: Essays on Ancient Philosophy (Princeton 2004), pp. 107-129.
  • Cooper, J. M., “Hypothetical Necessity,” in A. Gotthelf (ed.), Aristotle on Nature and Living Things, pp. 150-167, reprinted in J. M. Cooper, Knowledge, Nature and the Good: Essays on Ancient Philosophy (Princeton 2004), pp. 130-147.
  • Cooper, J. M., “Hypothetical Necessity and Natural Teleology,” in A. Gotthelf and J. G. Lennox (eds.), Philosophical Issues in Aristotle Biology (Cambridge 1987), pp. 243-274.
  • Friedman, R., “Matter and Necessity in Physics B 9, 200 a 15-30,” Ancient Philosophy 1 (1983), pp. 8-12.
  • Furley, D. J., “What Kind of Cause is Aristotle’ Final Cause?,” in M. Frede and G. Stricker (eds.), Rationality in Greek Thought (Oxford 1999), pp. 59-79.
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  • Gotthelf, A., “The Place of the Good in Aristotle’s Teleology,” in J. J. Cleary and D. C. Shartin (eds.), Proceedings of the Boston Colloquium in Ancient Philosophy, vol. 4 (1988), pp. 113-39.
  • Gotthelf, A., “Understanding Aristotle’s Teleology,” in R. Hassing (ed.), Final Causality in Nature and Human Affairs (Washington DC 1997), pp. 71-82.
  • Johnson, M. R., Aristotle on Teleology (Oxford 2005).
  • Lewis, F., “Teleology and Material/Efficient Causes in Aristotle,” Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 69 (1988), pp. 54-98.
  • Nussbaum, M., “Aristotle on Teleological Explanation,” in M. Nussbaum, Aristotle’s De motu animalium, (Princeton 1978), pp. 59-99.
  • Owens, J., “The Teleology of Nature,” Monist 52 (1968), pp. 159-173, reprinted J. R. Catan (ed.), Aristotle: The Collected Papers of J. Owens (New York 1981), pp. 136-147.
  • Pellegrin, P., “Les ruses de la nature et l’eternité du mouvement. Encore quelques remarques sur la finalité chez Aristote,” in M. Canto-Sperber and P. Pellegrin (eds.), Le Style de la pensée. Recueil des textes en hommage à Jacques Brunschwig (Paris 2002), pp. 296-323.
  • Quarantotto, D., Causa finale, sostanza, essenza in Aristotele, Saggi sulla struttura dei processi teleologici naturali e sulla funzione dei telos (Napoli 2005).
  • Sauvé Meyer, S., “Aristotle, Teleology, and Reduction,” Philosophical Review 101 (1992), pp. 791-825; reprinted in T. Irwin (ed.), Classical Philosophy. Collected Papers (New York/London 1995), pp. 81-116.
  • Sorabji, R., Necessity, Cause and Blame (London 1980), pp. 143-174.
  • Wieland, W., “The Problem of Teleology,” in J. Barnes, M. Schofield, R. Sorabji (eds.), Articles on Aristotle (London 1975), pp. 141-160; originally published as chapter 16, “Zum Teleologieproblem,” of Die aristotelische Physik (Göttingen 1962).

Special Topics

  • Bodnár, I., “Teleology across Natures,” Rhizai 2 (2005), pp. 9-29.
  • Boeri, M. D., “Change and Teleology in Aristotle Physics,” International Philosophical Quarterly 34 (1995), pp. 87-96.
  • Fine, G., “Forms as Causes: Plato and Aristotle,” in A. Graeser (ed.), Mathematics and Metaphysics in Aristotle (Bern 1987), pp. 69-112.
  • Furley, D. J., “The Rainfall Example in Physics II 8,” in A. Gotthelf (ed.), Aristotle on Nature and Living Things (Pittsburgh 1985), pp. 177-182, reprinted in D. J. Furley, Cosmic Problems (Cambridge 1989), pp. 115-120.
  • Furley, D. J., “Aristotle and the Atomists on Forms and Final Causes,” in R. W. Sharples, Perspectives on Greek Philosophy (Aldershot/Burlington 2004), pp. 70-84.
  • Gaiser, K., “Das zweifache Telos bei Aristoteles”, in I. Düring (ed.), Naturphilosophie bei Aristoteles und Theophrast. 4th Simposium Aristotelicum (Heidelberg 1969), pp. 97-113.
  • Gotthelf, A., “Teleology and Spontaneous Generation: A Discussion,” in R. Kraut and T. Penner (eds.), Nature, Knowledge and Virtue: Apeiron: Special Issue 22.4 (1989), pp. 181-193.
  • Kullmann, W., “Different Concepts of the Final Cause in Aristotle,” in A. Gotthelf (ed.), Aristotle on Nature and Living Things (Pittsburgh 1985), pp. 170-175.
  • Lennox, J. G., “Aristotle on Chance,” Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 66 (1984), pp. 52-60; reprinted in J. G. Lennox, Aristotle’s Philosophy of Biology (Cambridge 1999), pp. 250-258.
  • Lennox, J. G., “Teleology, Chance, and Aristotle’s Theory of Spontaneous Generation,” The Journal of History of Philosophy 20 (1982), pp. 219-238, reprinted in J. G. Lennox, Aristotle’s Philosophy of Biology (Cambridge 1999), pp. 229-249.
  • Lennox, J. G., “Material and Formal Natures in Aristotle’s De Partibus Animalium,” in J. G. Lennox, Aristotle’s Philosophy of Biology (Cambridge 1999), pp. 182-204.
  • Pavlopoulos, M., “Aristotle’s Natural Teleology and Metaphysics of Life”, Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 24 (2003), pp. 133-181.
  • Sedley, D., “Is Aristotle’s Teleology Anthropocentric?,” Phronesis 1991 (36), pp. 179-197.
  • Turnbull, R. G., “Aristotle’s Debt to the ‘Natural Philosophy’ of the Phaedo,” Philosophical Quarterly 8 (1958), pp. 131-143.
  • Wardy, R., “Aristotelian Rainfall or the Lore of Averages,” Phronesis 1993 (38), pp. 18-30.

Oleh: fuadsiraj | November 9, 2008

HERMENEUTIKA

Kajian sastra, apa pun bentuknya, berkaitan dengan suatu aktivitas yakni interpretasi (penafsiran). Kegiatan apresiasi sastra dan kritik sastra, pada awal dan akhirnya, bersangkutpaut dengan karya sastra yang harus diinterpreatasi dan dimaknai. Semua kegiatan kajian sastra–terutama dalam prosesnya–pasti melibatkan peranan konsep hermeneutika. Oleh karena itu, hermeneutika menjadi hal yang prinsip dan tidak mungkin diabaikan. Atas dasar itulah hermeneutika perlu diperbincangkan secara komprehensif guna memperoleh pemahaman yang memadai.
Dalam hubungan ini, mula-mula perlu disadari bahwa interpretasi dan pemaknaan tidak diarahkan pada suatu proses yang hanya menyentuh permukaan karya sastra, tetapi yang mampu “menembus kedalaman makna” yang terkandung di dalamnya. Untuk itu, interpreter (si penafsir) mesti memiliki wawasan bahasa, sastra, dan budaya yang cukup luas dan mendalam. Berhasil-tidaknya interpreter untuk mencapai taraf interpretasi yang optimal, sangat bergantung pada kecermatan dan ketajaman interpreter itu sendiri. Selain itu, tentu saja dibutuhkan metode pemahaman yang memadai; metode pemahaman yang mendukung merupakan satu syarat yang harus dimiliki interpreter. Dari beberapa alternatif yang ditawarkan para ahli sastra dalam memahami karya sastra, metode pemahaman hermeneutika dapat dipandang sebagai metode yang paling memadai.
Pada mulanya hermeneutika adalah penafsiran terhadap kitab-kitab suci. Namun, dalam kurun berikutnya, lingkupnya berkembang dan mencakup masalah penafsiran secara menyeluruh (Eagleton, 1983: 66). Dalam perkembangan hermeneutika, berbagai pandangan terutama datang dari para filsuf yang menaruh perhatian pada soal hermeneutika. Ada beberapa tokoh yang dapat disebutkan di sini, di antaranya: F.D.E. Schleirmacher, Wilhelm Dilthey, Martin Heidegger, Husserl, Emilio Betti, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Jurgen Habermas, Paul Ricoeur, dan Jacques Derrida. Pada prinsipnya, di antara mereka ada beberapa kesamaan pemikiran yang dimiliki, terutama dalam hal bagimana hermeneutika jika dikaitkan dengan studi sastra khususnya dan ilmu-ilmu humaniora dan sosial pada umumnya. Di samping itu, terdapat pula perbedaan dalam cara pandang dan aplikasinya. Terjadinya perbedaan tersebut pada dasarnya karena mereka menitik-beratkan pada hal yang berbeda atau beranjak dari titik tolak yang berbeda.
Dalam konteks itulah berbagai pemikiran dan cara aplikasi hermeneutika tersebut perlu dibahas secara khusus. Dalam hal ini ada berbagai pemikiran dari empat pemikir yang akan digunakan untuk mengkajinya. Beberapa pemikir termaksud adalah Andre Lefevere (1977), Terry Eagleton (1983), M.J. Valdes (1987), dan G.B. Madison (1988).
Bertolak dari empat pemikir itulah pembahasan ini akan berupaya mengetengahkan kembali hasil pemahaman secara komprehensif tentang hermeneutika. Di samping itu, juga diupayakan menjelaskan pembahasan apakah hermeneutika dalam interpretasi sastra sebagai konsep metodologis atau ontologis.
Hermeneutika sebenarnya merupakan topik lama, namun kini muncul kembali sebagai sesuatu yang baru dan menarik, apalagi dengan berkembangnya ilmu-ilmu sosial dan humaniora. Sastra sebagai bagian ilmu humaniora merupakan salah satu bidang yang sangat membutuhkan konsep hermeneutika ini. Dengan demikian, hermeneutika seakan-akan bangkit kembali dari masa lalu dan dianggap penting.
Untuk memahami substansi hermeneutika, sebenarnya dapat dikembalikan kepada sejarah filsafat dan teologi, karena hermeneutika tampak dikembangkan dalam kedua disiplin tersebut. Selanjutnya, perkembangan pemikiran tentang hermeneutika secara lambat laun merebak ke berbagai area disiplin lainnya, termasuk juga pada disiplin sastra.
Apabila ditelusuri perihal sejarah perkembangan hermeneutika, khususnya hermeneutika teks-teks, pada awalnya tampak dalam sejarah teologi, dan lebih umum lagi dalam sejarah permikiran teologis Yudio-Krisitiani. Lefevere (1977: 46) menyebutnya sebagai sumber-sumber asli, yakni yang bersandarkan pada penafsiran dan khotbah Bibel agama Protestan (bdk. Eagleton, 1983: 66). Secara lebih umum, hermeneutika di masa lampau memiliki arti sebagai sejumlah pedoman untuk pemahaman teks-teks yang bersifat otoritatif, seperti dogma dan kitab suci. Dalam konteks ini, dapatlah diungkapkan bahwa herme-neutika tidak lain adalah menafsirkan berdasarkan pemahaman yang sangat mendalam. Dengan perkataan lain, menggunakan sesuatu yang “gelap” ke sesuatu yang “terang”.
Perlu diketahui, kemunculan hermeneutika dalam ilmu-ilmu sosial merupakan perkembangan yang menarik. Berbagai anggapan muncul mewarnai pertanyaan mengapa hermeneutika berkembang dalam ilmu-ilmu sosial. Sehubungan dengan itu, Eagleton (1983: 60) melihat bahwa kemunculannya itu lebih dilatarbelakangi oleh adanya krisis ideologi di Eropa, yang pada masa itu ilmu semakin menjadi positivisme yang mandul karena subjektivisme yang sulit dipertahankan. Konsekuensinya, muncullah beberapa tokoh yang mencoba menawarkan alternatif, di antaranya adalah Husserl. Ia menolak sikap yang terlalu ilmiah (Eagleton, 1983: 60-61). Sehubungan dengan itu, Madison (1988: 40) juga mengatakan bahwa masalah status epistemologi ilmu-ilmu sosial atau kemanusiaan menjadi bahan pembahasan secara terus-menerus selama beberapa dekade. Namun, yang paling prinsip diungkapkannya di sini adalah bagaimana sumbangan Husserl tentang “penjelasan” dan “pemahaman” dalam hermeneutika. Dua konsep ini kemudian dipertegas oleh M.J. Valdes (1987: 56-57) dengan mengemukakan teori relasional tentang sastra dan menolak validitas dari semua klaim terhadap berbagai interpretasi yang definitif. Mereka memandang pentingnya subjek dalam posisi respons, sehingga karya sastra klasik tidak diinterpreasi secara definitif melainkan terus-menerus. Karya-karya klasik seperti karya Aristoteles, Dante, Shakespeare, Goethe, Keats, Proust, dan sebagainya, tidak cukup diinterpretasi sekali, tetapi perlu diinterpretasi secara berkesinambungan dari generasi ke generasi.

Hermeneutika dikatakan Dilthey diterapkan pada objek geisteswissen-schaften (ilmu-ilmu budaya), yang menganjurkan metode khusus yaitu pemahaman (verstehen). Perlu dikemukakan bahwa konsep “memahami” bukanlah menjelaskan secara kausal, tetapi lebih pada membawa diri sendiri ke dalam suatu pengalaman hidup yang jauh, sebagaimana pengalaman pengobjektifan diri dalam dokumen, teks (kenangan tertulis), dan tapak-tapak kehidupan batin yang lain, serta pandangan-pandangan dunia (welstancauunganen) (Madison, 1988: 41). Dalam dunia kehidupan sosial-budaya, para pelaku tidak bertindak menurut pola hubungan subjek-objek, tetapi berbicara dalam language games (permainan bahasa) yang melibatkan unsur kognitif, emotif, dan visional manusia. Keseluruhan unsur tersebut bertindak dalam kerangka tindakan komunikatif, yaitu tindakan untuk mencapai pemahaman yang timbalbalik.
Lefevere (1977: 46-47) memandang bahwa ada tiga varian hermeneutika yang pokok. Dari ketiga varian tersebut, tidak satu pun dapat melepaskan diri sepenuhnya dari sumber asalnya, yakni penafsiran terhadap kitab-kitab suci. Konsekuensinya, gaya tulisan menjadi berbelit-belit dan hampir tidak pernah jelas, dan ini menjadi ciri khas berbagai tulisan hermeneutika. Permainan kata yang bertele-tele dan ungkapan khusus turut membuat hermeneutika membosankan. Kenyataan ini dapat mengaburkan substansi hermeneutika yang sesungguhnya sangat bernilai.
Jika orang menyadari bahwa tulisan yang hermeneutis kebanyakan dibuat dalam gaya seperti itu, orang akan sedikit memahami mengapa dialog nyata antar para penganut aliran hermeneutika dan positivis logis begitu sulit untuk diprakarsai. Kendati demikian, dalam kehidupan akademik saat ini, tentunya asumsi-sumsi itu tidak relevan dengan permainan kata, yang di dalamnya kita turut ambil bagian.
Ketiga varian yang dimaksudkan Lefevere adalah: pertama, hermeneutika tradisional (romantik); kedua, hermeneutika dialektik; dan ketiga, hermeneutika ontologis. Perlu dikemukakan, di satu sisi, ketiga varian itu sepakat dengan pendefinisian sastra sebagai objektivisasi jiwa manusia, yang pada dasarnya bisa diamati, dijelaskan, dan dipahami (verstehen). Di sisi lain, ketiga varian hermeneutika itu berbeda dalam menginterpretasi verstehen-nya. Untuk itu, selanjutnya perlu dijelaskan bagaimana ketiga varian hermeneutika itu dalam kerangka kajian sastra, mulai hermeneutika tradisional, dialektik, hingga ontologis.

Refleksi kritis mengenai hermeneutika mula-mula dirintis oleh Friedrich Schleiermacher, kemudian dilanjutkan Wilhelm Dilthey. Hermeneutika yang mereka kembangkan kemudian dikenal dengan “hermeneutika tradisional” atau “romantik”. Mereka berpandangan, proses versetehen mental melalui suatu pemikiran yang aktif, merespons pesan dari pikiran yang lain dengan bentuk-bentuk yang berisikan makna tertentu (Lefevere, 1997: 47). Pada konteks ini dapat diketahui bahwa dalam menafsirkan teks, Schleiermacher lebih menekankan pada “pemahaman pengalaman pengarang” atau bersifat psikologis, sedangkan Dilthey menekankan pada “ekspresi kehidupan batin” atau makna peristiwa-peristiwa sejarah. Apabila dicermati, keduanya dapat dikatakan memahami hermeneutika sebagai penafsiran reproduktif. Namun, pandangan mereka ini diragukan oleh Lefevere (1977: 47) karena dipandang sangat sulit dimengerti bagaimana proses ini dapat diuji secara inter-subjektif. Keraguannya ini agaknya didukung oleh pandangan Valdes (1987: 58) yang menganggap proses seperti itu serupa dengan teori histori yang didasarkan pada penjelasan teks menurut konteks pada waktu teks tersebut disusun dengan tujuan mendapatkan pemahaman yang definitif.

Jika diapresisasi secara lebih jauh, Lefevere tampak juga ingin menyatakan adanya cara-cara pemahaman yang berbeda pada ilmu-ilmu alam (naturwissen schaften). Baginya, ilmu-ilmu alam lebih mendekati objeknya dalam erklaren (2), dan ilmu-ilmu sosial serta humanistis (geisteswissenschaften) lebih mendekati objeknya dengan versetehen. Selain itu, perlu dikatakan bahwa cara kerja ilmu-ilmu alam lebih banyak menggunakan positivisme logis dan kurang menggunakan hermeneutika. Cara semacam itu tentu saja sangat sulit diterapkan pada ilmu-ilmu sosial dan humaniora (1977: 48), apalagi secara spesifik dalam karya sastra karena menurut Eagleton (1983) “dunia” karya sastra bukanlah suatu kenyataan yang objektif, tetapi Lebenswelt (bahasa Jerman), yakni kenyataan seperti yang sebenarnya tersusun dan dialami oleh seorangsubjek.
Menurut Lefevere, varian hermeneutika tradisional ini juga menganut pemahaman yang salah tentang penciptaan. Varian ini agaknya cenderung mengabaikan kenyataan bahwa antara pengamat dan penafsir (pembaca) tidak akan terjadi penafsiran yang sama karena pengalaman atau latar belakang masing-masing tidak pernah sama. Dengan demikian, teranglah di sini bahwa varian ini tidak mempertimbangkan audience (pembacanya). Peran subjek pembaca sebagai pemberi respon dan makna diabaikan (1977: 47-48); Eagleton, 1983: 59; Valdes, 1987: 57; Madison, 1988: 41). Yang jelas, varian ini terlalu berasumsi bahwa semua pembaca memiliki pengetahuan dan penafsiran yang sama terhadap apa yang diungkapkan.
Kelemaham yang ditampakkan dalam varian hermeneutika tradisional, sebagaimana diungkapkan oleh Lefevere, karena berpegang pada cara berpikir kaum positivis yang menganggap hermeneutika (khususnya versetehen) hanya “menghidupkan kembali” (mereproduksi). Sejalan dengan Betti, Lefevere membenarkan bahwa interpretasi tidak mungkin identik dengan penghidupan kembali, melainkan identik dengan rekonstruksi struktur-struktur yang sudah objektif, dan perbedaan interpretasi merupakan suatu hal yang dapat terjadi. Maksudnya, penafsir dapat membawa aktualitas kehidupannya sendiri secara intim menurut pesan yang dmunculkan oleh objek tersebut kepadanya (Lefevere, 1977: 49). Hal ini menurut Lefevere merupakan soal penting yang harus dilakukan dalam penafsiran teks sastra.
Varian hermeneutika dialektik ini sebenarnya dirumuskan oleh Karl Otto Apel. Ia mendefinisikan versetehen tingkah laku manusia sebagai suatu yang dipertentangkan dengan penjelasan berbagai kejadian alam. Apel mengatakan bahwa interpretasi tingkah laku harus dapat dipahami dan diverifikasi secara intersubjektif dalam konteks kehidupan yang merupakan permainan bahasa (Lefevere, 1977: 49).
Sehubungan dengan hal itu, lebih jauh Lefevere (1977: 49) menilai bahwa secara keseluruhan hermeneutika dialektik yang dirumuskan Apel sebenarnya cenderung mengintegrasikan berbagai komponen yang tidak berhubungan dengan hermeneutika itu sendiri secara tradisional. Apel tampakanya mencoba memadukan antara penjelasan (erklaren) dan pemahaman (verstehen); keduanya harus saling mengimplikasikan dan melengkapi satu sama lain. Ia menyatakan bahwa tidak seorang pun dapat memahami sesuatu (verstehen) tanpa pengetahuan faktual secara potensial. Dengan demikian, pandangan Apel tersebut sebenarnya mengandung dualitas. Di satu sisi, tidak ada ilmuwan alam yang dapat menjelaskan sesuatu secara potensial. Di sisi lain, sekaligus tidak ada ilmuwan alam yang dapat menjelaskan sesuatu secara potensial tanpa pemahaman intersubjektif. Dalam hal ini teranglah bahwa “penjelasan” dan pemahaman” dibutuhkan, baik pada ilmu-ilmu sosial dan kemanusiaan (geistewissenschaften) maupun ilmu-ilmu alam (naturwissen-shacften) (Lefevere, 1977: 49).

Pandangan Apel itu dapat dinilai sebagai pikiran modern, karena dia mencoa mempertemukan kedua kutub tersebut sebagaimana yang juga diakui oleh Madison (1988: 40). Secara umum, soal ini dipertimbangkan sebagai masalah dalam filsafat ilmu (filsafat pengetahuan). Masalah inilah yang banyak dikupas secara panjang lebar oleh Madison. Dia mengungkapkan bagaimana pandangan Apel dan sumbangan Husserl. Pada intinya, Madison menyatakan bahwa penjelasan bukanlah sesuatu yang berlawanan dengan pemahaman (1988: 47-48). Selanjutnya, dalam sudut pandang hermeneutika, Madison mengatakan bahwa penjelasan bukanlah suatu yang secara murni atau semata-mata berlawanan dengan pemahaman, dan bukan pula merupakan suatu yang bisa menggantikan pemahaman secara keseluruhan. Penjelasan lebih merupakan tatanan penting dan sah dalam pemahaman yang tujuan akhirnya adalah pemahaman diri (Madison, 1988: 49).
Inti varian hermeneutika dialektik tersebut-yang tidak mempertentangkan “penjelasan” dengan “pemahaman”-sejalan dengan pandangan Valdes. Dalam pandangannya, bagaimana ia menganggap penting “penjelasan” dan “pemahaman” untuk menjelaskan prinsip interpretasi dalam beberapa teori utamanya, yakni teori historis, formalis, hermeneutika filosofis, dan poststrukturalis atau dekonstruksi (1987:57-59).
Dalam varian hermeneutika dialektik ini, definisi verstehen yang dikemukakan Apel mengimplikasikan pengertian bahwa tidak ada yang tidak dapat dilakukan ilmuwan. Jika ilmuwan mencoba memahami fenomena tertentu, ia akan menghubungkan dengan latar belakang aturan-atuaran yang diverifikasi secara intersubjektif sebagaimana yang dikodifikasi pada hukum-hukum dan teori-teori. Pengalaman laboratorium pun turut mempengaruhi ilmuwan dalam memahami apa saja yang tengah ditelitinya. Dengan demikian, jelaslah bahwa verstehen pada dasarnya berfungsi untuk memahami objek kajiannya.
Dalam hubungan itu, Gadamer (Lefevere, 1977: 50) mengatakan bahwa semua yang mencirikan situasi penetapan dan pemahaman dalam suatu percakapan memerlukan hermeneutika. Begitu pun ketika dilakukan pemahaman terhadap teks. Namun, dalam hal ini menarik jika mencermati pandangan Lefevere. Ia menyatakan bahwa suatu pemahaman yang hanya berdasar pada analogi-analogi dan metafor-metafor dapat menimbulkan kesenjangan. Atas dasar itulah Lefevere berpandangan bahwa verstehen tidak dapat dipakai sebagai metode untuk mendekati sastra secara tuntas. Pandangannya ini dapat dimaklumi, mengingat dalam memahami sastra, pemahaman tidak dapat dilakukan hanya dengan berpijak pada teks semata, tetapi seharusnya juga konteks dan subjek penganalisisnya. Dengan demikian, dapat dikatakan bahwa realitas teks adalah realitas yang sangat kompleks yang tidak cukup dipahami dalam dirinyasendiri.
Varian yang terakhir adalah hermeneutika ontologis. Aliran hermeneutika ini digagas oleh Hans-Georg Gadamer. Dalam mengemukakan deskripsinya, ia bertolak dari pemikiran filosof Martin Heidegger. Sebagai penulis kontemporer dalam bidang hermeneutika yang sangat terkemuka, Gadamer tidak lagi memandang konsep verstehen sebagai kosep metodologis, melainkan memandang verstehen sebagai pemahaman yang mengarah pada tingkat ontologis.
Verstehen, menurut Gadamer, merupakan jalan keberadaan kehidupan manusia itu sendiri yang asli. Varian hermeneutika ini menganggap dirinya bebas dari hambatan-hambatan konsep ilmiah yang bersifar ontologis (Lefevere, 1977: 50). Dalam hal ini, agaknya Gadamer menolak konsep hemeneutika sebagi metode. Kendatipun menurutnya hermeneutika adalah pemahaman, dia tidak menyatakan bahwa pemahaman itu bersifat metodis.

Dalam sudut pandang Gadamer, masalah hermeneutika merupakan masalah aplikasi yang berhenti pada semua verstehen. Kendatipun memperlihatkan kemajuan pandang yang luar biasa, pandangan Gadamer juga masih tidak lepas dari kritikan yang diajukan Lefevere. Lefevere (1977: 50) menganggap bahwa varian ketiga ini masih mencampuradukkan kritik dengan interpretasi. Dalam hal ini Lefevere sepertinya menganggap perlu menentukan batas kritik dengan interpretasi. Bagi Lefevere, dalam varian ini tampak Gadamer lebih mementingkan “rekreasi”. Maksudnya, ia tidak memandang proses pemahaman makna terhadap teks itu sebagai jalan “reproduktif”, tetapi sebagai jalan “produktif”. Berbeda halnya dengan apresiasi Lefevere, Valdes justru melihat bahwa apa yang dikembangkan Gadamer dalam Hermenetika filosofis itu dianggap menjadi basis kritik sastra yang lebih memuaskan.

Dialektika dari hermeneutika filosofis dipandang merupakan inti yang menyatukan semua kelompok teori yang dilontarkan oleh para pemikir yang berbeda-beda, seperti Gadamer, Habermas, dan Ricoeur (1987: 59)
Konsep hermeneutika ontologis Gadamer, yang bertitik tolak pada teks, didukung sepenuhnya dalam kata-kata Ricoeur. Ia menyatakan bahwa teks merupakan sesuatu yang bernilai, jauh melebihi sebuah kasus tertentu dari komunikasi intersubjektif. Teks memainkan sebuah karakteristik yang fundamental dari satu-satunya historisitas pengalaman manusia, yakni teks merupakan komunikasi dalam dan melalui jarak (Valdes, 1987: 61-62; Madison, 1988: 45). Oleh karena itu, tampak di sini Gadamer mengikuti filsafat Heidegger yang berusaha mencari hubungan dengan fenomena. Dengan demikian, dalam varian ini Gadamer mengembalikan peran subjek pembaca selaku pemberi makna-yang hal ini dinaifkan dalam hermeneutika tradisional.
Hermeneutika yang berkembang dalam interpretasi sastra sangat berkait dengan perkembangan pemikiran hermeneutika, terutama dalam sejarah filsafat dan teologi karena pemikiran hermeneutika mula-mula muncul dalam dua bidang tersebut, sebagaimana dikemukakan. Untuk memahami hermeneutika dalam interpretasi sastra, memang diperlukan pemahaman sejarah hermeneutika, terutama megenai tiga varian hermeneutika seperti yang dikemukakan Lefevere (hermeneutika tradisional, dialektik, dan ontologis). Yang jelas, dengan pemahaman tiga varian hermeneutika tersebut, niscaya akan lebih memungkinkan adanya pemahaman yang memadai tentang hermeneutika dalam sastra. Selama ini, hermeneutika merupakan salah satu model pamahaman yang paling representatif dalam studi sastra, karena hakikat studi sastra itu sendiri sebenarnya tidak dari interpretasi teks sastra berdasar pemahaman yang mendalam. Namun, sebagaimana dikatakan Lefevere (1977: 51), hermeneutika tidak mempunyai status khusus dan bukan merupakan model pemahaman yang secara khusus begitu saja diterapkan dalam sastra, karena sastra merupakan objektivitas jiwa manusia. Beranjak dari apa yang dikatakan Lefevere jelaslah bahwa sesungguhnya diperlukan pengkhususan jika hermeneutika mau diterapkan dalam sastra, mengingat objek studi sastra itu adalah karya estetik.

Dalam perkembangan teoriteori sastra kontemporer juga terlihat bahwa ada kecenderungan yang kuat untuk meletakkan pentingnya peran subjek pembaca (audience) dalam menginterpretasi makna teks. Kecenderungan itu sangat kuat tampak pada hermeneutika ontologis yang dikembangkan oleh Gadamer, yang pemahamannya didasarkan pada basis filsafat fenomenologi Heidegger, Valdes (1987: 59-63) menyebut hal ini sebagai hermeneutika fenomenologi, dan terkait dengan nama-nama tokoh Heidegger, Gadamer, dan Ricoeur.
Untuk itu, jika kita menerima hermeneutika sebagai sebuah teori interpretasi reflektif, hermenetuika fenomenologis merupakan sebuah teori interpretasi reflektif yang didasarkan pada perkiraan filosofis fenomenologis. Dasar dari hermeneutika fenomenologis adalah mempertanyakan hubungan subjek-objek dan dari pertanyaan inilah dapat diamati bahwa ide dari objektivitas perkiraan merupakan sebuah hubungan yang mencakup objek yang tersembunyi. Hubungan ini bersifat mendasar dan fundamental (being-in-the-world) (Eagleton, 1983: 59-60).
Dalam hubungan tersebut, perlu pula disebut seorang tokoh bernama Paul Rocoeur. Ia adalah seorang tokoh setelah Gadamer yang dalam perkembangan mutakhir banyak mengembangkan hermeneutika dalam bidang sastra dan meneruskan pemikiran filosofi fenomenologis. Menariknya, dalam hermeneutika fenomenologis, ia menyatakan bahwa setiap pertanyaan yang dipertanyakan yang berkenaan dengan teks yang akan diinterpretasi adalah sebuah pertanyaan tentang arti dan makna teks (Valdes, 1987: 60). Arti dan makna teks itu diperoleh dari upaya pencarian dalam teks berdasarkan bentuk, sejarah, pengalaman membaca, dan self-reflection dari pelaku interpretasi. Jika dicermati, pernyataan Ricoeur tersebut tampak mengarah pada suatu pandangan bahwa interpretasi itu pada dasrnya untuk mengeksplikasi jenis being-in-the-world (Dasein) yang terungkap dalam dan melalui teks. Ia juga menegaskan bahwa pemahaman yang paling baik akan terjadi manakala interpreter berdiri pada self-understanding. Bagi Ricoeur, membaca sastra melibatkan pembaca dalam aktivitas refigurasi dunia, dan sebagai konsekuensi dari aktivitas ini, berbagai pertanyaan moral, filosofis, dan estetis tentang dunia tindakan menjadi pertanyaan yang harus dijawab (Valdes, 1987: 64).

Selain itu, ada satu hal prinsip lagi yang perlu diperhatikan sehubungan dengan pemahaman-khususnya dalam pemahaman terhadap teks sastra-adalah gagasan “lingkaran hermeneutika” yang dicetuskan oleh Dilthey dan yang diterima oleh Gadamer. Dalam studi sastra, gerak melingkar dari pemahaman ini amat penting karena gagasan ini menganggap bahwa untuk memahami objek dibatasi oleh konteks-konteks. Misalnya, untuk memahami bagian-bagian harus dalam konteks keseluruhan dan sebaliknya, dalam memahami keseluruhan harus memahami bagian per bagian. Dengan demikian, pemahaman ini berbentuk lingkaran. Dengan perkataan lain, untuk memahami suatu objek, pembaca harus memiliki suatu pra-paham, kemudian pra-paham itu perlu disadari lebih lanjut lewat makna objek yang diberikan. Pra-paham yang dimiliki untuk memahami objek tersebut bukanlah suatu penjelasan, melainkan suatu syarat bagi kemungkinan pemahaman. Lingkaran pemahaman ini merupakan “lingkaran produktif.” Maksudnya, pemahaman yang dicapai pada masa kini, di masa depan akan menjadi pra-paham baru pada taraf yang lebih tinggi karena adanya pengayaan proses kognitif. Oleh karena itulah penafsiran terhadap teks dalam studi sastra pada prinsipnya terjadi dalam prinsip yang berkesinambungan.
Keberadaan konsep hermeneutika sangat signifikan dalam interpretasi sastra. Dikatakan demikian karena hermeneutika memberikan model pemahaman -dan cara pemaknaan-yang sangat mendalam dan memacu interpreter pada pemahaman yang substansial.
Pandangan Lefevere bahwa hermeneutika tidak dapat dipakai sebagai dasar ilmiah studi sastra atau sebagai metode pemahaman teks sastra yang utuh, sebenarnya cukup beralasan karena dalam kenyataannya sastra membutuhkan pemahaman yang kompleks-yang berkaitan dengan teks, konteks, dan kualitas pembaca (interpreter).
Tiga varian hermeneutika (tradisional, dialektik, dan ontologis), masing-masing memiliki kelemahan. Dalam hubungan ini, sebetulnya yang terpenting bagi interpreter adalah bagaimana hermeneutika itu dapat diterapkan secara kritis agar tidak ketinggalan zaman. Dalam konteks ini, barangkali interpreter perlu menyadari bahwa sebuah pemahaman dan interpretasi teks pada dasarnya bersifat dinamis.
Sebuah interpretasi dalam teks sastra bukanlah merupakan interpretasi yang bersifat definitif, melainkan perlu dilakukan terus-menerus, karena interpretasi terhadap teks itu sebenarnya tidak pernah tuntas dan selesai. Dengan demikian, setiap teks sastra senantiasa terbuka untuk diinterpretasi terus-menerus. Proses pemahaman dan interpretasi teks bukanlah merupakan suatu upaya menghidupkan kembali atau reproduksi, melainkan upaya rekreatif dan produktif. Konsekuensinya, maka peran subjek sangat menentukan dalam interpretasi teks sebagai pemberi makna. Oleh karena itu, kiranya penting menyadari bahwa interpreter harus dapat membawa aktualitas kehidupannya sendiri secara intim menurut pesan yang dimunculkan oleh objek tersebut kepadanya. Secara keseluruhan, dapatlah dinyatakan bahwa hermeneutika memang dapat diterapkan dalam interpretasi sastra. Dalam interpretasi sastra, hermeneutika tidak lagi hanya diletakkan dalam kerangka metodologis, tetapi ia sudah mengikuti pemikiran hermeneutika mutakhir yang berada dalam kerangka ontologis.

Catatan
1. Istilah verstehen diajukan oleh Wilhelm Dilthey sebagai metode yang digunakan untuk mendekati produk-produk budaya, yakni menemukan dan memahami makna di dalamnya yang dapat dilakukan dengan menempatkannya dalam konteks.
2. Istilah erklaren ini mula-mula juga diajukan oleh Wilhelm Dilthey sebagai metode yang digunakan untuk mendekati objek ilmu-ilmu alam, yakni menjelaskan suatu kejadian menurut penyebabnya.

080520073941Throughout history, the science of psychology has evolved from the early philosophical teachings of Plato and Socrates who believed that the mind was a separate entity from the body, which continued to exist after death, to the empiricism of John Locke, David Hume, and Francis Bacon.  These early empiricists and founders of modern science viewed the mind as a blank slate; that ideas and knowledge come from our senses and experiences.  Locke, Bacon, and Hume helped to develop the study of the human mind, how it functions, and how we experience events.  Through the development of empiricism, the science of psychology today is now a science that studies human behavior through observation and experiment, a key principle of empiricism.

Empiricism is defined as the view that knowledge comes from experience via the senses, and that science also flourishes through observation and experiment (Myers, 2004).  Francis Bacon first developed the idea that science can flourish through observations and through experiments.  Francis Bacon lived from 1561 to 1626 in England during a time of tempestuous political and cultural ideas, with conflicts always arising within society.  This era of political and cultural conflict not only laid the groundwork for the power England would soon gain in industry and politics, but it also laid the groundwork for the beginnings of modern empiricism.   The seventeenth century was a time in which intellectual probing for a deeper understanding of the nature of things was practiced, a direct legacy of Occamist empiricism that believed knowledge and experience were synonymous (Rossi, xii).  Science in England at this time focused on experience, observations, and common sense judgments.  Influenced by these beliefs and teachings, Francis Bacon began to question the human mind and its failings, stating that “the human understanding, from its peculiar nature easily supposes a greater degree of order and equality in things than it really finds (Myers, 2004).”

Bacon also conducted research on human beings’ eagerness to selectively notice and remember events that confirm our beliefs, proposing that “all superstition is much the same…in all of which the deluded believers observe events which are fulfilled, but neglect and pass over their failure, though it be much more common (Myers, 2004).”  Interestingly, research on this phenomenon is still conducted today in modern psychology, which perhaps is why Francis Bacon has become known as the father of empiricism and first modern philosopher and theorist.

Once the foundation of modern science and the idea of empiricism were laid down by Francis Bacon, other philosophers in the seventeenth century were then given the chance to elaborate on and advance the study and understanding of the human mind and behavior. One such philosopher who continued the study was the very influential John Locke.  John Locke was born in Somerset, England in August of 1632, at a time in which poverty, religious conflicts, and division within society was slowly giving way to an inevitable civil war (Cranston, 1957).  Locke was raised in quite a political and intelligent household, with his father being a lawyer and Justice of the Peace, which presumably helped with his admission into Oxford University at the age of 20 (Cranston, 1957).  While at Oxford, Locke experienced the world of academia and politics on a constant, daily basis. He also was inundated with new ideas about philosophy, particularly the ad hoc empiricism of Newton and Boyle, and the systematic rationalism of Descartes.  These influences thus brought about the early ideas of Locke, mostly those regarding human understanding, the human mind, and the idea of rationalism (Cranston, 1957).

Locke proposed to “enquire into the original certainty and extent of human knowledge.”  In order to examine and investigate this more extensively, he began what is now known as his Essay Concerning Human Understanding (Cranston, 1957).  Locke begins this famous essay with a refutation of the doctrine that certain principles are innate.  Instead, he suggests that certain principles have been thought to be innate only because men cannot remember when they first learned them.  He believed that human beings are born in total ignorance, and that even our theoretical ideas of identity, quantity, and substance are derived from experience (Cranston, 1957).  In other words, Locke thinks of the minds as a blank slate, or tabula rasa.  Instead of knowledge being innate, Locke writes “all knowledge is founded on and ultimately derives itself from sense, or something analogous to it, which may be called sensation (Cranston, 1957).”

Sensation is the basis of Locke’s argument for knowledge not being innate, but another main point in his essay is ideas and perception.  Locke believes that we not only have ideas in our mind, as is traditionally thought, but that we have ideas when we see, hear, smile, taste, or feel.  Basically, Locke felt that ideas are interconnected with sensation.  Locke defines an idea as “the object of the understanding, whether it is a notion, an entity, or an illusion.“   There are two types of ideas in Locke’s view:  those ideas which are simple, that the mind receives passively and which are perceived immediately through either external or internal senses (thought), and complex ideas, which the mind produces by exercising its own powers.

Perception is an important part of the idea stemming from sensation model that Locke proposes. According to Locke, there are three different and distinct elements of perception: the observer, the idea, and the object the idea represents (Cranston, 1957).  Locke says that knowledge is “nothing but the perception of the connection of and agreement or disagreement and repugnancy of any of our ideas.”  He also believes that perception is a “species of understanding,” so that ideas are based upon perceptions and what we perceive is always an idea, distinct from a thing. Locke also believes that there are different types of knowledge, such as intuitive knowledge, demonstrative knowledge, and sensitive knowledge.

Locke proposes that one’s knowledge is sometimes intuitive, such as when the mind perceives the agreement or disagreement between ideas immediately without the influence or intervention of any other ideas.  An interesting caveat of this is that Locke believed that people have intuitive knowledge of their own existence, “we perceive it so plainly… that it neither needs nor is capable of any proof (Cranston, 1957).”  Knowledge can also be gained through the medium of other ideas that are proposed, which is considered demonstrative knowledge.  The third type of knowledge that Locke proposes is called sensitive knowledge.  This type of knowledge is that which is present before our senses at any given moment and at any given time (Cranston, 1957).  Whatever falls short of these types of knowledge is not knowledge according to Locke, but in fact just faith or opinion, which seem to be inferior to knowledge and the understanding of ideas.   Overall, Locke believes that our knowledge of the identity and diversity of ideas extends only as far as our ideas themselves; for our knowledge of their co-existence extends only a small amount due to the fact that knowledge of any necessary connection between primary and secondary qualities is unattainable.

Just as John Locke followed in the footsteps of Francis Bacon in helping to further develop empiricism and the study of psychology, so did David Hume.  David Hume was a contemporary of Locke’s who adopted his theory of ideas, but disputed them on the grounds that there was no perceptual experience that conveys the idea of self.  According to Hume, the common sense certainty of one’s existence that Locke proposes and calls intuitive knowledge, does not exist, and can not be proven in terms of Lockean doctrine.  It is for this reason that empiricism is said to have found its “logical completion” in the writings and studies of Hume (Herrnstein & Boring, 1966).

According to David Hume, causality can never be perceived, it is nothing but an illusion occasioned when events follow each other with regularity.  This is quite different from Locke, who believed that ideas were based upon perception.  Hume felt as though there was no place for the idea of causality within empiricism, if all ideas arise in experience, then the only basis for causality is the invariable sequentially of events (Herrnstein & Boring, 1966).  The lasting idea that Hume proposes is that human beings learn through association and that “truth springs from an argument among friends (Myers, 2004).”

The science of psychology has developed through the combination of the study of philosophy and biology.  The ideas of philosophy, particularly empiricism have contributed to the modern theory of learning, and understanding of ideas and the human mind.  The studies of Francis Bacon and his use of the scientific method have contributed to the importance of observation and experiment, while the studies of John Locke have investigated and attempted to discover the origins of knowledge.  Following John Locke in the true nature of science, David Hume investigated and questioned the principles set forth by Locke.  Thus Hume contributed in continuing the study of human thought, perception and understanding of ideas, and the development and origins of knowledge.

References

Baldwin, J.M. (1913). History of psychology: From John Locke to present time. New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons.

Cranston, M. (1957). John Locke: A biography. London: Longman’s Green & Co.

Herrnstein, R. & Boring, E. (1966). A source book in the history of psychology. Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.

Myers, D. (2004). Psychology (7th ed.). Michigan: Hope College.

Murphy, G. (1930). Historical introduction to modern psychology. New York: Harcourt, Brace, & Co.Inc.

Rossi, P. (1968). From magic to science. London: Routledge & Keegan Paul.

Logical Empiricism is a view of science that arose in the beginning of the twentieth century in Europe and which was influential, especially in England and America, for most of the century. The stimulus that gave rose to the view was the discovery and elaboration of a new Logic by Gottlob Frege in Germany and Bertrand Russell and A.N. Whitehead in England. This new Logic was the tool that the Logical Empiricists rushed to apply to scientific language to both clarify it and show how it worked.

This new Logic explained the relations between propositions and how the different relationships between propositions determined the truth or falsity of compound statements. It provided laws by which true atomic statements could be put together to arrive at true compound statements. This Logic showed how one could build up true complex statements and generalizations if one could start with true propositions. It made clear the methods by which one could preserve truth in formulating general laws from particular observation statements. Thus, it promised to bridge the gap between observations and theory by providing rules that would guarantee true laws if we started with true propositions.

The ideal Logical Empiricist model was, thus, foundationalist. If one started with a firm foundation of atomic propositions directly verified in observation, one could reach true laws by combining these atomic propositions according to the rules of logic which preserved truth. The edifice of scientific knowledge was to be built on the firm foundations of observation according to the proven blueprints provided by logic.

The way this project was conceived can be elaborated by four theses which taken together characterize the Logical Empiricist view: (following Brand Blanshard, Reason and Analysis.)

1. Logical Atomism: This is the view that the structure of the world mirrors the structure of our language or logic. Thus the scientific method based on logic would reveal to us the logical structure of the world. Logic was seen as being characterized by: (1) a set of atomic propositions which were independent of each other; and (2) logical relations or connectives which determined the truth of complex statements from the truth of the atomic statements they were built from. Thus, the world in order to mirror this structure, must consist of atomic facts with only logical or formal relations.

2. Verifiability theory of meaning: The meaning of a proposition was seen as being its method of verification in sense experience. Thus a direct link was made between the atomic statements that formed the foundation of science and the bedrock of experience. Science would be on firm ground as long as it restricted itself to atomic statements that were directly verifiable in experience. Verifiability was also, perhaps more fundamentally, a test for whether something had meaning or was merely nonsense or tautologous. All meaningful statements had to be either tautologous or directly verifiable in experience. (Sometimes falsifiability was used instead of verifiability as this criterion.)

3. Analytic-Synthetic distinction: In order for the foundational method to work, a clear distinction was needed between the fact and the logical rules that governed their combinations. Analytic propositions are ones that are true or false simply in virtue of the meanings of their terms. They don’t have to be verified in experience. They correspond to ways of combining atomic propositions that are guaranteed to be true. The laws of logic are such propositions. You can test their truth by analysis of the meanings of the terms involved. The subject already contains the predicate in its meaning. Synthetic statements, however, are true or false in virtue of verification or falsification in experience. They synthesize a subject and predicate that aren’t already connected by their meanings. Experience must make the connection. This clear distinction between the foundations, the facts, and the rules of logic, which govern theory building, is necessary for the system to work.

4. Emotivism: All propositions that do not meet the verification criterion of meaning, and which aren’t analytic, are not cognitively meaningful at all. They are simple expressions of emotion. Art, Ethics, Religion, and metaphysics fall into this category.

Modifications to the Basic Method

The Hypothetico-Deductive Method:

The ideal method for science, according to this model, would seem to be purely deductive, starting with observations statements directly tied to experience and deducing general laws according to the laws of logic. This ideal, however seems to have two problems, both recognized by the logical empiricists:

1. This isn’t the method scientists actually use. They have general laws or hypotheses ahead of time and test them in carefully designed experiments.

2. The problem of induction: There seems no way to logically deduce general statements from a number of particular statements. No matter how many white swans you see, you can’t deduce, or induce, that all swans are white, because there may be some group you haven’t been exposed to yet. There is no satisfactory logic of induction.

Thus, to accord more with actual scientific practice and to put aside the problem of induction, the hypothetico-deductive model of science was devised:

HYPOTHESIS. + Aux. Assumptions * PREDICTION

A Hypothesis taken together with some Auxiliary assumptions to deduce, according to the laws of logic, a prediction that can be directly verified or falsified in experience.

foto131The Auxiliary Assumptions would include: (1) experimental assumptions: about the instruments and causes operative in the experiment. Every instrument and experiment assumes a body of theory in order to arrive at an interpretation of the data. (2) theoretical assumptions: Every hypothesis requires additional theory, usually already taken for granted as true, in order to predict a result in the experiment.

When a experimental result fails to verify the prediction, it may be these auxiliary assumptions that have to be revised instead of the hypothesis.

Scientific Progress on this view involves the accumulation of verifying results in experiments. As these grow in number we can be more confident of our hypothesis, until it finally is verified so many times it becomes a law, taken for granted as true. Science progresses by the gradual accumulation of data. An alternative version (due to Karl Popper) holds that the aim of experiments is to falsify, not verify, their predictions. If the scientists attempts to predict surprising results from her theory (if she attempts to falsify it) and fails, this provides even more powerful verification for the theory.

Scientific Explanation on this view (Carl Hempel is responsible for this view of explanation) involves the same hypothetico-deductive model. To explain an event you simply find some general covering law that would have allowed you to predict it. Sometimes this is called post-diction. One explains an event by coming up with a set of laws that would have allowed one to predict the event before-hand. By showing how the event wold have been rendered necessary by these physical laws, one explains the event.

Justification and Discovery:

On this view, there is logic of Justification, but there is no logic of Discovery. That is, Science has rules for the verification and falsification of theories, but no explanation of how scientists come up with novel hypotheses. This is thought to be due to inspiration, genius, or some other non-rational process

Oleh: fuadsiraj | November 9, 2008

FILSAFAT PANCASILA

I PENDAHULUAN

Latar Belakang Masalah

Sebagai dasar negara, Pancasila kembali diuji ketahanannya dalam era reformasi sekarang. Merekahnya matahari bulan Juni 1945, 63 tahun yang lalu disambut dengan lahirnya sebuah konsepsi kenegaraan yang sangat bersejarah bagi bangsa Indonesia, yaitu lahirnya Pancasila.

Sebagai falsafah negara, tentu Pancasila ada yang merumuskannya. Pancasila memang merupakan karunia terbesar dari Allah SWT dan ternyata merupakan light-star bagi segenap bangsa Indonesia di masa-masa selanjutnya, baik sebagai pedoman dalam memperjuangkan kemerdekaan, juga sebagai alat pemersatu dalam hidup kerukunan berbangsa, serta sebagai pandangan hidup untuk kehidupan manusia Indonesia sehari-hari, dan yang jelas tadi telah diungkapkan sebagai dasar serta falsafah negara Republik Indonesia.

Pancasila telah ada dalam segala bentuk kehidupan rakyat Indonesia, terkecuali bagi mereka yang tidak Pancasilais. Pancasila lahir 1 Juni 1945, ditetapkan pada 18 Agustus 1945 bersama-sama dengan UUD 1945. Bunyi dan ucapan Pancasila yang benar berdasarkan Inpres Nomor 12 tahun 1968 adalah satu, Ketuhanan Yang Maha Esa. Dua, Kemanusiaan yang adil dan beradab. Tiga, Persatuan Indonesia. Empat, Kerakyatan yang dipimpin oleh hikmat kebijaksanaan dalam permusyawaratan/perwakilan. Dan kelima, Keadilan sosial bagi seluruh rakyat Indonesia.

Sejarah Indonesia telah mencatat bahwa di antara tokoh perumus Pancasila itu ialah, Mr Mohammad Yamin, Prof Mr Soepomo, dan Ir Soekarno. Dapat dikemukakan mengapa Pancasila itu sakti dan selalu dapat bertahan dari guncangan kisruh politik di negara ini, yaitu pertama ialah karena secara intrinsik dalam Pancasila itu mengandung toleransi, dan siapa yang menantang Pancasila berarti dia menentang toleransi.

Kedua, Pancasila merupakan wadah yang cukup fleksibel, yang dapat mencakup faham-faham positif yang dianut oleh bangsa Indonesia, dan faham lain yang positif tersebut mempunyai keleluasaan yang cukup untuk memperkembangkan diri. Yang ketiga, karena sila-sila dari Pancasila itu terdiri dari nilai-nilai dan norma-norma yang positif sesuai dengan pandangan hidup bangsa Indonesia, dan nilai serta norma yang bertentangan, pasti akan ditolak oleh Pancasila, misalnya Atheisme dan segala bentuk kekafiran tak beragama akan ditolak oleh bangsa Indonesia yang bertuhan dan ber-agama.

Diktatorisme juga ditolak, karena bangsa Indonesia berprikemanusiaan dan berusaha untuk berbudi luhur. Kelonialisme juga ditolak oleh bangsa Indonesia yang cinta akan kemerdekaan. Sebab yang keempat adalah, karena bangsa Indonesia yang sejati sangat cinta kepada Pancasila, yakin bahwa Pancasila itu benar dan tidak bertentangan dengan keyakinan serta agamanya.

Dengan demikian bahwa falsafah Pancasila sebagai dasar falsafah negara Indonesia yang harus diketahui oleh seluruh warga negara Indonesia agar menghormati, menghargai, menjaga dan menjalankan apa-apa yang telah dilakukan oleh para pahlawan khususnya pahlawan proklamasi yang telah berjuang untuk kemerdekaan negara Indonesia ini. Sehingga baik golongan muda maupun tua tetap meyakini Pancasila sebagai dasar negara Indonesia tanpa adanya keraguan guna memperkuat persatuan dan kesatuan bangsa dan negara Indonesia.

II. ANALISI PEMBAHASAN

A. Pengertian Filsafat

Secara etimologis istilah ”filsafat“ atau dalam bahasa Inggrisnya “philosophi” adalah berasal dari bahsa Yunani “philosophia” yang secara lazim diterjemahkan sebagai “cinta kearifan” kata philosophia tersebut berakar pada kata “philos” (pilia, cinta) dan “sophia” (kearifan). Berdasarkan  pengertian bahasa tersebut filsafat berarti cinta kearifan. Kata kearifan bisa juga berarti “wisdom” atau kebijaksanaan sehingga filsafat bisa juga berarti cinta kebijaksanaan. Berdasarkan makna kata  tersebut maka mempelajari filsafat berarti merupakan upaya manusia untuk mencari kebijaksanaan hidup yang nantinya bisa menjadi konsep kebijakan hidup yang bermanfaat bagi peradaban manusia. Seorang ahli pikir disebut filosof, kata ini mula-mula dipakai oleh Herakleitos.

Pengetahuan bijaksana memberikan kebenaran, orang, yang mencintai pengetahuan bijaksana, karena itu yang mencarinya adalah oreang yang mencintai kebenaran. Tentang mencintai kebenaran adalah karakteristik dari setiap filosof dari dahulu sampai sekarang. Di dalam mencari kebijaksanaan itu, filosof mempergunakan cara dengan berpikir sedalam-dalamnya (merenung). Hasil filsafat (berpikir sedalam-dalamnya) disebut filsafat atau falsafah. Filsafat sebagai hasil berpikir sedalam-dalamnya diharapkan merupakan suatu yang paling bijaksana atau setidak-tidaknya mendekati kesempurnaan.

Beberapa tokoh-tokoh filsafat menjelaskan pengertian filsafat adalah sebagai berikut:

Socrates (469-399 s.M.)

Filsafat adalah suatu bentuk peninjauan diri yang bersifat reflektif atau berupa perenungan terhadap azas-azas dari kehidupan yang adil dan bahgia. Berdasarkan pemikiran tersebut dapat dikembangkan bahwa manusia akan menemukan kebahagiaan dan keadilan jika mereka mampu  dan mau melakukan peninajauan diri atau refleksi diri sehingga muncul koreksi terhadap diri secara obyektif

Plato (472 – 347 s. M.)

Dalam karya tulisnya “Republik” Plato menegaskan bahwa para filsuf adalah pencinta pandangan tentang kebenaran (vision of truth). Dalam pencarian dan menangkap pengetahuan mengenai  ide yang abadi dan tak berubah. Dalam konsepsi Plato filsafat merupakan pencarian yang bersifat spekulatif atau perekaan terhadap pandangan  tentang seluruh kebenaran. Filsafat Plato ini kemudian digolongkan sebagai filsafat spekulatif.

B. Pengertian Pancasila

1. Pengertian Pancasila secara terminologis

Proklamasi 17 Agustus 1945 telah melahirkan Negara RI untuk melengkapai alat2 Perlengkapan Negara PPKI mengadakan sidang pada tanggal 18 Agustus 1945 dan berhasil mengesahkan UUD 45 dimana didalam bagian Pembukaan yang terdiri dari 4 Alinea didalamnya tercantum rumusan Pancasila. Rumusan Pancasila tersebut secara Konstitusional sah dan benar sebagai dasar negara RI yang disahkan oleh PPKI yang mewakili seluruh Rakyat Indonesia pancasila Berbentuk:

1. Hirarkis (berjenjang);

2. Piramid.

a. Pancasila menurut Mr. Moh Yamin adalah yang disampaikan di dalam sidang BPUPKI pada tanggal 29 Mei 1945 isinya sebagai berikut:

1. Prikebangsaan;

2. Prikemanusiaan;

3. Priketuhanan;

4. Prikerakyatan;

5. Kesejahteraan Rakyat

b. Pancasila menurut Ir. Soekarno yang disampaikan pada tangal 1 Juni 1945 di depan sidang BPUPKI, sebagai berikut:

1. Nasionalisme/Kebangsaan Indonesia;

2. Internasionalisme/Prikemanusiaan;

3. Mufakat/Demokrasi;

4. Kesejahteraan Sosial;

5. Ketuhanan yang berkebudayaan;

Presiden Soekarno mengusulkan ke-5 Sila tersebut dapat diperas menjadi Trisila yaitu:

1. Sosio Nasional : Nasionalisme dan Internasionalisme;

2. Sosio Demokrasi : Demokrasi dengan kesejahteraan rakyat;

3. Ketuhanan YME.

Dan masih menurut Ir. Soekarno Trisila masih dapat diperas lagi menjadi Ekasila atau Satusila yang intinya adalah Gotong Royong.

c. Pancasila menurut Piagam Jakarta yang disahkan pada tanggal 22 Juni 1945 rumusannya sebagai berikut:

1. Ketuhanan dengan kewajiban menjalankan syariat Islam bagi pemeluk-pemeluknya;

2. Kemanusiaan yang adil dan beradab;

3. Persatuan Indonesia;

4. Kerakyatan yang dipimpin oleh hikmat kebijaksanaan dan permusyawaratan perwakilan;

5. Keadilan sosial bagi seluruh rakyat indonesia;

Kesimpulan dari bermacam-macam pengertian pancasila tersebut yang sah dan benar secara Konstitusional adalah pancasila yang tercantum dalam Pembukaan Uud 45, hal ini diperkuat dengan adanya ketetapan MPRS NO.XXI/MPRS/1966 dan Inpres No. 12 tanggal 13 April 1968 yang menegaskan bahwa pengucapan, penulisan dan Rumusan Pancasila Dasar Negara RI yang sah dan benar adalah sebagai mana yang tercantum dalam Pembukaan Uud 1945.

2. Pengertian secara Historis

· Pada tanggal 01 Juni 1945 Ir. Soekarno berpidato tanpa teks mengenai rumusan Pancasila sebagai Dasar Negara

· Pada tanggal 17 Agustus 1945 Indonesia memproklamirkan kemerdekaan, kemudian keesokan harinya 18 Agustus 1945 disahkanlah UUD 1945 termasuk Pembukaannya dimana didalamnya terdapat rumusan 5 Prinsip sebagai Dasar Negara yang duberi nama Pancasila. Sejak saat itulah Pancasila menjadi Bahasa Indonesia yang umum. Jadi walaupun pada Alinea 4 Pembukaan UUD 45 tidak termuat istilah Pancasila namun yang dimaksud dasar Negara RI adalah disebut istilah Pancasila hal ini didaarkan interprestasi (penjabaran) historis terutama dalam rangka pembentukan Rumusan Dasar Negara.

C. Pengertian Filsafat Pancasila

Pancasila dikenal sebagai filosofi Indonesia. Kenyataannya definisi filsafat dalam filsafat Pancasila telah diubah dan diinterpretasi berbeda oleh beberapa filsuf Indonesia. Pancasila dijadikan wacana sejak 1945. Filsafat Pancasila senantiasa diperbarui sesuai dengan “permintaan” rezim yang berkuasa, sehingga Pancasila berbeda dari waktu ke waktu.

v Filsafat Pancasila Asli

Pancasila merupakan konsep adaptif filsafat Barat. Hal ini merujuk pidato Sukarno di BPUPKI dan banyak pendiri bangsa merupakan alumni Universitas di Eropa, di mana filsafat barat merupakan salah satu materi kuliah mereka. Pancasila terinspirasi konsep humanisme, rasionalisme, universalisme, sosiodemokrasi, sosialisme Jerman, demokrasi parlementer, dan nasionalisme.

v Filsafat Pancasila versi Soekarno

Filsafat Pancasila kemudian dikembangkan oleh Sukarno sejak 1955 sampai berakhirnya kekuasaannya (1965). Pada saat itu Sukarno selalu menyatakan bahwa Pancasila merupakan filsafat asli Indonesia yang diambil dari budaya dan tradisi Indonesia dan akulturasi budaya India (Hindu-Budha), Barat (Kristen), dan Arab (Islam). Menurut Sukarno “Ketuhanan” adalah asli berasal dari Indonesia, “Keadilan Soasial” terinspirasi dari konsep Ratu Adil. Sukarno tidak pernah menyinggung atau mempropagandakan “Persatuan”.

v Filsafat Pancasila versi Soeharto

Oleh Suharto filsafat Pancasila mengalami Indonesiasi. Melalui filsuf-filsuf yang disponsori Depdikbud, semua elemen Barat disingkirkan dan diganti interpretasinya dalam budaya Indonesia, sehingga menghasilkan “Pancasila truly Indonesia”. Semua sila dalam Pancasila adalah asli Indonesia dan Pancasila dijabarkan menjadi lebih rinci (butir-butir Pancasila). Filsuf Indonesia yang bekerja dan mempromosikan bahwa filsafat Pancasila adalah truly Indonesia antara lain Sunoto, R. Parmono, Gerson W. Bawengan, Wasito Poespoprodjo, Burhanuddin Salam, Bambang Daroeso, Paulus Wahana, Azhary, Suhadi, Kaelan, Moertono, Soerjanto Poespowardojo, dan Moerdiono.

Berdasarkan penjelasan diatas maka pengertian filsafat Pancasila secara umum adalah hasil berpikir/pemikiran yang sedalam-dalamnya dari bangsa Indonesia yang dianggap, dipercaya dan diyakini sebagai sesuatu (kenyataan, norma-norma, nilai-nilai) yang paling benar, paling adil, paling bijaksana, paling baik dan paling sesuai bagi bangsa Indonesia.

Kalau dibedakan anatara filsafat yang religius dan non religius, maka filsafat Pancasila tergolong filsafat yang religius. Ini berarti bahwa filsafat Pancasila dalam hal kebijaksanaan dan kebenaran mengenal adanya kebenaran mutlak yang berasal dari Tuhan Yang Maha Esa (kebenaran religius) dan sekaligus mengakui keterbatasan kemampuan manusia, termasuk kemampuan berpikirnya.

Dan kalau dibedakan filsafat dalam arti teoritis dan filsafat dalam arti praktis, filsafast Pancasila digolongkandalam arti praktis. Ini berarti bahwa filsafat Pancasila di dalam mengadakan pemikiran yang sedalam-dalamnya, tidak hanya bertujuan mencari kebenaran dan kebijaksanaan, tidak sekedar untukmemenuhi hasrat ingin tahu dari manusia yang tidak habis-habisnya, tetapi juga dan terutama hasil pemikiran yang berwujud filsafat Pancasila tersebut dipergunakan sebagai pedoman hidup sehari-hari (pandangan hidup, filsafat hidup, way of the life, Weltanschaung dan sebgainya); agar hidupnya dapat mencapai kebahagiaan lahir dan batin, baik di dunia maupun di akhirat.

Selanjutnya filsafat Pancasila mengukur adanya kebenran yang bermacam-macam dan bertingkat-tingkat sebgai berikut:

1. Kebenaran indra (pengetahuan biasa);

2. Kebenaran ilmiah (ilmu-ilmu pengetahuan);

3. Kebenaran filosofis (filsafat);

4. Kebenaran religius (religi).

Untuk lebih meyakinkan bahwa Pancasila itu adalah ajaran filsafat, sebaiknya kita kutip ceramah Mr.Moh Yamin pada Seminar Pancasila di Yogyakarta tahun 1959 yang berjudul “Tinjauan Pancasila Terhadap Revolusi Fungsional”, yang isinya anatara lain sebagai berikut:

Tinjauan Pancasila adalah tersusun secara harmonis dalam suatu sistem filsafat. Marilah kita peringatkan secara ringkas bahwa ajaran Pancasila itu dapat kita tinjau menurut ahli filsafat ulung, yaitu Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831) bapak dari filsafat Evolusi Kebendaan seperti diajarkan oleh Karl Marx (1818-1883) dan menurut tinjauan Evolusi Kehewanan menurut Darwin Haeckel, serta juga bersangkut paut dengan filsafat kerohanian seperti diajarkan oleh Immanuel Kant (1724-1804).

Menurut Hegel hakikat filsafatnya ialah suatu sintese pikiran yang lahir dari antitese pikiran. Dari pertentangan pikiran lahirlah paduan pendapat yang harmonis. Dan ini adalah tepat. Begitu pula denga ajaran Pancasila suatu sintese negara yang lahir dari antitese.

Saya tidak mau menyulap. Ingatlah kalimat pertama dan Mukadimah UUD Republik Indonesia 1945 yang disadurkan tadi dengan bunyi: Bahwa sesungguhanya kemerdekaan itu ialah hak segala bangsa. Oleh sebab itu penjajahan harus dihapusakan karena bertentangan dengan perikemanusiaan dan perikeadilan.

Kalimat pertama ini adalah sintese yaitu antara penjajahan dan perikemanusiaan dan perikeadilan. Pada saat sintese sudah hilang, maka lahirlah kemerdekaan. Dan kemerdekaan itu kita susun menurut ajaran falsafah Pancasila yang disebutkan dengan terang dalam Mukadimah Konstitusi R.I. 1950 itu yang berbunyi: Maka dengan ini kami menyusun kemerdekaan kami itu, dalam suatu Piagam Negara yang berbentuk Republik Kesatuan berdasarkan ajaran Pancasila. Di sini disebut sila yang lima untukmewujudkan kebahagiaan, kesejahteraan dan perdamaian dunia dan kemerdekaan. Kalimat ini jelas kalimat antitese. Sintese kemerdekaan dengan ajaran Pancasila dan tujuan kejayaan bangsa yang bernama kebahagiaan dan kesejajteraan rakyat. Tidakah ini dengan jelas dan nyata suatu sintese pikiran atas dasar antitese pendapat?

Jadi sejajar dengan tujuan pikiran Hegel beralasanlah pendapat bahwa ajaran Pancasila itu adalah suatu sistem filosofi, sesuai dengan dialektis Neo-Hegelian. Semua sila itu adalah susunan dalam suatu perumahan pikiran filsafat yang harmonis. Pancasila sebagai hasil penggalian Bung Karno adalah sesuai pula dengan pemandangan tinjauan hidup Neo-Hegelian.

Jadi dapat disimpulkan bahwa: filsafat pancasila adalah hasil bepikir yang dalam-dalamnya dari bangsa indonesia yang oleh suatu bangsa indonesia yang dianggap,dipercaya dan yakini sebagai suatu kenyataan,norma atau nilai yan paling benar, paling adil, bijaksana, baik, paling cocok dan sesuai bagi bangsa indonesia.

D. Landasan Filosofis Serta Fungsi Utama Filsafat Pancasila Bagi Bangsa Dan Negara Indonesia

1. Landasan Filosofis

Jika dihubungkan antara pendapat aristoteles ( 382-322 B.C) tentang filsafat asal mula / sebab sesuatu dengan pancasila sebagai dasar filsafat negara , maka dapat diikuti uraian ini. Aristoteles mengatakan bahwa asal mula atau “ causa “( inggris) segala sesuatu itu memiliki empat hal yaitu :

a.       Causa materialis , artinya asal mula sebab yang berupa bahan

b.      Causa formalis , artinya asal mula /sebab yang berupa bentuk

c.      Causa finalis , artinya asal mula / sebab yang berupa tujuan

d.      Causa efisiansi, artinya asal mula / sebab akibat terjadinya hal yang baru

Kalau ke empat “causa“ atau asal mula / sebab dihubungkan dengan asal mula pancasila kemudian pancasila ditetapkan menjadi dasar filsafat negara , maka secara kronologis tampak bahwa.

a.       Bangsa indonesia adalah sebagai asal mula yang berupa bahan (causa materialis)

b.      Anggota BPUPKI yaitu : ir.soekarno / Drs.Moh.Hatta sebagai pembentuk negara , maka beliau adalah asal mula yang berupa bentuk atau bangunan (causa formalis).

c.      Ketua dan beberapa anggota BPUPKI, disebut sebagai asal mula bentuk atau asal mula tujuan (causa finalis)

d.      PPKI yang diketuai oleh ir.soekarno dan Drs.Moh.Hatta sebagai wakil ketua adalah sebagai asal mula / sebab yang berupa karya (causa efisiensi)atas kuasa pembentuk negara.

Landasan Filosofis Filsafat Pancasila

a.       Filsafat pancasila selama ini lebih merupakan genetivus yakni pancasila sebagai objek materi,sedangkan  objek formalnya yakni cabang-cabang filsafat..filsafat pancasila sebagai genetivus,subjektivus,adalah filsafat pancasila sebagai filsafat (subjek).empat hal pokok dari filsafat pancasila genetivus subjektivus yaitu:

-         Onologi pancasila

Pancasila melihat “ada” bukanlah terlepas dari yang lain.

-         Epistemologi pancasila

Konsep epismologi yang demikian dapat ditemukan beberapa sarana untuk memperoleh pengetahuan yaitu:

o       Rasio

o       Indra

o       Intuisi , rasa feeling

o       Kursa , ( mengharapkan kebaikan , nilai kesusilaan )

-         Aksiologi pancasila

Persoalan nilai dalam filsafat pancasila tidak hanya bersifat objektif saja tetapi juga kerohanian

-         Antropologo pancasila

Pancasila berpandangan bahwa manusia bersifat monopluralis yang mencakup monodualis susunan kudrat, monodualis sifat kodrat , serta monodualis kedudukan kodrat.

b.      Metode berpikir pancasila dalam memecahkan masalah tidak hanya bertumpu pada metode berpikir yang semata-mata ; rasional , empiris , hipotetik – deduktif-verifikatif , melainkan bersifat integral ( komperensif ) metode berpikir komperensif dalam memandang dan memecahkan persoalan mengintegrasikan beberapa hal yaitu:

-         Sintesis ( empiris )

-         Analistis ( rasional)

-         Ilmu ( hipotetiko-deduktif-verivikatif )

-         Reflektif ( transendental )

Maka dalam memecahkan permasalahan tidak hanya bertumpu pada metode ilmiah semata , tetapi juga disertai refleksi transenden yaitu dalam kerangka religious.

2. Fungsi Utama Filsafat Pancasila

\Filsafat Pancasila Sebagai Pandangan Hidup Bangsa Indonesia

Setiap bangsa yang ingin berdiri kokoh dan mengetahui dengan jelas ke arah mana tujuan yang ingin dicapainya sangat memerlukan pandangan hidup (filsafata hidup). Dengan pandangan hidup inilah sesuatu bangsa akan memandang persoalan-persoalan yang dihadapinya dan menentukan arah serta cara bagaimana memecahkan persoalan-persoalan tadi. Tanpa memiliki pandangan hidup maka suatu bangsa akan merasa terombang-ambing dalam menghadapi persoalan-persoalan besar yang pasti akan timbul, baik persoalan-persoalan di dalam masyarakatnya sendiri, maupun persoalan-persoalan besar umat manusia dalam pergaulan masyarakat bangsa-bangsa di dunia ini. Dengan pandangan hidup yang jelas sesuatu bangsa akan memiliki pegangan dan pedoman bagaimana ia memecahkan masalah-masalah polotik, ekonomi, sosial dan budaya yang timbul dalam gerak masyarakat yang makin maju. Dengan berpedoman pada pandangan hidup itu pula suatu bangsa akan membangun dirinya.

Dalam pergaulan hidup itu terkandung konsep dasar mengenai kehidupan yang dicita-citakan oleh suatu bangsa, terkandung pikiran-pikiran yang terdalam dan gagasan sesuatu bangsa mengenai wujud kehidupan yang dianggap baik. Pada akhirnyta pandangan hidup sesuatu bangsa adalah kristalisasi dari nilai-nilai yang dimiliki suatu bangsa itu sendiri, yang diyakini kebenarannya dan menimbulkan tekad pada bangsa itu untuk mewujudkannya.

Kita merasa bersyukur bahwa pendahulu-pendahulu kita, pendiri-pendiri Republik ini dat memuaskan secara jelas apa sesungguhnya pandangan hidup bangsa kita yang kemudian kita namakan Pancasila. Seperti yang ditujukan dalam ketetapan MPR No. II/MPR/1979, maka Pancasila itu adalah jiwa seluruh rakyat Indonesia, pandangan hidup bangsa Indonesia dan dasar negara kita.

Disamping itu maka bagi kita Pancasila sekaligus menjadi tujuan hidup bangsa Indonesia. Pancasila bagi kita merupakan pandangan hidup, kesadaran dan cita-cita moral yang meliputi kejiwaan dan watak yang sudah beurat/berakar di dalam kebudayaan bangsa Indonesia. Ialah suatu kebudayaan yang mengajarkan bahwa hidup manusia ini akan mencapai kebahagiaan jika kita dapat baik dalam hidup manusia sebagai manusia dengan alam dalam hubungan manusia dengan Tuhannya, maupun dalam mengejar kemajuan lahiriyah dan kebahagiaan rohaniah.

Bangsa Indonesia lahir sesudah melampaui perjuangan yang sangat panjang, dengan memberikan segala pengorbanan dan menahan segala macam penderitaan. Bangsa Indonesia lahir menurut cara dan jalan yang ditempuhnya sendiri yang merupakan hasil antara proses sejarah di masa lampau, tantangan perjuangan dan cita-cita hidup di masa datang yang secara keseluruhan membentuk kepribadian sendiri.

Sebab itu bnagsa Indonesia lahir dengan kepribadiannya sendiri yang bersamaan lahirnya bangsa dan negara itu, kepribadian itu ditetapkan sebagai pandangan hidup dan dasar negara Pancasila. Karena itulah, Pancasila bukan lahir secara mendadak pada tahun 1945, melainkan telah berjuang, denga melihat pengalaman bangsa-bangsa lain, dengan diilhami dengan oleh gagasan-gagasan besar dunia., dengan tetap berakar pada kepribadian bangsa kita dan gagasan besar bangsa kita sendiri.

Karena Pancasila sudah merupakan pandangan hidup yang berakar dalam kepribadian bangsa, maka ia diterima sebagai dasar negara yang mengatur hidup ketatanegaraan. Hal ini tampak dalam sejarah bahwa meskipun dituangkan dalam rumusan yang agak berbeda, namun dalam 3 buah UUD yang pernah kita miliki yaitu dalam pembukaan UUD 1945, dalam Mukadimah UUD Sementara Republik Indonesia 1950. Pancasila itu tetap tercantum didalamnya, Pancasila yang lalu dikukuhkan dalam kehidupan konstitusional itu, Pancasila yang selalu menjadi pegangan bersama saat-saat terjadi krisis nasional dan ancaman terhadap eksistensi bangsa kita, merupakan bukti sejarah sebagai dasar kerohanian negar, dikehendaki oleh bangsa Indonesia karena sebenarnya ia telah tertanam dalam kalbunya rakyat. Oleh karena itu, ia juga merupakan dasasr yang mamapu mempersatukan seluruh rakyat Indonesia.

Pancasila Sebagai Dasar Negara Republik Indonesia

Pancasila yang dikukuhkan dalam sidang I dari BPPK pada tanggal 1 Juni 1945 adalah di kandung maksud untuk dijadikan dasar bagi negara Indonesia merdeka. Adapun dasar itu haruslah berupa suatu filsafat yang menyimpulkan kehidupan dan cita-cita bangsa dan negara Indonesa yang merdeka. Di atas dasar itulah akan didirikan gedung Republik Indonesia sebagai perwujudan kemerdekaan politik yang menuju kepada kemerdekaan ekonomi, sosial dan budaya.

Sidang BPPK telah menerima secara bulat Pancasila itu sebagai dasar negara Indonesia merdeka. Dalam keputusan sidang PPKI kemudian pada tanggal 18 Agustus 1945 Pancasila tercantum secara resmi dalam Pembukaan UUD RI, Undang-Undang Dasar yang menjadi sumber ketatanegaraan harus mengandung unsur-unsur pokok yang kuat yang menjadi landasan hidup bagi seluruh bangsa dan negara, agar peraturan dasar itu tahan uji sepanjang masa.

Peraturan selanjutnya yang disusun untuk mengatasi dan menyalurkan persoalan-persoalan yang timbul sehubungan dengan penyelenggaraan dan perkembangan negara harus didasarkan atas dan berpedoman pada UUD. Peraturan-peraturan yang bersumber pada UUD itu disebut peraturan-peraturan organik yang menjadi pelaksanaan dari UUD.

Oleh karena Pancasila tercantum dalam UUD 1945 dan bahkan menjiwai seluruh isi peraturan dasar tersebut yang berfungsi sebagai dasar negara sebagaimana jelas tercantum dalam alinea IV Pembukaan UUD 1945 tersebut, maka semua peraturan perundang-undangan Republik Indonesia (Ketetapan MPR, Undang-undang, Peraturan Pemerintah sebagai pengganti Undang-undang, Peraturan Pemerintah, Keputusan Presiden dan peraturan-peraturan pelaksanaan lainnya) yang dikeluarkan oleh negara dan pemerintah Republik Indonesia haruslah pula sejiwa dan sejalan dengan Pancasila (dijiwai oleh dasar negara Pancasila). Isi dan tujuan dari peraturan perundang-undangan Republik Indonesia tidak boleh menyimpang dari jiwa Pancasila. Bahkan dalam Ketetapan MPRS No. XX/MPRS/1966 ditegaskan, bahwa Pancasila itu adalah sumber dari segala sumber huum (sumber huum formal, undang-undang, kebiasaan, traktaat, jurisprudensi, hakim, ilmu pengetahuan hukum).

Di sinilah tampak titik persamaan dan tujuan antara jalan yang ditempuh oleh masyarakat dan penyusun peraturan-peraturan oleh negara dan pemerintah Indonesia.

Adalah suatu hal yang membanggakan bahwa Indonesia berdiri di atas fundamen yang kuat, dasar yang kokoh, yakni Pancasila dasar yang kuat itu bukanlah meniru suatu model yang didatangkan dari luar negeri.

Dasar negara kita berakar pada sifat-sifat dan cita-cita hidup bangsa Indonesia, Pancasila adalah penjelmaan dari kepribadian bangsa Indonesia, yang hidup di tanah air kita sejak dahulu hingga sekarang.

Pancasila mengandung unsur-unsur yang luhur yang tidak hanya memuaskan bangsa Indonesia sebagai dasar negara, tetapi juga dapat diterima oleh bangsa-bangsa lain sebagai dasar hidupnya. Pancasila bersifat universal dan akan mempengaruhi hidup dan kehidupan banga dan negara kesatuan Republik Indonesia secara kekal dan abadi.

Pancasila Sebagai Jiwa Dan Kepribadian Bangsa Indonesia

Menurut Dewan Perancang Nasional, yang dimaksudkan dengan kepribadian Indonesia ialah : Keseluruhan ciri-ciri khas bangsa Indonesia, yang membedakan bangsa Indonesia dengan bangsa-bangsa lainnya. Keseluruhan ciri-ciri khas bangsa Indonesia adalah pencerminan dari garis pertumbuhan dan perkembangan bangsa Indonesia sepanjang masa.

Garis pertumbuhan dan perkembangan bangsa Indonesia yang ditentukan oleh kehidupan budi bangsa Indonesia dan dipengaruhi oleh tempat, lingkungan dan suasana waktu sepanjang masa. Walaupun bangsa Indonesia sejak dahulu kala bergaul dengan berbagai peradaban kebudayaan bangsa lain (Hindu, Tiongkok, Portugis, Spanyol, Belanda dan lain-lain) namun kepribadian bangsa Indonesia tetap hidup dan berkembang. Mungkin di sana-sini, misalnya di daerah-daerah tertentu atau masyarakat kota kepribadian itu dapat dipengaruhi oleh unsur-unsur asing, namun pada dasarnya bangsa Indonesia tetap hidup dalam kepribadiannya sendiri. Bangsa Indonesia secara jelas dapat dibedakan dari bangsa-bangsa lain. Apabila kita memperhatikan tiap sila dari Pancasila, maka akan tampak dengan jelas bahwa tiap sila Pancasila itu adalah pencerminan dari bangsa kita.

Demikianlah, maka Pancasila yang kita gali dari bumi Indonsia sendiri merupakan :

a. Dasar negara kita, Republik Indonesia, yang merupakan sumber dari segala sumber hukum yang berlaku di negara kita.

b. Pandangan hidup bangsa Indonesia yang dapat mempersatukan kita serta memberi petunjuk dalam masyarakat kita yang beraneka ragam sifatnya.

c. Jiwa dan kepribadian bangsa Indonesia, karena Pancasila memberikan corak yang khas kepada bangsa Indonesia dan tak dapat dipisahkan dari bangsa Indonesia, serta merupakan ciri khas yang dapat membedakan bangsa Indonesia dari bangsa yang lain. Terdapat kemungkinan bahwa tiap-tiap sila secara terlepas dari yang lain bersifat universal, yang juga dimiliki oleh bangsa-bangsa lain di dunia ini, akan tetapi kelima sila yang merupakan satu kesatuan yang tidak terpisahkan itulah yang menjadi ciri khas bangsa Indonesia.

d. Tujuan yang akan dicapai oleh bangsa Indonesia, yakni suatu masyarakat adil dan makmur yang merata material dan spiritual berdasarkan Pancasila di dalam wadah negara kesatuan Republik Indonesia yang merdeka, berdaulat, bersatu dan berkedaulatan rakyat dalam suasana perikehidupan bangsa yang aman, tenteram, tertib dan dinamis serta dalam lingkungan pergaulan dunia yang merdeka, bersahabat, tertib dan damai.

e. Perjanjian luhur rakyat Indonesia yang disetujui oleh wakil-wakil rakyat Indonesia menjelang dan sesudah Proklamasi Kemerdekaan yang kita junjung tinggi, bukan sekedar karena ia ditemukan kembali dari kandungan kepribadian dan cita-cita bangsa Indonesia yang terpendam sejak berabad-abad yang lalu, melainkan karena Pancasila itu telah mampu membuktikan kebenarannya setelah diuji oleh sejarah perjuangan bangsa.

Oleh karena itu yang penting adalah bagaimana kita memahami, menghayati dan mengamalkan Pancasila dalam segala segi kehidupan. Tanpa ini maka Pancasila hanya akan merupakan rangkaian kata-kata indah yang tertulis dalam Pembukaan UUD 1945, yang merupakan perumusan yang beku dan mati, serta tidak mempunyai arti bagi kehidupan bangsa kita.

Apabila Pancasila tidak menyentuh kehidupan nyata, tidak kita rasakan wujudnya dalam kehidupan sehari-hari, maka lambat laun kehidupannya akan kabur dan kesetiaan kita kepada Pancasila akan luntur. Mungkin Pancasila akan hanya tertinggal dalam buku-buku sejarah Indonesia. Apabila ini terjadi maka segala dosa dan noda akan melekat pada kita yang hidup di masa kini, pada generasi yang telah begitu banyak berkorban untuk menegakkan dan membela Pancasila.

Akhirnya perlu juga ditegaskan, bahwa apabila dibicarakan mengenai Pancasila, maka yang kita maksud adalah Pancasila yang dirumuskan dalam Pembukaan UUD 1945, yaitu :

1. Ketuhanan Yang Maha Esa.

2. Kemanusiaan yang adil dan beradab.

3. Persatuan Indonesia.

4. Kerakyatan yang dipimpin oleh hikmat kebijaksanaan dalam permusyawratan / perwakilan.

5. Keadilan sosial bagi seluruh rakyat Indonesia.

Rumusan Pancasila yang terdapat dalam Pembukaan UUD 1945 itulah yang kita gunakan, sebab rumusan yang demikian itulah yang ditetapkan oleh wakil-wakil bangsa Indonesia pada tanggal 18 Agustus 1945 dalam sidang Panitia Persiapan Kemerdekaan Indonesia (PPKI).

Seperti yang telah ditunjukkan oleh Ketetapan MPR                         No. XI/MPR/1978, Pancasila itu merupakan satu kesatuan yang bulat dan utuh dari kelima silanya. Dikatakan sebagai kesatuan yang bulat dan utuh, karena masing-masing sila dari Pancasila itu tidak dapat dipahami dan diberi arti secara sendiri-sendiri, terpisah dari keseluruhan sila-sila lainnya. Memahami atau memberi arti setiap sila-sila secara terpisah dari sila-sila lainnya akan mendatangkan pengertian yang keliru tentang Pancasila.

Falsafah Pancasila Sebagai Dasar Falsafah Negara Indonesia

Falsafah Pancasila sebagai dasar falsafah negara Indonesia, dapatlah kita temukan dalam beberapa dokumen historis dan di dalam perundang-undangan negara Indonesia seperti di bawah ini :

a. Dalam Pidato Ir. Soekarno tanggal 1 Juni 1945.

b. Dalam Naskah Politik yang bersejarah, tanggal 22 Juni 1945 alinea IV yang kemudian dijadikan naskah rancangan Pembukaan UUD 1945 (terkenal dengan sebutan Piagam Jakarta).

c. Dalam naskah Pembukaan UUD Proklamasi 1945, alinea IV.

d. Dalam Mukadimah Konstitusi Republik Indonesia Serikat (RIS) tanggal         27 Desember 1945, alinea IV.

e. Dalam Mukadimah UUD Sementara Republik Indonesia (UUDS RI) tanggal 17 Agustus 1950.

f. Dalam Pembukaan UUD 1945, alinea IV setelah Dekrit Presiden RI tanggal         5 Juli 1959.

Mengenai perumusan dan tata urutan Pancasila yang tercantum dalam dokumen historis dan perundang-undangan negara tersebut di atas adalah agak berlainan tetapi inti dan fundamennya adalah tetap sama sebagai berikut :

1. Pancasila Sebagai Dasar Falsafat Negara Dalam Pidato Tanggal 1 Juni 1945 Oleh Ir. Soekarno

Ir. Soekarno dalam pidatonya pada tanggal 1 Juni 1945 untuk pertamakalinya mengusulkan falsafah negara Indonesia dengan perumusan dan tata urutannya sebagai berikut :

v Kebangsaan Indonesia.

v Internasionalisme atau Prikemanusiaan.

v Mufakat atau Demokrasi.

v Kesejahteraan sosial.

v Ketuhanan.

2. Pancasila Sebagai Dasar Falsafah Negara Dalam Naskah Politik Yang Bersejarah (Piagam Jakarta Tanggal 22 Juni 1945)

Badan Penyelidik Persiapan Kemerdekaan (BPPK) yang Istilah Jepangnya Dokuritsu Jumbi Cosakai, telah membentuk beberapa panitia kerja yaitu :

a. Panitia Perumus terdiri atas 9 orang tokoh, pada tanggal 22 Juni 1945, telah berhasil menyusun sebuah naskah politik yang sangat bersejarah dengan nama Piagam Jakarta, selanjutnya pada tanggal 18 Agustus 1945, naskah itulah yang ditetapkan sebagai naskah rancangan Pembukaan UUD 1945.

b. Panitia Perancang Undang-Undang Dasar yang diketuai oleh Ir. Soekarno yang kemudian membentuk Panitia Kecil Perancang UUD yang diketuai oleh Prof. Mr. Dr. Soepomo, Panitia ini berhasil menyusun suatu rancangan UUD-RI.

c. Panitia Ekonomi dan Keuangan yang diketuai oleh Drs. Mohammad Hatta.

d. Panitia Pembelaan Tanah Air, yang diketuai oleh Abikusno Tjokrosujoso.

Untuk pertama kalinya falsafah Pancasila sebagai falsafah negara dicantumkan autentik tertulis di dalam alinea IV dengan perumusan dan tata urutan sebagai berikut :

v Ketuhanan, dengan kewajiban menjalankan syariat Islam bagi pemeluk-pemeluknya.

v Kemanusiaan yang Adil dan Beradab.

v Kerakyatan yang dipimpin oleh hikmat kebijaksanaan dalam permusyawaratan / perwakilan.

v Keadilan sosial bagi seluruh rakyat Indonesia.

3. Pancasila Sebagai Dasar Falsafah Negara Dalam Pembukaan UUD 1945

Sesudah BPPK (Badan Penyelidik Persiapan Kemerdekaan) merampungkan tugasnya dengan baik, maka dibubarkan dan pada tanggal       9 Agustus 1945, sebagai penggantinya dibentuk PPKI (Panitia Persiapan Kemerdekaan Indonesia).

Pada tanggal 17 Agustus 1945, dikumandangkan Proklamasi Kemerdekaan Indonesia oleh Ir. Soekarno di Pengangsaan Timur 56 Jakarta yang disaksikan oleh PPKI tersebut.

Keesokan harinya pada tanggal 18 Agustus 1945 PPKI mengadakan sidangnya yang pertama dengan mengambil keputusan penting :

a. Mensahkan dan menetapkan Pembukaan UUD 1945.

b. Mensahkan dan menetapkan UUD 1945.

c. Memilih dan mengangkat Ketua dan Wakil Ketua PPKI yaitu Ir. Soekarno dan Drs. Mohammad Hatta, masing-masing sebagai Presiden RI dan Wakil Presiden RI.

Tugas pekerjaan Presiden RI untuk sementara waktu dibantu oleh sebuah badan yaitu KNIP (Komite Nasional Indonesia Pusat) dan pada tanggal 19 Agustus 1945 PPKI memutuskan, Pembagian wilayah Indonesia ke dalam 8 propinsi dan setiap propinsi dibagi dalam karesidenan-karesidenan. Juga menetapkan pembentukan Departemen-departemen Pemerintahan.

Dalam Pembukaan UUD Proklamasi 1945 alinea IV yang disahkan oleh PPPKI pada tanggal 18 Agustus 1945 itulah Pancasila dicantumkan secara resmi, autentik dan sah menurut hukum sebagai dasar falsafah negara RI, dengan perumusan dan tata urutan sebagai berikut :

v Kemanusiaan yang adil dan beradab.

v Kerakyatan yang dipimpin oleh hikmat kebijaksanaan dalam permusyawaratan / perwakilan.

v Keadilan sosial bagi seluruh rakyat Indonesia.

4. Pancasila Sebagai Dasar Falsafah Negara Dalam Mukadimah Konstitusi RIS 1949

Bertempat di Kota Den Haag (Netherland / Belanda) mulai tanggal 23 Agustus sampai dengan tanggal 2 September 1949 diadakan KMB (Konferensi Meja Bundar). Adapun delegasi RI dipimpin oleh                      Drs. Mohammad Hatta, delegasi BFO (Bijeenkomstvoor Federale Overleg) dipimpin oleh Sutan Hamid Alkadrie dan delegasi Belanda dipimpin oleh Van Marseveen.

Sebagai tujuan diadakannya KMB itu ialah untuk menyelesaikan persengketaan antara Indonesia dengan Belanda secepatnya dengan cara yang adil dan pengakuan akan kedaulatan yang penuh, nyata dan tanpa syarat kepada RIS (Republik Indonesia Serikat).

Salah satu hasil keputusan pokok dan penting dari KMB itu, ialah bahwa pihak Kerajaan Belanda mengakui kedaulatan Indonesia sepenuhnya tanpa syarat dan tidak dapat dicabut kembali oleh Kerajaan Belanda dengan waktu selambat-lambatnya pada tanggal 30 Desember 1949.

Demikianlah pada tanggal 27 Desember 1949 di Amsterdam Belanda, Ratu Yuliana menandatangani Piagam Pengakuan Kedaulatan Negara RIS.

Pada waktu yang sama dengan KMB di Kota Den Haag, di Kota Scheveningen (Netherland) disusun pula Konstitusi RIS yang mulai berlaku pada tanggal 27 Desember 1949. Walaupun bentuk negara Indonesia telah berubah dari negara Kesatuan RI menjadi negara serikat RIS dan Konstitusi RIS telah disusun di negeri Belanda jauh dari tanah air kita, namun demikian Pancasila tetap tercantum sebagai dasar falsafah negara di dalam Mukadimah pada alinea IV Konstitusi RIS 1949, dengan perumusan dan tata urutan sebagai berikut :

v Ketuhanan Yang Maha Esa.

v Prikemanusiaan.

v Kebangsaan.

v Kerakyatan.

v Keadilan Sosial.

5. Pancasila Sebagai Dasar Falsafah Negara Dalam Mukadimah UUD Sementara RI (UUDS-RI 1950)

Sejak Proklamasi Kemerdekaannya, bangsa Indonesia menghendaki bentuk negara kesatuan (unitarisme) oleh karena bentuk negara serikat (federalisme) tidaklah sesuai dengan cita-cita kebangsaan dan jiwa proklamasi.

Demikianlah semangat persatuan dan kesatuan bangsa Indonesia tetap membara dan meluap, sebagai hasil gemblengan para pemimpin Indonesia sejak lahirnya Budi Oetomo pada tanggal 20 Mei 1908, kemudian dikristalisasikan dengan Sumpah Pemuda 28 Oktober 1928, Satu Nusa, Satu Bangsa dan Satu Bahasa.

Oleh karena itu pengakuan kedaulatan negara RIS menimbulkan pergolakan-pergolakan di negara-negara bagian RIS untuk bersatu dalam bentuk negara kesatuan RI sesuai dengan Proklamasi Kemerdekaan RI.

Sesuai KOnstitusi, negara federal RIS terdiri atas 16 negara bagian. Akibat pergolakan yang semakin gencar menuntut bergabung kembali pada negara kesatuan Indonesia, maka sampai pada tanggal 5 April 1950 negara federasi RIS, tinggal 3 (tiga) negara lagi yaitu :

1. RI Yogyakarta.

2. Negara Sumatera Timur (NST).

3. Negara Indonesia Timur (NIT).

Negara federasi RIS tidak sampai setahun usianya, oleh karena terhitung mulai tanggal 17 Agustus 1950 Presiden Soekarno menyampaikan Naskah Piagam, pernyataan terbentuknya Negara Kesatuan Republik Indonesia, yang berarti pembubaran Negara Federal RIS (Republik Indonesia Serikat).

Pada saat itu pula panitia yang diketuai oleh Prof. Mr. Dr. Soepomo mengubah konstitusi RIS 1949 (196 Pasal) menjadi UUD RIS 1950 (147 Pasal).

Perubahan bentuk negara dan konstitusi RIS tidak mempengaruhi dasar falsafah Pancasila, sehingga tetap tercantum dalam Mukadimah UUDS-RI 1950, alinea IV dengan perumusan dan tata urutan yang sama dalam Mukadimah Konstitusi RIS yaitu :

v Ketuhanan Yang Maha Esa.

v Prikemanusiaan.

v Kebangsaan.

v Kerakyatan.

v Keadilan Sosial.

6. Pancasila Sebagai Dasar Falsafah Negara Dalam Pembukaan UUD 1945 Setelah Dekrit Presiden 5 Juli 1959

Pemerintah mengeluarkan Undang-Undang No. 7 Tahun 1953 tentang Pemilihan Umum untuk memilih anggota-anggota DPR dan Konstituante yang akan menyusun UUD baru.

Pada akhir tahun 1955 diadakan pemilihan umum pertama di Indonesia dan Konstituante yang dibentuk mulai bersidang pada tanggal 10 November 1956.

Dalam perjalanan sejarah ketatanegaraan selanjutnya. Konstituante gagal membentuk suatu UUD yang baru sebagai pengganti UUDS 1950.

Dengan kegagalan konstituante tersebut, maka pada tanggal 5 Juli 1950 Presiden RI mengeluarkan sebuah Dekrit yang pada pokoknya berisi pernyatan :

a. Pembubaran Konstuante.

b. Berlakunya kembali UUD 1945.

c. Tidak berlakunya lagi UUDS 1950.

d. Akan dibentuknya dalam waktu singkat MPRS dan DPAS.

Dengan berlakunya kembali UUD 1945, secara yuridis, Pancasila tetap menjadi dasar falsafah negara yang tercantum dalam Pembukaan UUD 1945 alinea IV dengan perumusan dan tata urutan seperti berikut :

v Ketuhanan Yang Maha Esa.

v Kemanusiaan yang adil dan beradab.

v Persatuan Indonesia.

v Kerakyatan yang dipimpin oleh hikmat kebijaksanaan dalam permusyawaratan/perwakilan.

v Keadilan sosial bagi seluruh rakyat Indonesia.

Dengan instruksi Presiden Republik Indonesia No. 12 Tahun 1968, tertanggal 13 April 1968, perihal : Penegasan tata urutan/rumusan Pancasila yang resmi, yang harus digunakan baik dalam penulisan, pembacaan maupun pengucapan sehari-hari. Instruksi ini ditujukan kepada : Semua Menteri Negara dan Pimpinan Lembaga / Badan Pemerintah lainnya.

Tujuan dari pada Instruksi ini adalah sebagai penegasan dari suatu keadaan yang telah berlaku menurut hukum, oleh karena sesuai dengan asas hukum positif (Ius Contitutum) UUD 1945 adalah konstitusi Indonesia yang berlaku sekarang. Dengan demikian secara yuridis formal perumusan Pancasila yang tercantum dalam Pembukaan UUD 1945 itulah yang harus digunakan, walaupun sebenarnya tidak ada Instruksi Presiden RI No. 12/1968 tersebut.

Prof. A.G. Pringgodigdo, SH dalam bukunya “Sekitar Pancasila” peri-hal perumusan Pancasila dalam berbagai dokumentasi sejarah mengatakan bahwa uraian-uraian mengenai dasar-dasar negara yang menarik perhatian ialah yang diucapkan oleh :

1. Mr. Moh. Yamin pada tanggal 29 Mei 1945.

2. Prof. Mr. Dr. Soepomo pada tanggal 31 Mei 1945.

3. Ir. Soekarno pada tanggal 1 Juni 1945.

Walaupun ketiganya mengusulkan 5 hal pokok untuk sebagai dasar-dasar negara merdeka, tetapi baru Ir. Soekarno yang mengusulkan agar 5 dasar negara itu dinamakan Pancasila dan bukan Panca Darma.

Jelaslah bahwa perumusan 5 dasar pokok itu oleh ketiga tokoh tersebut dalam redaksi kata-katanya berbeda tetapi inti pokok-pokoknya adalah sama yaitu Ketuhanan Yang Maha Esa, Prikemanusiaan atau internasionalisme, Kebangsaan Indonesia atau persatuan Indonesia, Kerakyatan atau Demokrasi dan Keadilan Sosial bagi seluruh rakyat Indonesia.

Ir. Soekarno dalam pidatonya tanggal 1 Juni 1945 menegaskan : Maksud Pancasila adalah philosophschegrondslag itulah fundament falsafah, pikiran yang sedalam-dalamnya untuk di atasnya didirikan gedung “Indonesia Merdeka Yang Kekal dan Abadi”.

Prof. Mr. Drs. Notonagoro dalam pidato Dies Natalis Universitas Airlangga Surabaya pada tanggal 10 November 1955 menegaskan : “Susunan Pancasila itu adalah suatu kebulatan yang bersifat hierrarchies dan piramidal yang mengakibatkan adanya hubungan organis di antara 5 sila negara kita”.

Prof. Mr. Muhammad Yamin dalam bukunya “Proklamasi dan Konstitusi” (1951) berpendapat : “Pancasila itu sebagai benda rohani yang tetap dan tidak berubah sejak Piagam Jakarta sampai pada hari ini”.

Kemudian pernyataan dan pendapat Prof. Mr. Drs. Notonagoro dan Prof. Mr. Muhamamd Yamin tersebut diterima dan dikukuhkan oleh MPRS dalam Ketetapan No. XX/MPRS/1960 jo Ketetapan No. V/MPR/1973.

III. PENUTUP

Kesimpulan

Setelah memperhatikan isi dalam pembahasan di atas, maka dapat penulis tarik kesimpulan sebagai berikut:

1. Filsafat Pancasila adalah hasil berpikir/pemikiran yang sedalam-dalamnya dari bangsa Indonesia yang dianggap, dipercaya dan diyakini sebagai sesuatu (kenyataan, norma-norma, nilai-nilai) yang paling benar, paling adil, paling bijaksana, paling baik dan paling sesuai bagi bangsa Indonesia.

2. Fungsi utama filsafat Pancasila bagi bangsa dan negara Indonesia yaitu:

a) Filasafat Pancasila sebagai pandangan hidup bangsa Indonesia

b) Pancasila sebagai dasar negara Republik Indonesia

c) Pancasila sebagai jiwa dan kepribadian bangsa Indonesia

3. Falsafah Pancasila sebagai dasar falsafah negara Indonesia, hal tersebut dapat dibuktikan dengan ditemukannya dalam beberapa dokumen historis dan di dalam perundang-undangan negara Indonesia seperti di bawah ini :

  1. Dalam Pidato Ir. Soekarno tanggal 1 Juni 1945.
  2. Dalam Naskah Politik yang bersejarah, tanggal 22 Juni 1945 alinea IV yang kemudian dijadikan naskah rancangan Pembukaan UUD 1945 (terkenal dengan sebutan Piagam Jakarta).
  3. Dalam naskah Pembukaan UUD Proklamasi 1945, alinea IV.
  4. Dalam Mukadimah Konstitusi Republik Indonesia Serikat (RIS) tanggal         27 Desember 1945, alinea IV.
  5. Dalam Mukadimah UUD Sementara Republik Indonesia (UUDS RI) tanggal 17 Agustus 1950.
  6. Dalam Pembukaan UUD 1945, alinea IV setelah Dekrit Presiden RI tanggal 5 Juli 1959.

Saran

Warganegara Indonesia merupakan sekumpulan orang yang hidup dan tinggal di negara Indonesia Oleh karena itu sebaiknya warga negara Indonesia harus lebih meyakini atau mempercayai, menghormati, menghargai menjaga, memahami dan melaksanakan segala hal yang telah dilakukan oleh para pahlawan khususnya dalam pemahaman bahwa falsafah Pancasila adalah sebagai dasar falsafah negara Indonesia. Sehingga kekacauan yang sekarang terjadi ini dapat diatasi dan lebih memperkuat persatuan dan kesatuan bangsa dan negara Indonesia ini.

DAFTAR PUSTAKA

Al-Ahwani, Ahmad Fuad 1995: Filsafat Islam, (cetakan 7), Jakarta, Pustaka Firdaus (terjemahan pustaka firdaus).

Ary Ginanjar Agustian, 2003: Rahasia Sukses Membangun Kecerdasan Emosi dan Spiritual ESQ, Berdasarkan 6 Rukun Iman dan 5 Rukun Islam, (edisi XIII), Jakarta, Penerbit Arga Wijaya Persada.

_________________ 2003: ESQ Power Sebuah Inner Journey Melalui Al Ihsan, (Jilid II), Jakarta, Penerbit ArgaWijaya Persada.

Avey, Albert E. 1961: Handbook in the History of Philosophy, New York, Barnas & Noble, Inc.

Center for Civic Education (CCE) 1994: Civitas National Standards For Civics and Government, Calabasas, California, U.S Departement of Education.

Kartohadiprodjo, Soediman, 1983: Beberapa Pikiran Sekitar Pancasila, cetakan ke-4, Bandung, Penerbit Alumni.

Kelsen, Hans 1973: General Theory of Law and State, New York, Russell & Russell

Koentjaraningrat. 1980. Manusia dan Kebudayaan Indonesia. Jakarta: PT. Gramedia

McCoubrey & Nigel D White 1996: Textbook on Jurisprudence (second edition), Glasgow, Bell & Bain Ltd.

Mohammad Noor Syam 2007: Penjabaran Fislafat Pancasila dalam Filsafat Hukum (sebagai Landasan Pembinaan Sistem Hukum Nasional), disertasi edisi III, Malang, Laboratorium Pancasila.

—————— 2000: Pancasila Dasar Negara Republik Indonesia (Wawasan Sosio-Kultural, Filosofis dan Konstitusional), edisi II, Malang Laboratorium Pancasila.

Murphy, Jeffrie G & Jules L. Coleman 1990: Philosophy of Law An Introduction to Jurisprudence, San Francisco, Westview Press.

Nawiasky, Hans 1948: Allgemeine Rechtslehre als System der rechtlichen Grundbegriffe, Zurich/Koln Verlagsanstalt Benziger & Co. AC.

Notonagoro, 1984: Pancasila Dasar Filsafat Negara, Jakarta, PT Bina Aksara, cetakan ke-6.

—————-, 1980. Beberapa Hal Mengenai Falsafah Pancasila, Cet. 9. Jakarta: Pantjoran Tujuh.

Nopirin. 1980. Beberapa Hal Mengenai Falsafah Pancasila, Cet. 9. Jakarta: Pancoran Tujuh

Radhakrishnan, Sarpavalli, et. al 1953: History of Philosophy Eastern and Western, London, George Allen and Unwind Ltd.

Salam, H. Burhanuddin, 1998. Filsafat Pancasilaisme. Jakarta: Rineka Cipta

UNO 1988: HUMAN RIGHTS, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, New York, UNO

UUD 1945, UUD 1945 Amandemen, Tap MPRS – MPR RI dan UU yang berlaku. (1966; 2001, 2003)

Wilk, Kurt (editor) 1950: The Legal Philosophies of Lask, Radbruch, and Dabin, New York, Harvard College, University Press.

Sumber Lain :

http://www.asmakmalaikat.com/go/artikel/filsafat/index.htm

http:// www.google.co.id

http://www.goodgovernance-bappenas.go.id/artikel_148.htm

http:// www.teoma.com

http:// www.kumpulblogger.com

Oleh: fuadsiraj | November 9, 2008

WESTERNIZATION AND ISLAMIZATION OF KNOWLEDGE

Written by: Fuad Mahbub Siraj

Western hegemony which dominated by scientific worldview has brought negative effect to other culture especially in the scope of epistemology. Maybe, “Westernization of Knowledge” is the right term to show the status quo of the condition. If this could be rightly comprehended, then the term of “Islamization of Contemporary Knowledge” is not only a term that would fit and accepted but more to a project that has brought conceptual obligation. Because of that, Islamization substantial could not be fully understood if we do not relate with epistemological problems that has come to Islamic world and to compete with its source. This study would explain in short the Westernization of Knowledge that has becoming defiance to Islamic knowledge to understand the meaning and relevance of Islamization.

1. Westernization of Knowledge

Western historian has awarding the epithet of Father of Modern Philosophy to René Descartes (d. 1650) whom has formulating a principle of “If I think then I’m alive” (cogito ergo sum). With this principle, Descartes has making ratio as the only criteria to gauge the truth. The stress on ratio and senses as the source of knowledge was also done by other philosopher like Thomas Hobbes (d. 1679), Benedict Spinoza (d. 1677), John Locke (d. 1704), George Berkeley (d. 1753), Francois-Marie Voltaire (d. 1778), Jean-Jacques Rousseau (d. 1778), David Hume (d. 1776), Immanuel Kant (d. 1804), Georg Friedrick Hegel (d. 1831), Arthur Schopenhauer (d. 1860), Soren Kierkegaard (d. 1855), Edmund Husserl (d. 1938), Henri Bergson (d. 1941), Alfred North Whitehead (d. 1947), Bertrand Russell (d. 1970), Martin Heidegger (d. 1976), Emilio Betti (d. 1968), Hans-Georg Gadamer, Jorgen Habermas, and others.

In modern times, Immanuel Kant philosophy was influencing. Kant answered the doubt of knowledge that has come from a skeptic David Hume. Based on Kant, knowledge is possible, but metaphysic is impossible because it is not relying on senses. In his point of view, in metaphysic, there are no synthetic-a-priori statements like in mathematics, physics and other knowledge that rely on empirical evidences. Kant called metaphysic as a transcendental illusion. Kant thought that these metaphysic assertions are without epistemological values.[1]

Modern secular Western epistemology has developed as the emergence of philosophical dialectical Hegel (d.1831) whom was influenced by Kant. For Hegel, knowledge is an ongoing process where thing that we have known and I whom known continue develop; a stage that could not be denied and negated to the new stages. It does not mean that the old stage is not accepted anymore but the old stage is the light of knowledge which later seems to be limited. So the old stage is not true because it is limited and so then it was assumed to be truth. But things that denied will always be kept.[2]

Modern secular Western epistemology has also generated the concept of atheism. As a result, atheism has becoming a normal phenomenon in any discipline of study such as philosophy, Jewish-Christianity theology, science, sociology, psychology, politic, economics and many others.

Ludwig Feurbach (1804-1872), a theologian and Hegel’s student, is one of the forerunner of modern atheism. Feurbach, a theologian, stressed that the highest philosophical principle is human. Although religion or theology has denied but virtually religion that worships man. Christianity has also stated that God is man, man is God. So then, religion will neglect God which is not human. The true sense of theology is Anthropology. Religion is the dream of human mind.[3]

Influenced by Feurbach’s work, Karl Marx (d. 1883) has argued that religion is the gripe of a stressed out human, the world without heart, as if that is the spirit of an epoch without spirit. Religion is people’s addiction. In Karl Marx view, religion is a secondary factor while the primary factor is economic factor.[4]

Besides, Marx eulogized Charles Robert Darwin (d 1882) in science that concludes God has no role in the creation of the universe. For Darwin, the origin of species was not come from God but adaptation to the environment. Furthermore, God was not creating the creature. All different species actually has come from the same ancestors. Species is distinct from one and another because of natural conditions.[5]

Atheism has also developed in sociology. Auguste Comte, founding father of the term sociology, viewed belief of religion as society’s retardation. In Comte’s view point, society develop through 3 theoretical phases; first the theological phase or fiction. Second is the metaphysical phase which also known as abstract phase. And the third is the scientific phase and also called as positive phase. The characteristic of each phase is opposing to each other. In theology phase, human mind thought that phenomenon happened because of supernatural power. Then, in metaphysical phase, human mind thought that phenomenon has been created from abstract powers or genuine entities that have replaced the supernatural power. Moreover, in positive phase, human mind has brought to realize that it is impossible to reach the absolute truth.[6] Comte’s opinion, which rejected religion, followed by other sociologist like Emile Durkheim (d. 1917) and Herbert Spencer. Religion, emphasized by Spencer, has come from dreams of human about the existence of spirit from other world.[7]

Atheistic thought has also becoming an issue in psychology. Sigmund Freud (d. 1939) is a famous psychologist that stressed out on the illusion of religious doctrines. Religion is not appropriate with the reality happening in the world. It is not religion but scientific work which is the only way that could guide human towards knowledge.[8]

Also, critic upon God existence has been talked in the study of philosophy. In his work, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) wrote: “God died; now we want the over man to live.[9] Nietzsche argued that religion is momentary amelioration and narcoticizing.[10] For Nietzsche, religion could not be suitable with knowledge. Nietzsche stated that “a man cannot believe in religious dogmas and this metaphysics if someone has tight methods to reach the truth in his heart and to someone else.”[11] Emphasizing on differences of scopes between religion and knowledge, Nietzsche said; “between religion and science is true, but there is no connection, relationship, nor animosity; both has stayed in different stars.”[12] When Nietzsche criticizing religion, he referred more on Christianity.[13]

Post-modern philosophers such as Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault and Richard Rorty have made Nietzsche postulate as reference. If Nietzsche acknowledged that God is death, then Jacques Derrida in mid 20th century was declaring that the author is death.

Besides creating atheism, modern secular Western epistemology has caused Christian theology as secular. Christianity worldviews has gone to a paradigm shifted. Moreover, in medieval times, Christianity is the central of Western civilization, so the religion has changed to be edge of modern era. If in medieval times Christian theologian like Saint Augustine (d. 430), Boethius (d. 524), Johannes Scotus Erigena (d. 877), Santo Anselm (d. 1109), Santo Bonaventura (d. 1274) and Santo Thomas Aquinas (d. 1274) have modified ancient Greek philosophy so it would suitable with Christian theology, then in 20th century, Christian theologians such as Karl Barth (1886-1968), Dietrich Bonheoffer (1906-1945),[14] Friedrich Gogarten (1887-1967),[15] Paul van Buren (d. 1998), Thomas Altizer, Gabriel Vahanian,[16] William Hamilton, Woolwich, Werner and Lotte Pelz, Harvey Cox[17] and others have also modified Christian theology so it would suitable with modern secular Western society. They emphasized that Christianity has to be suitable with modern secular science worldviews.[18] They made new comprehension on the Bible and rejected the old comprehension that stated that there is another world which is greater and religious than this world. The denied the role and act of Churchman whom claimed that Church has social specialty, power and special properties.[19] They have to reinterpret Christianity teaching so it would be relevant with society’s development in modern secular society.[20]

Simple explanation above has shown that Westernization of knowledge has come from human minds and sense that has created many concept and thought like empiric, rationalism, humanism, existentialism, materialism, Marxism, capitalism, liberalism, socialism, skepticism, relativism, agnostism and atheism. Westernization of knowledge gas destroyed the revelation as a source of knowledge. Knowledge westernization has also distinct the relation between both concept.

2. Islamization of Present-Day Knowledge

As Islamization of knowledge has become popular in 80’s, essentially it was proposed by more than 2 decades ago by Syed Muhammad Naquib Al-Attas, then the study of contemporary sustenance of Islamization of knowledge will be clearer if it is focus on its concept. Besides, the concept that he proposed is based on deep understanding about worldviews and western human culture and its epistemology.

Syed Muhammad Naquib Al-Attas has realized that the “virus” that include in modern secular Western knowledge is the biggest challenge for Muslim in present-day. In his view, the western modern culture has made knowledge more problematic. Moreover, after misjudge the meaning of knowledge, western culture has removed the meaning and aim of knowledge. Although modern western culture has created beneficial knowledge, but then the culture has also created damage in human life. In Syed Muhammad Naquib Al-Attas opinion, knowledge westernization has created doubt that was not built on revelation and belief of religion. However it was built on the tradition that was strengthen with philosophical speculation that related with secular life that has centralized human as rational creature. As a result, knowledge and ethics and moral values, which is set by human ratio, is continuously change.[21]

Modern knowledge that has been projected through worldview has built on the intellectual vision and cultural psychological and western society. Based on Syed Muhammad Naquib Al-Attas, there are 5 factors that have lived the western culture and society[22] (1) mind is reliable to guide human life; (2) to behave dualistic towards reality and truth; (3) to define the existence aspect that projecting secular view point;[23] (4) to advocate humanism doctrines; (5) to make drama and tragedy as dominant factors in disposition and humanistic existence.[24] Because of that, knowledge in western culture and society has created long lasting crisis of knowledge. Syed Muhammad Naquib Al-Attas argue that knowledge that grow in west does not have to be applied in Muslim world. Knowledge can also be a very soft and sharp tool to spread out a particular culture and worldviews.[25] It because the knowledge is not value-free but value laden.[26]

Sure between Islam and philosophy and modern science, as realized by Syed Muhammad Naquib Al-Attas , has similarity especially in the matter of source and methodology, the unity to know things rationally and empirically, a combination of realism, idealism and pragmatism has become a cognitive foundation to philosophical science; process and philosophical science. However, it define that there is some basic divergence of worldviews about the last reality. For him, in Islam, revelation is the source of knowledge and the last truth about creature and its Creator.[27] Revelation is the basic of metaphysical skeleton to explain philosophical science as a system that shows reality and truth in rationalism and empiric worldview. Without revelation, science is assumed to be the sole authentic knowledge.[28] Moreover, without revelation, knowledge will only relate to phenomenon. As a result, the conclusion on phenomenon will always change as time goes by. In addition, without revelation, reality that we understood will only be limited to the real world that we think as the only reality.[29]

Diagnosing virus that included in westernization of knowledge, Syed Muhammad Naquib Al-Attas has recovered it with Islamization of knowledge.[30] The reason is that the biggest challenge that is faced by the Muslim is the bias of modern knowledge and has entered through religious presumption, culture and philosophy that actually come from the reflection of western awareness and human experiences. So, modern knowledge must be Islamized.[31]

Islamizing knowledge is anything but easy, like labeling. Beside, not all western things must be rejected because there are some similarities with Islam just like stated above. Because of that, someone that Islamizing knowledge must fulfill the pre-requirement such as Islamic worldview that also could understand western culture and society.[32] Islamic worldview is the vision of reality and truth. Reality and truth in Islam is not only a thinking about physical world and complicity in history, social, politics and culture as integrated in western secular concept about the world which is limited with the world that could be seen. Reality and truth are only comprehended as a study of metaphysic of world that could be seen and could not be seen. So Islamic worldviews has embodied the world and hereafter that world aspect should be correlated deeper over hereafter aspect and hereafter aspect has the last and final significance. Islamic worldviews is not empirically based on dichotomy methodology like objectivity and subjectivity, historical and normative. However, reality and truth has to be comprehended with the method that could unite (tauhid). Islamic worldviews is rise on the revelation that supported by human mind and intuition. Religious substance such as; name, faith and his experience, the doctrine and his theological system has been stated in revelation and explained by the prophets. Islam has already completed, perfected and authenticated. It does not need progress, development and changes in things that have been clearly stated. (Al-maÑlËm min Al-dÊn bi Al-ÌarËrah). Islamic worldview consists of various concepts that connected to each other like the concept of God, revelation, creation, human psychology, knowledge, religion freedom, values and good deeds also happiness. Those concepts will decide changes, developments and progresses. Islamic worldviews is built on the unique concept of God which does not exist in any other tradition, philosophy, culture, civilization and religion.[33]

Since, Islam is a religion and also a civilization.[34] Islam is a religion that settles and travel time because the value system that contained in it is absolute. The truth in Islamic values is not only for the past, but present and future as well. The existing values in Islam are eternal. So Islam has its absolute worldviews, consist of the issues on God, prophets, truth, universe and many others. Islam has the comprehension ontologically, cosmologically and psychologically on every virtue. Islam rejected the ideas on deconsecrating of values because it related all system of behavior.[35]

Only after knowing deeper about Islamic and western worldviews, then the process of Islamization could be done. This is because Islamization of present-day knowledge has involved two processes that connected to each other:

a. Isolating the key factors and concept that has made western culture and civilization (the 5 factors that have been stated above), from every discipline of modern present-day knowledge, especially in humanity knowledge. Nevertheless, natural science, physics and it application must be Islamize especially in comprehending the facts and formulizing theories.[36]

Based on Syed Muhammad Naquib Al-Attas, if it is not compatible with the Islamic worldview then facts would not be true.[37] Besides, modern knowledge must be examined in more detail. This includes the methods, concepts, presumption and symbols from modern knowledge as well as empirical and rational aspects which will give impact to ethics and values; the historical comprehension of these knowledge, the building of its theories, the presumption that related with world and rationality of the scientific processes; theories about the study of the universe; its classification, limitation; its relation with other disciplines and the relation with society must be examined more in detail.[38]

b. Include Islamic factors as well as the key concepts in every discipline of present-day knowledge that relevant.[39]

If both processes have done, the Islamization would set free human from magic, mythology, animism, national culture and tradition which are contradict with Islam and then secular control to their minds and language.[40] Islamization will free human mind from doubt (shakk), assumption (Ðann) and non-sense (mirÉ’) towards believe of truth about spiritual reality, intelligible and material.[41] Islamization will bring out contemporary science comprehension from ideology, denotation and secular phrase.[42]

3. Criticizing Upon Knowledge Islamization

The concept of Islamization of knowledge has created criticism from various contemporary Muslim scholars such as Fazlur Rahman, Muhsin Mahdi, Abdus Salam, Abdul Karim Soroush and Bassam Tibi.[43] In Fazlur Rahman’s opinion, knowledge could not be Islamize because there is nothing wrong in knowledge. The problem is that the misuse of knowledge.[44] For hum, knowledge has two qualities like a “two ogle weapon” that has to be used carefully and fully responsible in using it as well as using it right when we have it.[45]

Fazlur Rahman was right when he said that knowledge is depending on how we use it. However, Fazlur Rahman seems to deny the basic concept of the knowledge itself that it is built on particular worldviews. The concept of God, human, the relationship between God and human, world, religion and sources of knowledge will decide how a person looks at the knowledge.

Furthermore, Fazlur Rahman’s way of thinking is likely to have secular worldview c. This is clearly stated on his saying about knowledge that it does not need to reach the level of finality or belief; “It’s clear that particular comprehension have always to be accepted once it was accepted before; there will always an ample room and need of new comprehension and this is actually a process that will always continue.’

Unlike Fazlur Rahman, Syed Muhammad Naquib Al-Attas has stressed out that knowledge that included on matters of belief is final and not open for revision by the next generation, beside elaboration and application. New comprehension will related directly with scientific aspect of Al-Qur’an and natural phenomenon.[46]

In general, the critic of Islamization has argued that science is about to study of objective facts and independent from human, culture or religion and must be distinct from its values. Abdus Salam, for instance, stated: “There is only one universal science, its problems and forms are international and there is nothing like Islamic science just like none science in Hinduism, Jewish or Christianity.”[47]

Abdus Salam statement has shown that there is nothing so called Islamic science. This secular statement has also shown that Abdus Salam has distinct Islamic worldview that has becoming the basic of metaphysical science. Moreover, Islamic worldview will always relate to scientist’ view and activity. The above statement has shown the result of a secular Muslim scientist. Based on Prof. Alparslan Açikgenç, the scientific view and activity was made worldviews that has served him the concept of particular scientific structure as well as ethical guidance.[48] A scientist will work on his own perspective that related with his own framework and opinion.[49]

The criticism on Islamization of knowledge was also proposes by Abdul Karim Sorush. He argue that Islamization of knowledge is illogic and impossible. The reason is that reality is neither Islamic nor un-Islamic. The truth is not a matter of Islamic or not. Since, science as the right proposition is also neither Islamic nor un-Islamic. Previous Muslim philosophers never use the term of Islamic philosophy. The term is a western coinage. Summing up his short argument, Abdul Karim Sorush stated; (1) metaphysical, empirical or logical methods are independent from Islam or any other religion; Methods cannot be Islamized; (2) The truth cannot be Islamized. The truth is truth, and truth cannot be Islamized; (3) Questions and problems that proposed is looking for truth even though it is proposed by Non-Muslim; (4) Methods is a presupposition in science and cannot be Islamized.[50]

Worldview that consists in Abdul Karim Sorush’s argument is a reality about changes. Knowledge is only limited to study of phenomenons that change. In fact, reality is constant and change. In Syeh Muhammad Naquib Al-Attas point of view, reality is at once both permanence and change, not in the sense that change is permanent, but in this sense that there is something permanent whereby change occurs.[51]

Islamization of knowledge is also assumed to be indigenization as stated by Bassam Tibi. He understood Islamization of knowledge as third world’s response to universality claim of western knowledge. Islamization has, yet again, emphasized the local values to challenge the global knowledge which invading now.[52] But then, Bassam Tibi’s conception about Islamization as indigenization that has relation with local is not correct. Islamization is not separating local and universal western knowledge. Bassam Tibi’s view about Islamization of knowledge tends to be political and sociological. Just because Muslim located at developing countries and west at advance countries, then the idea of Islamization of knowledge is local ideas that contradict global ideas. Essentially, the come up of Islamization of knowledge was caused by different worldview between Islam and religion and other culture. Islamization is not only criticizing culture and western civilization but also transforming local subjects and ethnicity so it will suitable with Islamic worldviews. Islamization is making culture, tradition, custom and universal locality more suitable with the universal Islam as a religion.[53]

Although the term Islamization is new, but the concept that consist in the word itself is not new. Al-Qur’an, for instance, has Islamize some Arabic vocabularies which are used during that time. Al-Qur’an has Islamized the conceptual structure, semantic studies and vocabularies, especially the terms and key concepts that used to projecting matters that does not come from Islamic worldview.[54] In medieval times, Islamization has been done especially by Muslim theologian such as Al-Ghazali, Fakhruddin Al-Razi, Sayfuddin Al-Amidi and many others. By deeper Islamic knowledge, they filter ancient Greek philosophy to suit Islamic perspectives. As a result, the entity from ancient Greek philosophy had been accepted and rejected. To sum in, the idea of Islamization of contemporary knowledge that is formalized by Syed Muhammad Naquib Al-Attas is a “epistemological revolution” which is an answer to the crisis of epistemology that has bring round to Islamic world but also western culture and civilization.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Açikgenç, Alparslan, Islamic Sciance: Towards a Definition, Kuala Lumpur: ISTAC, 1996).

—————————, Holistic Approach to Scientific Traditions, Islam & Science 1 (2003), No. 1.

Bonhoeffer, Dietrich, A Testament to freedom: the essential writings of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, editor Geffrey B. Kelly and F. Burton Nelson (San Fransisco: HarperCollins, 1990).

C. Holub, Robert, Friedrich Nietzsche, (New York: Twayne Publishers, 1995).

Cox, Harvey, Why Christianity Must be secularized, in The Great Ideas Today (Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc, 1967).

—————–,The Secular City: Secularization and Urbanization in Theological Perspective, (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1967).

Comte, Auguste, Introduction to Positive Philosophy

Darwin, Charles, The Origin of Species, (New York: New American Library, 1958).

Freud, Sigmund, The Future of an Illusion, editor and translator. James Strachey (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1961).

Harnack, Justus, Kant’s Theory of Knowledge, tran. M. Holmes Hartshorne (London: Macmillan, 1968).

H. Turner, Jonathan and Herbert Spencer: A Renewed Appreciation, 1.

Ludwig Furbach, Justus, The Essence of Christianity, tran George Eliot (New York: Prometheus Books, 1989).,

Magnis-Suseno, Justus, Karl Marx views: From Socialism Utopist to Revisionism Challenge, Jakarta; Gramedia Pustaka Utama, 2001), 56, Sum in Karl Marx views.

Naquib al-Attas, Syed Muhammad, Islam and Secularism, (Kuala Lumpur: ISTAC, edisi kedua, 1993).

———————, Prolegomena, to the Metaphysics of Islam: An Exposition of the Fundamental Elements of the Worldview of Islam, (Kuala Lumpur: ISTAC, 1995).

——————-, Risalah Untuk Kaum Muslimin, (Kuala Lumpur: ISTAC, 2001),

——————–, Islam and the Philosophy of Science, (Kuala Lumpur: ISTAC, 1989).

Rahman, Fazlur, Islamization of Knowledge: A Response, The American Journal of Islamic Social Science 5, No. 1 (1988).

Setia, Adi, Philosophy of Science of Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas, Islam & Science 1 (2003).

Tibi, Bassam, Culture and Knowledge: The Politics of Islamization of Knowledge as a Postmodern Project? The Fundamentalist Claim to De-Westernization,” Theory, Culture & Society, Jilid. 12 (1995).

Wan Daud, Wan Mohd Nor, The Educational Philosophy and Practice of Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas – An Exposition of the Original Concept of Islamization, (Kuala Lumpur: ISTAC, 1998).



[1]Justus Harnack, Kant’s Theory of Knowledge, translated by M. Holmes Hartshorne (London: Macmillan, 1968), 142-45

[2]Franz Magnis-Suseno, Karl Marx views: From Socialism Utopist to Revisionism Challenge, Jakarta; Gramedia Pustaka Utama, 2001), 56, Sum in Karl Marx views.

[3]Ludwig Furbach, The Essence of Christianity, translated by George Eliot (New York: Prometheus Books, 1989), xiii-xix.

[4] Magnis-Suseno, Karl Marx views, 71-76

[5] Charles Darwin, the Origin of Species (New York: New American Library, 1958), 437.

[6] Auguste Comte, Introduction to Positive Philosophy, 1-2.

[7] Jonathan H. Turner, Herbert Spencer: A Renewed Appreciation, 1: 136-138.

[8] Jonathan H. Turner, Herbert Spencer: A Renewed Appreciation, 1: 136-138.

[9] Robert C. Holub, Friedrich Nietzsche, (New York: Twayne Publishers, 1995), 138.

[10] Ibid;, 129

[11] Neitzcshe stated: “one cannot believe these dogmas of religion and metaphysics if one has in one’s heart and head the rigorous methods of acquiring truth Quoted from Robert C. Holub, Friedrich Nietzsche, New York: Twayne Publishers, 1995), 129.

[12] Nietzsche stated: “There exists between religion and true science neither affinity, nor friendship, nor even enmity; they dwell on different stars.” Quoted from Robert C. Holub, Friedrich Nietzsche, 129.

[13] Criticizing Christianity, Nietzsche stated: “it desires to destroy, shatter, stupefy, intoxicate, the one thing it does not desire is measure: and that is why it is in the profoundest sense barbaric, Asiatic, ignoble, un-Hellenic.” Quoted from Robert C. Holub, Friedrich Nietzsche, 131.

[14] Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German Pastor whom was executedon April 8, 1945 by Nazi Gestapo because linked in the plot of Hitler murderer, stated that Christians move towards completely religionless time. During 1900, emphasized Bonhoeffer, Christianity was relied on religious a priori. He exclaimed the Christians to spread out in secular way. Bonhoeffer Stated “How do we speak of God—without religion, i.e., without the temporally conditioned presuppositions of metaphysics, inwardness, and so on? How do we speak in a secular way about God? In what way are we religionless secular Christians…” See Dietrich Bonhoeffer, A Testament to freedom: the essential writings of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, editor Geffrey B. Kelly and F. Burton Nelson (San Fransisco: HarperCollins, 1990), 526.

[15] Friedrich Gogarten stated: “Secularization regardless of what may have developed from it in modern times, is a legitimate consequence of the Christian faith.” Quoted from Harvey Cox, “Why Christianity Must be secularized” in The Great Ideas Today 1967 (Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc, 1967), 11, later sum in GIT.

[16] Gabriel Vahanian is a Neo-Calvinis theologian. He stated: “Secular is a must of a Christian.” In his opinion, God’s death is a religious tragedy as well cultural tragedy. In modern and scientific, the tragedies in Bible assumed to be myth, irrelevant and unuse

[17] Based on Cox, there are three important components in Bible that has become the skeleton of secularization, which are: ‘disenchantment of nature’ which is related with Creation, ‘desacralization of politics’ with mass departure or migration (Exodus) Jewish from Egypt and ‘deconsecration of values’ with Sinai Covenant. See Harvey Cox, The Secular City: Secularization and Urbanization in Theological Perspective (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1967), 17, later sum in The Secular City.

[18] Ibid., 11-12.

[19] Harvey Cox, ‘Why Christianity Must Be Secularized” on GIT, 9-10.

[20] About secular Christian theology, Pengaruh-Kristen Orientalis Terhadap Islam Liberal; Dialog Interaktif dengan Aktivis Jaringan Islam Liberal, (Jakarta; Gema Insani Press, 2003), 3-14., About secular term, see Harvey Cox, The Secular City, 16-17.

[21] See Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas definition about “western civilization” in his work Islam and Secularism (Kuala Lumpur: ISTAC, 2nd ed, 1993), 133-35, later sum in Islam and Secularism.

[22] Ibid., 137.

[23] See his criticism on secularism in his work Islam and Secularism, 38-43.

[24] See his criticism in his work Prolegomena to the Metaphysics of Islam: An Exposition of the Fundamental Elements of the Worldview of Islam (Kuala Lumpur: ISTAC, 1995), 88; 99-108, further sum in Prolegomena.

[25] Syed Muhammad Naquib Al-Attas, Risalah Untuk Kaum Muslimin (Kuala Lumpur: ISTAC, 2001), 49. Although Risalah was published in 2001, actually the script was existed since 1973. The ideas that is contained in the script is elaborated to several monographic works

[26] Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas, Islam and Secularism, 134.

[27] Sources and Methodology of Knowledge based on Naquib al-Attas is (I) senses that includes the 5 external senses like touch, smell, taste, see and hear, and 5 internal senses such as meliputi representation, estimation, retention, recollection and imagination. (II) The real information is based on authority (naql): which is the absolute authority, which is God’s authority (Al-Qur’an) and prophetic authority (Rasul), and relative authority, which is the consensus of Muslim scholars (tawatur) and information from trusted and reliable people generally and (III) Healthy mind and intuition. See epistemological structural scheme Naquib al-Attas in Adi Setia, “Philosophy of Science of Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas,” Islam & Science 1 (2003), No. 2., 189.

[28] Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas, Islam and the Philosophy of Science (Kuala Lumpur: ISTAC, 1989), 9.

[29] Ibid., 5.

[30] In the end of 1960’s and beginning of 1970’s Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas was very active in guiding the student movement in some universities in Malaysia on focusing their challenges on important fundamental issues in developing the country such as the issue on language, culture, secularism, westernization, and Islamization, see work of Wan Mohd Nor Wan Daud, The Educational Philosophy and Practice of Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas – An Exposition of the Original Concept of Islamization (Kuala Lumpur: ISTAC, 1998), 237, further sum in The Educational Philosophy

[31] Ibid., 291.

[32] Ibid., 313-14.

[33] See the comprehensive explanation Syed Muhammad Naquib Al-Attas about Islamic worldviews in Prolegomena, 1-39.

[34] Wan Mohd Nor Wan Daud , The Educational Philosophy, 298.

[35] Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas, Islam and Secularism, 30-32.

[36] Wan Mohd Nor Wan Daud, The Educational Philosophy, 313.

[37] Ibid., 313.

[38] Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas, Prolegomena, 114.

[39] Wan Mohd Nor Wan Daud, The Educational Philosophy, 313.

[40] Al-Attas stated: “Islamization is the liberation of man first from magical, mythological, animistic, national-cultural tradition opposed to Islam, and then from secular control over his reason and his language.” See Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas, Islam and Secularism, 44.

[41] Wan Mohd Nor Wan Daud , The Educational Philosophy, 312.

[42] Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas, The Concept of Education in Islam, 43.

[43] See the critic by Fazlur Rahman, Muhsin Mahdi, Abdus Salam, Abdul Karim Sorush and Bassam Tibi over Islamization of Knowledge in Wan Mohd Nor Wan Daud, The Educational Philosophy, 395-420.

[44] Fazlur Rahman, “Islamization of Knowledge: A Response,” The American Journal of Islamic Social Science 5, No. 1 (1988), 4.

[45] Wan Mohd Nor Wan Daud, The Educational Philosophy, 398.

[46] Further Wan Mohd Nor Wan Daud, The Educational Philosophy, 399-00.

[47] Abdus Salam stated; “There is only one universal science, its problems and modalities are international and there is no such thing as Islamic science just as there is no Hindu science, no Jewish science, nor Christian science.” Quoted from Wan Mohd Nor Wan Daud, The Educational Philosophy, 410.

[48] Alparslan Açikgenç, Islamic Sciance: Towards a Definition (Kuala Lumpur: ISTAC, 1996).

[49] Alparslan Açikgenç, Holistic Approach to Scientific Traditions, Islam & Science 1 (2003), No. 1., 99-114.

[50] Abdul Karim Sorush, “The Possibility of Islamization of Knowledge.” This editorial; has been delivered in International Conference of “Islam and Modernism: The Fazlur Rahman Experiment,” organized by Center for the Organization of Cultural Activities, Istanbul Metropolitan Municality, Istanbul, 22-23 February, 1997.

[51] Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas, Islam and the Philosophy of Science, 32.

[52] Bassam Tibi, “Culture and Knowledge: The Politics of Islamization of Knowledge as a Postmodern Project? The Fundamentalist Claim to De-Westernization,” Theory, Culture & Society, Jilid. 12 (1995), 2-5.

[53] See also Wan Mohd Nor Wan Daud, The Educational Philosophy, 414-17.

[54] Ibid., 318.

Oleh: fuadsiraj | November 9, 2008

THE MODELS OF RELATION BETWEEN RELIGION AND SCIENCE

Written by: Fuad Mahbub Siraj

The issue of the relation between religion and science has become an interest of many scientists and theologians. The conflict between Galileo and the authority of the church in the 19th century, the long debate between evolutionists and creationists and many other potential conflicts between religious text and, seemingly, contradictory scientific theories.

In this short paper I want to describe about the four approaches which had been offered by Ian G. Barbour and John F. Haught in order to find the models of relation between religion and science.

Based on the classification of Ian G. Barbour and John F. Haught, the relation between science and religion as above could be classified into four groups. The first is conflict/contrast. This model holds that religion and science are two entities, which are not only completely different, but also contradictory. One cannot hold scientific theory and belief in religious views at same time. This model is commonly exemplified by the case of Galileo and the debate among evolutionists and creationists on the origin of the universe. Biblical literalism and scientific materialism are groups, which according to Barbour, has conflicting ideas about religion and science. The second group, which Barbour called independence while Haught calls contrast, holds that religion and science have different questions, domain and method; each has its own validity. Religion cannot be judged by using scientific standard, nor the other way around. Therefore, there should not be contacted, relation or conflict between them. Both should be compartmentalized to work on separate tasks. Science is concerned with ‘how’ things happened, while religion in concerned with ‘why’ things happen. The third group, Barbour called dialogue and Haught calls contact. This model tries to find comparable theories and views in religion and science. Through comparison we will find similarities instead of differences. Thus, scientific knowledge can be broaden the horizon of religious faith and the perspective of religious can be extended its understanding of the universe. This model, according to Haught, avoids two dangers in the relationship between religion and science, namely conflation and compartmentalization. The fourth group, Barbour calls integration and Haught calls confirmation. This theory holds that religion and science should not contradict each other. Religion could confirm, support and strengthen the other but their split ideas should not be fused. This would cause religion to intrude into the actual work of science. The concept of natural theology is one of the common examples of this model. Natural theology integrates religion and science by positing God as the designer of the evolutionary process of nature.

Now we are trying to see those approaches of both figures one by one more deeply.

1. Conflict

The term of ‘conflict’ were used by Barbour and Haught, This model holds that religion and science are two entities, which are not only completely different, but also contradictory. One cannot hold scientific theory and belief in religious views at same time. This model is commonly exemplified by the case of Galileo and the debate among evolutionists and creationists on the origin of the universe. Biblical literalism and scientific materialism are groups, which according to Barbour, has conflicting ideas about religion and science. Biblical literalism holds that the revealed was inerrant thorough, the revealed give the data’s of truth which can gave the conviction to the whole time which always change and keep the traditional values from the disintegration of moral. While scientific materialism holds that the scientific methods was the correctly method to gain the knowledge. This group just believed with the truly entities which can be proved by material.[1]

The issue which always used in order to support this model, universally, was a conflict between the evolutionist and the creationist and conflict between Galileo and the authority of church in the 19th century.[2]

Independence/contrast

The term independence used by Barbour, but with the same intention, Haught is using the term contrast. This models stands with the opinion that both religion and science have its own conflict over its genuineness, so there should not be any contact, mutual aid or quarrel of both. Both supposed to be compartmentalized to work on its field.[3] One of the factors that support this model, Langdan Gilhey, gave the distinction between religion and science as below:

a. Science tries to explain the objective data, generally and repeated continuously, while religion talks about the problem of how extension of form and beauty of world and experience of human like forgivingness, signifies, believes protection and many others.

b. Science questioning the question of “how”, while, on the other hand, religion questioning “why” in sense of aim, ultimate origin and destiny.

c. Basic authority in science is the logical coherent and suitability experiment, while authority which was born in religion is God and revelation

d. Science makes prediction quantitatively that can be proven by experiment, while religion using symbolic language and analogy because God is transcendent.[4]

Based on Haught, the conflict between religion and science arise because there is will to go over the conflation of religion and science or the other way around. This conflation happened as if the will of the Christian to understand the story of creation in Bible as scientific data that has to be believed its truth as an empirical fact. Because bible is God’s revelation which inerrant, they think that the literal meaning of the creation “tale” in Bible goes along with the Darwin theory of evolution. They tried their best; even force themselves, to understand the theory of creation in Bible so it will still goes along with the modern cosmological theory. They comprehend the 6 days of creation in Bible as 6 times in the scientific calculation of natural evolution, so it created suitability between religion and science.[5] The will in proving the theory in science by using the holy text ala Bucailism (Maurice) could be interpreted as conflation of science and religion. The scientific understanding of this holy book, based on Haught, created the conflict between religion and science has got “victims” in the internment of Gallileo by the church authorities during his time.

Moreover, the separation of religion and science, by Barbour, has done as if the Christian Evangelist, conservative Christian, and neo-orthodox Protestant. They think believe in religion based on faith, not by scientific innovation. In this way, Bible should be comprehended in depth but not literally. The story of creation in Genesis for example must be understood symbolically as the portrait of basic relation between human, nature, and God.[6]

Dialogue/contact

The term dialogue introduced by Barbour has the same intention by the term coined by Haught contact. With the dialogue model, Barbour suppressed the will in finding the similarity or the comparison methodically and conceptual between religion and science until we could find the meeting point or maybe the distinction of both. Dialogue used by using analog concept in religion, similarly or balance, with the concept in science or the opposite. This thing is different with the independent model which suppressed more onto difference.[7]

The similarity of religion and science, by Barbour, could happen in 2 terms which are the similarity of concept and methodologist. The methodologist similarity happens when science cannot be fully objective as if the religion cannot be fully subjective. Methodologically, there is no absolute difference between religion and science. The scientific data as the basic of science assumed as the objectivity in reality which also include the other factor of subjectivity. The scientific objectivity happened in theoretical assumption that used in the process of selection, translating data and reporting. Scientific data, Barbour said, is a theory-laden but not a theory-free. Just like the religion data, which also include the experience in religion, ritual, the holy book text, also not fully subjective because of the criteria like coherent, comprehension, and the beneficial principle which include in it. Quoting John Polkinghorne, Barbour added, methodological similarity between religion and science lies on the principle that connect the theories and experience, or in the language of Polkinghorne: “each is corrigible having to relate theory to experience, and each is essentially concerned with entities whose unpicturable reality is more subtle than that of native objectivity.”[8]

Beside, conceptually, there is similarity between religion and science. This happened as in the theory of information communication, which in science has several similarities in some views of Bible about God’s words in creation. Information is an important concept in science, like DNA in brain, the program in computers, and neutral structure in brains. The information communication system also could be understood as the God’s activity in the world or God as the Communicator of Information.[9]

In the contact model, Haught reminds theologians or scientist not to go to the conflation area and trapped there in the box of contrast. Here, Haught has a bit difference with Barbour’s model which is tend to look for the similarity either conceptual or methodologist between religion and science. This model realizes that religion and science has to be fused in concept. The aim of “contact” is to make religion and science wider in knowledge and the knowledge of nature. Haught explains:

The contact approach looks for an open-ended conversation between scientist and theologians. The term “contact” implies coming together without necessarily fusing. It allows for interaction, dialogue, and mutual impact but forbids both conflation and segregation. It insists on preserving differences, but also cherishes relationship.”[10]

Haught added that the relation, contact, between religion and science do not have to create a similarity between both which, sometimes, tend to be forced. The relation between religion and science will have the meaning if both act critically over their own views and avoid claims of the most representative understanding of nature.[11]

Integration/Confirmation

Another alternative coined by Barbour and Haught claimed to be the most ideal to create harmonic relation between religion and science is integration. This term preserved by Barbour and Drees, but for the same intention Haught use another term which is confirmation. This model tries to find the meeting point over the problems which assumed to be contradicted between religion and science. Barbour’s explanation about the integration model, actually, has now shown the clear distinction with the dialogue model because Barbour’s model dialogue at the beginning also ends up with integration. He gave some case examples or concepts in science which assumed to be contradicted with religion actually can be fused or integrated. Barbour showed that there is integration in concept of natural theology which proving the design of the universe shows proves of God’s existence.[12] Beside that Drees shows another example of religion integration and science in the concept of evolution of theology ala Piere Teilhard da Chardin and philosophical process Alfred N Whitehead which assumed to has created the inclusive metaphysical concept.[13]

In this model, the position of science, in the language of Haught, is to give confirmation (whether giving the character of stronger or supporting) the belief in God as the Creator of the universe. Nevertheless, Haught reminds theologians and scientists to be more careful not to intrude religion in the actual works of science. Here is the distinction shown between Barbour and Haught. Haught for many times remind not to force the fuse or the similarity of the both the concept of religion and science. For Haught, religion confirmation over science does not have to be in form of scientific data of religion to an alternative source for scientific hypothesis. That thing might cause fusion or conflation of religion and science. the religion’s positions, in its relation with science by Haught, more to be the root of epistemologist of the scientific discovery. Here religion gave the basic of scientific faith of the rationality of the nature.[14]



[1]Ian G. Barbour, when Science Meets Religion, Harper San Fransisco, New York, 2000, 11-17

[2]John F. Haught, Science and Religion: From Conflict to Conversation, Paulist Press, New York, Mahwah, NJ, 1995, 10

[3]Barbour, When Religion Meets Science, p. 17, see it also Hought, Religion and Science, p. 12

[4]Ibid.,p. 18

[5]Haught, Religion and Science, p. 13

[6]Barbour, when Religion Meets Science, p. 18

[7]Ibid., p. 3, 23

[8]Ibid., p. 26

[9]Ibid., p. 27

[10]Haught, Religion and Science, p.18

[11]Drees, Religion, science, p. 93-106

[12]William Paley, Natural Theology, in Michael Ruse, Philosophy of Biology, Macmillan Publishing Company, 1989, p. 35-68

[13]Drees, Religion, Science and Naturalism, p. 46

[14]Haught, Science and Religion, p. 23

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