This is an English translation of Heinrich Simon’s German book Ibn Khaldun’s Wissenschaft von der Menschlichen Culture (Leipzig, 1959),
The purpose of the translation being to make Ibn Khaldun’s ideas and contributions more accessible.
The title of the book is self-explanatory and, as Simon puts it, “it is indeed Ibn Khaldun’s merit to have made human society the subject of a new, separate science.”
The German scholar’s chief purpose in writing the book is to establish the connection of the Khaldun’s work with the philosophical tradition. He shows that Ibn Khaldun’s Science of Human Culture is something essentially new and that Ibn Khaldun was the first to attempt to formulate social laws. Apart from the connections with philosophical tradition and with the situation of Ibn Khaldun which will become apparent in the book, the book also considers whether such a view is compatible with the basic religious attitude toward history and whether Ibn Khaldun’s view of history is at all Islamic.
The book breaks new grounds and will be a welcome addition to literature on Ibn Khaldun and his work.