Beyond 'science as a vocation': Civilisational epistemology in Weber and Ibn Khaldun

Nurullah Ardiç*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Both Ibn Khaldun and Weber discuss science as a vocation, but their epistemologies go beyond it by incorporating the civilisational dimension. Commonly used as a unit of analysis by classical theorists, the term 'civilisation' has recently been rediscovered in social sciences. It has been argued that the 'epistemological paradigms of civilisations' produced by the mainstream intellectual traditions are fundamental factors shaping the minds of key intellectuals. This article tests this argument by analysing to what extent Ibn Khaldun and Weber's views of knowledge and science are influenced by Islamic and Western epistemological paradigms, respectively. Based on a close and critical reading of their relevant work, it argues that there are some resemblances, but also significant differences, between Ibn Khaldun and Weber, which can indeed be explained with reference to civilisational epistemological paradigms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)434-464
Number of pages31
JournalAsian Journal of Social Science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Civilisation
  • Epistemology
  • Ibn Khaldun
  • Knowledge
  • Paradigm
  • Weber


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