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Referring to studies that provide an introduction to science; preparatory instruction
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Arts were in other words considered as propaedeutics, basis or general cultural preparation for the study of philosophy which was considered as a synthesis of complete knowledge, an ideal to which all efforts of the human thought should aspire.
Finally, it is also called Propaedeutics of Theology, which means the body of principles introductory to the science of theology" (Joseph Henry Fichter, Textbook in Apologetics [Milwaukee: Bruce, [1951 (2)] 1).
He quotes a passage from al-Farabi's Epistle on What Ought to Precede the State of Philosophy, where a moral propaedeutics (reform of character traits) is required, exactly as Ibn 'Adi's Reformation of Morals proposes.
At a mundane level, the most important questions for literary studies -- the questions that go to the heart of its connection to the world -- have to do not with research and the higher reaches of disciplinary development, but with undergraduate teaching and the question of what might count as useful knowledge for a literary propaedeutics.