Islamic Philosophy of Virtuous Religions, An
Publication Year: 2006
Published by: State University of New York Press
Title Page, Copyright
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I thank the Earhart Foundation, together with my university, the University of Dallas, for generously funding a sabbatical leave (AY 2003â2004), during which I drafted this book. I also thank Cornell University Press for allowing me to reprint words, phrases, and paragraphs from Alfarabi: The Political Writings: The Philosophy of Plato and Aristotle, trans. Muhsin ...
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Now more than at any time for centuries, Alfarabi, a tenth-century Muslim political philosopher, is especially timely. This book is intended as an introduction to Alfarabiâs thought not through a survey of his many writings but through an analysis especially of one of them, one with special relevance to our times. In his Attainment of Happiness, Alfarabi envisions the ...
Two. The Impossibility of the City in the Republic
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Before turning to the Republic itself, I must say a word or two about Alfarabiâs access to the Republic. Alfarabi refers explicitly to the Republic in the Attainment of Happiness (AH) three times. Most of his references there are to Republic, bks. 6â7. I will discuss his handling of these references in chapter 3. In his Political Regime (PR), Alfarabi discusses at great length the ...
Three. The A Fortiori Argument
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If the Republicâs virtuous city is impossible, then a fortiori Alfarabiâs regime of the inhabited world in the Attainment of Happiness (AH)âcomposed of virtuous nations, each of which is composed in turn of virtuous citiesâis impossible (cf. AH, Mahdi, ed., secs. 44â47; Yasin, ed., 81â85; VC,Walzer, ed., 15.3). After our look at the Republic, where Socrates never went so far as to ...
Four. Alfarabi on Jih
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Heraclitus ascribed a significant place to war in human life.1 To my knowledge, however, Platoâs Athenian Stranger was the first to claim that human beings desire âto have things happen in accordance with the commands of [their] own soulâpreferably all things, but if not that, then at least the human thingsâ (Laws 687c1â7). We have already seen just such a desire ...
Five. The Multiplicity Argument
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Alfarabi claims that religion is inherently multiple. Religions must be adapted to the time and place for which they are given (AH secs. 24, 33, 46). Each nation possesses a distinct national character (AH 45â47 and PR, Hyderabad ed., pp. 40â41). If a religious law, which does not suit its national character, is legislated for a nation, it will not give rise to a virtuous nation. ...
Six. The Limits of Knowledge and the Problem of Realization
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Yet on many occasions he renders it as ârealization.â 1 Of course, both meanings are within the range of denotations of the Arabic word. Mahdi stresses that he has not stuck to a rigid literalism in his translation, because the text does not lend itself to one. And he acknowledges that all translations engage to some extent in interpretation.2 He cannot possibly be faulted for a âmistakenâ translation. Indeed, I do ...
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Index of Passages from AlfawarabiâsAttainment of Happiness
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Page Count: 180
Publication Year: 2006