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The conception of happiness in philosophy of al-Farabi : classical sources and influences on middle ages. PhD Thesis. Filozofski fakultet u Zagrebu, Department of Philosophy.
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Distinguishing the virtuous city of Alfarabi from that of Plato in light of his unique historical context. There is a tendency among scholars to identify Alfarabi's political philosophy in general and his theory of the state in particular with that of Plato's The Republic.
Undoubtedly Alfarabi was well versed in the philosophy of Plato and was greatly influenced by it. He borrows the Platonic concept of the philosopher king and uses it in his theory of the state. However, we argue that the identification of Alfarabi's virtuous city with that of Plato's The Republic is an inaccurate assessment as it involves overlooking Alfarabi's unique religiopolitical context.
Alfarabi was a Muslim political philosopher, and the present article intends to understand Alfarabi's theory of the state in light of his historical context. The article shows that, viewed through the prism of Islamic religion and political history, Alfarabi's virtuous city seems distinct from that of Plato's The Republic. The Homo sapiens' need for association has long been acknowledged as a fundamental truth. The inherent tendency to form an association is the fundamental characteristic that distinguishes man qua man from animals on one hand and God on the other.
However, the search for an ideal mode of association is as old as the history of human association. Dissatisfaction at the social order has prompted the thinkers over centuries to seek an ideal sociopolitical arrangement that can serve as a panacea for all the human problems.
Abu Nasr Alfarabi's Mabadi Ara Ahl al-Madina al-Fadhila [Principles of the Opinions of the Inhabitants of the Virtuous City] and Plato's The Republic are two such works that claim to contain the model of an ideal city which can ensure the ultimate human perfection and happiness. There is a tendency among scholars to relate Alfarabi's political philosophy in general and his theory of the state in particular to that of Plato, especially of The Republic.
Similarly, Walzer understands that Alfarabi relies on Aristotle for his theoretical philosophy, but 'in political science he preferred to follow Plato's Republic and Laws'. He Walzer suggests that 'the political section' of Ara is mainly based on an extinct 'commentary on Plato's Republic' that might have been 'written in the sixth century A.
Pines lxxxvi in the introduction to his translation of Maimonides' Guide of the Perplexed comments that 'Alfarabi's position, as far as political philosophy is concerned, is largely Platonic'. Rosenthal also acknowledges that Alfarabi has 'drawn upon' Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics , but considers his political philosophy as mainly influenced by Plato.
Similarly, Marmura argues that Alfarabi's metaphysics, epistemology and psychology are largely Aristotelian and Neoplatonic, while his theory of the state is Platonic. There is no doubt that the major works of Plato, including The Republic , were available to Alfarabi and he was fully conversant with them.
He viewed the philosophy of Plato as the true philosophy and followed The Republic by treating 'the whole of philosophy proper within a political framework' in his major political writings, including Ara Strauss Most importantly, he borrowed the Platonic idea of a perfect state ruled by a philosopher king. No one denies the Platonic influence on Alfarabi and there are certain obvious Platonic elements in his political philosophy in general and the theory of the state in particular, but the question that deserves consideration is how much Alfarabi's virtuous city and its philosopher king resembles that of Plato's The Republic?
Although the political thought of Alfarabi is extensively investigated in relation to its Greek ancestry, very few systematic attempts are made to understand it in light of its historical context. There are some scholars, such as Tabatabai , Al-Jabri and Fairahi , who understand the virtuous city of Ara as a product of a reaction to the sociopolitical crisis of Alfarabi's time, the Abbasid era.
However, the sociopolitical crisis of Alfarabi's time is a small part of the broad religiopolitical context that spanned around three centuries prior to Alfarabi. It starts with the religion Islam and the unification of spiritual and political authority in one person, Muhammad, who established the city-state of Medina, a model for Muslims till this day.
The present article intends to understand Alfarabi's theory of the state in light of its broader religiopolitical context and shows that, viewed through the prism of the peculiar historical context, Alfarabi's utopia seems distinct from that of Plato's The Republic. Alfarabi's historical context. Because Islam, like Judaism and unlike Christianity, was fashioned in a lawless desert, the revelations became the only and exclusive law of the Muslims covering spiritual as well as temporal and political matters Melamed Thus, we see a unification of spiritual and political authority in Islam as Muhammad was not only the spiritual but also the political leader of the Muslims.
He established the city-state of Medina and Muslims, even to this day, revere and treat the Medina state under the leadership of Muhammad as an ideal, a model to follow and a kind of utopia that is dreamt of. The first problem that the Muslim polity faced after the death of Muhammad was related to succession. Quran and the words and actions of the prophet were the two sources of guidance for the Muslims after the death of Muhammad, but both contained no explicit provision about succession.
Thus, the first conflict in Islam, the religiopolitical unity, was not 'about the nature of the divine, but about who should lead and how the leader should be appointed' Black The conflict divided Muslims into Sunni and Shia, a division that exists even today and stemmed from a difference of opinion on the criteria for the selection of caliph. The companions of Muhammad chose Abu Bakr as his successor and the first caliph of Muslims through consultation Shura.
However, a group of Muslims contested the legitimacy of Abu Bakr as the successor of Muhammad and regarded Ali ibn Abi Talib, Muhammad's cousin and son-in-law, as the rightful leader of the Muslims on the grounds that he had been designated by Muhammad himself as his successor.
The supporters of Ali came to be known as Shias who hold that since God designates prophets, it is only God who designates the successors of a prophet and the people of the community have no right and no say in this matter and that Ali was designated by God through the prophet Muhammad as his successor.
On the contrary, the majority group, Sunnis, in light of a number of hadiths sayings of the Prophet , emphasise the importance of consultation as the proper procedure for making important community decisions including the selection of leader and argue that the Prophet nominated no successor as he expected the Muslims to choose one after him through consultation.
Sunnis regard Abu Bakr First , Umar ibn Khattab Second , Uthman ibn Affan Third and Ali Fourth as the four legitimate and rightly guided caliphs of the Muslims in the given order, whereas Shia deny the legitimacy of the first three caliphs and consider Ali as the only legitimate successor of the Prophet Muhammad. According to the Shiite view, 'the Leadership Imama belonged to whichever of Muhammad's direct biological descendants … had been designated by his predecessor' Black Although a difference of opinion existed among Muslims on the question of leadership, they were not involved in an armed confrontation until the first Muslim civil war AD , known as the First Fitna, that took place after the assassination of Uthman and the nomination of Ali as the fourth caliph of Muslims.
Muawiya Abu Sufyan a relative of Uthman , Aisha bint Abu Bakr the widow of Muhammad and some of the companions of the Prophet, among whom Talhah ibn Ubaydullah and Zubayr ibn al-Awam were the most prominent, demanded vengeance on Uthman's death but seeing Ali reluctant, revolted against him.
Ali defeated Aisha and her allied companions of the Prophet in the 'battle of the camel' AD near Basra and then turned towards Muawiya, who, at the battle of Siffin AD , reached an agreement with Ali to settle the issue through arbitration.
Some of Ali's hard-line Shia supporters, who were later known as Kharijites those who walk out , broke away from him and condemned him 'for subjecting his entitlement to human arbitration' Black Muawiya, who had already claimed caliphate in AD , was endorsed by Ali's son, Hasan, after his father's death.
Although the Shia-Sunni rift continued, a kind of political stability was restored. However, Muawiya appointed his son, Yazid, as his successor, thereby converting caliphate into a hereditary office. In this way, he became the founder of Umayyad dynasty AD The Muslim empire went through an unprecedented expansion during the Umayyad period and became one of the largest empires stretching from Spain in the west to the border of present-day China in the east.
The ever existing threat of civil war and the huge size of the empire composed of people with diverse religious, social, cultural and political views asked for an absolutist strong centralised government, the model of which was provided by the Sasanian empire.
The Umayyads developed patrimonial monarchy which was a blend of Arabo-Islamic ways with the 'monarchical ideas and practice taken over from conquered Iran' Black The caliph's authority could neither be restricted nor questioned and he was allowed to assume the role of religious legislator, a role previously fulfilled by the Prophet.
From the very onset, Umayyad rule faced opposition. The conversion of caliphate into hereditary and dynastic rule was resisted especially by Hussain, the younger son of Ali, who rebelled and got killed by Yazid's forces in the battle of Karbala and Shia never accepted Umayyads as the legitimate rulers.
Hereditary lineage with the ruler being the criterion for succession, some incompetent and ineligible persons, such as Yazeed, Yazeed II and Waleed II, became rulers who lacked the capacity and vision to effectively rule such a huge empire. They were more inclined towards pleasure and physical gratification as opposed to asceticism demanded by the religion. The Ulama Religious Scholars viewed them as impious and deviant from the path of Islam that earned them a negative sentiment and diminishing popularity among the masses.
The multiple unsuccessful attempts to conquer Constantinople dented their military might. Above all, there was an obvious conflict between the Arab tribal ideas of authority and the concept of strong centralised authority necessary for keeping the huge empire intact. Equally damaging was the resentment among the non-Arab converts as they saw that Umayyads were more inclined towards Arabs and Arab ways and that they were ignored, deprived and unjustly treated in spite of the fact that they belonged to an older and superior culture than that of Arabs.
There were a variety of religious and social schools of thought in the huge Umayyad empire, each with a different understanding of society and government with different political implications.
These were some of the factors that ultimately led to the inevitable fall of Umayyads and the rise of Abbasids to power in AD Abbasids rose to power with a promise of harmony, concord, happiness, piety and just rule in accordance with the teachings of Islam. Because they claimed the legitimacy of their rule on the basis of their kinship to Muhammad, the Shia faction welcomed and supported them against Umayyads who did not belong to the family of the Prophet.
Their slogan of reforms attracted those resentful of Umayyads' corruption and it was, in fact, a coalition of Shia, Persian Mawali non-Arab Muslims and Eastern Arabs that Abbasids built to oust Umayyads and install the Abbasid dynasty.
The Abbasid period is known for economic and intellectual vitality. Baghdad, the capital of the Abbasid dynasty, became the world's economic and educational centre under Abbasids.
The Arab merchants dominated trade by land and sea between the far west and far east. The Abbasid caliphs, particularly Harun al Rashid and his son al Mamun, patronised arts, sciences and the translation of works from other languages. The great scholars of the time gravitated to Baghdad where al Mamun established Bayt al-hikma The House of Wisdom , a library-cum-institute that housed prominent Muslim and non-Muslim scholars who gathered, translated and expanded upon the works from other civilisations.
By the time of Alfarabi AD , most of the works of Plato, Aristotle and their late Greek commentators had been translated Black Although the Muslim empire thrived educationally and economically during Abbasid reign, those who expected a fundamental sociopolitical change met utter disappointment. The succession of al-Mansur as the second Abbasid caliph on the basis of hereditary lineage made it clear that the claimed revolution was nothing more than a replacement of one dynasty with another.
The Abbasids who started as reformist revolutionaries not only adopted the autocratic ideas of the patrimonial monarchy of their predecessors, but took it to the next level and perfected it. Soon after coming to power they turned their backs on Shias, the allies who had supported them in the revolution, and tilted towards the majority Sunnis. However, they remained strongly connected to the Persian mawalis. The Persian ideas and practices dominated the Abbasid court and government.
Al-Mamun aligned himself with the theologians, particularly Mutazilites, who professed the application of unaided reason to the religion, against the literalists, reporters and Ulama. He established Mihna, an inquisition aimed at forcing the government officials as well as religious leaders 'to accept his religious views and his authority in matters of religious ritual and doctrine' Lapidus The Ulama and officials were tested and examined in Mihna and those who did not adhere to the Mutazili theology were subjected to severe punishments.
The theology was poles apart from the contemporary popular religion and the caliph's adherence to it resulted in a division between the court and the people. The gap between the caliph and the people widened as caliphs surrounded themselves with officials and personal armies. Following the trend initiated by al-Mamun, the caliph al-Mutasim created a personal military force of slaves Ghilman that grew in strength and influence with the passage of time, resulting in anger and unrest in Baghdad that forced the caliph to shift the capital to Samarra in AD The caliphs' guards gained strength to the extent that they started killing one caliph and replacing him with another.
As the office of the caliph was getting weaker, the provincial governors Emirs , from the time of al-Mamun onwards, were becoming economically and militarily independent. Although they recognised the Abbasid caliph, some of them, like the governor of Persia, established their own dynasties and ruled as kings. With the continuously diminishing authority of caliph, the Muslim empire was disintegrating and different territories were breaking off from Abbasid rule. However, the device meant for integration backfired and ended up in the hands of Buyids who used it as hereditary title and became the de facto rulers, leaving the caliph as a mere figurehead.
By the first half of the 10th century, the Abbasid caliph was nothing more than a nominal religious figure without any effective authority. Alfarabi lived through the decline phase of the Abbasid rule, the time of disintegration, instability and chaos in the Muslim empire.
The virtuous city of Alfarabi and Plato. Alfarabi was a Muslim philosopher and there can be no doubt that he was fully aware of the three-centuries-old political history of Muslims till his time. The history that is, as we have seen, full of disasters, civil wars, brutal power struggles, incompetent rulers, disappointments for the people, disintegration and chaos. Evidently, all these ills stemmed from the absence of a coherent political philosophy, the failure of Muslims to find answers to the fundamental questions: who should rule and exercise authority; what should be the relation between the ruler and ruled; and what should they try to achieve through association.
The political philosophy of Alfarabi, particularly his theory of virtuous city, can be seen as an answer to these questions.
For the greater part of his life, Alfarabi lived in Baghdad, the capital of Abbasid caliphate. However, in AD , less than a decade before his death, he shifted to Aleppo and became a part of 'the Imami court of the Hamdanids', and it was here that 'he produced his major works on Politics' that contain his theory of virtuous association Black His migration from the Abbasid's capital, joining the court in Aleppo and writing his political works there, have led some scholars to view his theory of the state as a protest against the Abbasid caliphate.
Distinguishing the virtuous city of Alfarabi from that of Plato in light of his unique historical context. There is a tendency among scholars to identify Alfarabi's political philosophy in general and his theory of the state in particular with that of Plato's The Republic. Undoubtedly Alfarabi was well versed in the philosophy of Plato and was greatly influenced by it. He borrows the Platonic concept of the philosopher king and uses it in his theory of the state. However, we argue that the identification of Alfarabi's virtuous city with that of Plato's The Republic is an inaccurate assessment as it involves overlooking Alfarabi's unique religiopolitical context. Alfarabi was a Muslim political philosopher, and the present article intends to understand Alfarabi's theory of the state in light of his historical context.
John W. Rhetorica 1 February ; 13 1 : 17— Abstract: Aristotie's Rhetoric appears to have had little influence on rhetorical theory in Greek or Latin during late antiquity or the early Middle Ages, but it was closely studied by some Islamic philosophers, notably al-Farabi. Behind al-Farabi's interest in Aristotle's Rhetoric lay his adoption of Plato's doctrine of the philosopher-king, Whitch had an eloquent exponent in late antiquity in the philosopher-orator Themistius. An allusion to the Rhetoric in an oration of Themistius suggests that al-Farabi's assessment of the Rhetoric also had roots in late antiquity, possibly in circles around Themistius. Sign In or Create an Account. User Tools.
Widely recognized as one of the most original and profound philosophers that the medieval Islamic world produced, Alfarabi wrote many works of political philosophy addressing the issues that dominated Greek political thought as well as new questions raised by the advent of revealed religion. Taking into account Alfarabi's major political treatises, Miriam Galston develops a theory explaining how together they form a coherent philosophy of politics. Her inquiry centers on Alfarabi's discussions of the nature of happiness, the attributes of ideal rulers, the best form of government, and the relationship between political science and theoretical inquiry. Based upon a new interpretation of Alfarabi's method of writing, Galston explores his use of dialectic, which she traces, in part, to his belief that personal discovery is a condition of philosophic understanding and to his desire to create for the reader a dialogue between Plato and Aristotle. The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press.
In our times we consider political thought within the framework of the history of ideological movements and their appraisal of the society of their times. We learn of their social and economic theories as well as their proposals and implementation of government and social reform. In the mediaeval world, on the other hand, the terminus a quo of political thought was metaphysical, whereas the point of arrival was ethical.
Butterworth in, The Political Writings, vol. Kleven and Riccardo Strobino Bouyges, Maurice trans.
Довольно, Грег, - тихо сказал Стратмор. Хейл крепче обхватил Сьюзан и шепнул ей на ухо: - Стратмор столкнул его вниз, клянусь. - Она не клюнет на твою тактику разделяй и властвуй, - сказал Стратмор, подходя еще ближе.
Она понимала, что это больше не имеет значения: Хейл и без того знал все, что можно было знать. Мне нужно доложить об этом Стратмору, - подумала она, - и как можно скорее. ГЛАВА 38 Хейл остановился в центре комнаты и пристально посмотрел на Сьюзан. - Что случилось, Сью. У тебя ужасный вид.
Беккера не устраивала перспектива ждать десять часов, пока тучный немец со своей спутницей спустятся к завтраку. - Я понимаю, - сказал. - Извините за беспокойство. Повернувшись, он направился через фойе к выходу, где находилось вишневое бюро, которое привлекло его внимание, когда он входил. На нем располагался щедрый набор фирменных открыток отеля, почтовая бумага, конверты и ручки.
Сьюзан, - сказал Стратмор, уже теряя терпение, - директор не имеет к этому никакого отношения. Он вообще не в курсе дела. Сьюзан смотрела на Стратмора, не веря своим ушам. У нее возникло ощущение, что она разговаривает с абсолютно незнакомым человеком.
Тот, что был в парке. Я рассказал о нем полицейскому. Я отказался взять кольцо, а эта фашистская свинья его схватила. Беккер убрал блокнот и ручку.
Танкадо использовал наживку для дурачков… и АНБ ее проглотило. Сверху раздался душераздирающий крик Стратмора. ГЛАВА 86 Когда Сьюзан, едва переводя дыхание, появилась в дверях кабинета коммандера, тот сидел за своим столом, сгорбившись и низко опустив голову, и в свете монитора она увидела капельки пота у него на лбу.