By Joshua Parens
Explores the method of peaceable non secular coexistence provided by way of Alfarabi, the best Islamic political thinker.
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Additional info for An Islamic Philosophy of Virtuous Religions: Introducing Alfarabi
That these men are philosophers is supported by Socrates’ reference to the philosophers or true pilots in the ship image in bk. 6 as “most decent men” (epieikestatoi) (488a2). One of the most obvious truths and greatest ironies of the Republic is that the human beings most suited to rule are those who cannot gain any direct advantage by it. Ruling would interfere with philosophizing. For presumably, Adeimantus, a man who has his understanding truly turned toward the things that are, has no leisure to look down toward the affairs of human beings and to be ﬁlled with envy and ill will as a result of ﬁghting with them.
Rather, it eventuates in the comic vision of a best city without any typical or “normal” human beings. Despite the superﬁcial similarity between the philosopher and the political man, their deep differences suggest that far from being the most plausible wave, the third wave is, as Socrates suggests, the highest of all three. Philosophers are ill suited to rule because they refuse the wage of honor, and political men are ill suited to philosophy because they seek honor. Politically ambitious men such as Glaucon can be expected to ﬁght for the right to rule (488b–c); philosophers such as Socrates can be expected to ﬂee rule (521b).
Secs. 3). After our look at the Republic, where Socrates never went so far as to admit explicitly the impossibility of the virtuous city, the reader will not be surprised that Alfarabi in AH never states explicitly that the world regime he envisions is impossible. ” Matters are similar, though not identical, in Alfarabi’s setting. 2 Within such a context, it would be not only surprising but also foolhardy to declaim loudly from the rooftops that a virtuous world regime is impossible. Without an explicit statement that it is impossible, however, it will not be possible to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that Alfarabi considers it so.
An Islamic Philosophy of Virtuous Religions: Introducing Alfarabi by Joshua Parens