By Joshua Parens
Explores the method of peaceable non secular coexistence provided via Alfarabi, the best Islamic political thinker.
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Extra info for An Islamic Philosophy of Virtuous Religions: Introducing Alfarabi
3 Nevertheless, I will be able to prove—within the limits of the kind of inquiry we are presently engaged in—that Alfarabi means to suggest, at least to some of his most ambitious readers, that this regime is impossible. If our only purpose were to prove this, then our inquiry might be rather 29 30 An Islamic Philosophy of Virtuous Religions dull. As in the Republic, however, an inquiry into this kind of possibility is necessarily an inquiry into one of the deepest problems of all, namely, human nature—its great promise as well as its limits.
43) not only about an association of nations aimed at the attainment of happiness but also even about the possibility of using war to conquer other nations and make them pursue happiness. There we will confront the same kinds of questions we confront now in the Republic. Is Alfarabi exhorting his compatriots to an expansionist Islam or enabling them to see what would be required if Islam were to fulﬁll its promise of spreading happiness and virtue? For now, we must return to the Republic. The textual context is a bit more complicated than the historical.
This accounts for the distinctively ancient understanding of prudence he advocates, namely, shrewdness without moral virtue eventuates in vice (1144a34–36, 1144b17–18). 3). Yet the claim that this warlike virtue can be separated from the related deliberative virtue seems to challenge this The A Fortiori Argument 43 truism. It should be stressed that this unity of the power to persuade and to compel in war is not an average example of the purported interdependence of deliberative and moral virtue.