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The Attainment of Happiness and_Political_Regime_midterm.docx

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Boston College
Political Science
POLI 1041

The Attainment of Happiness • Al Farabi – died 950 o In 900, he singlehandedly recovered Plato andAristotle’s works o Established the main philosophic tradition in the Middle East  First monotheistic to read through Plato and ponder justice o Lived in present day Baghdad where the Koran ruled  If Republic agrees with the Koran, there would be no point in reading Plato • If it disagrees, then it’s blasphemy o Never mentions Islam once in his books • Fall of Rome and emergence of monotheism o 3 great monotheistic religions: Christianity, Islam, Judaism  Christianity is not like the other two because it presents itself as a faith instead of a law o For Jews and Muslims, it’s about obeying laws o For Christians, it’s the belief in heart of God, Jesus, not following a set of rules  Love your God, Love your neighbor o Christianity and Islam can be seen as exactly alike in terms of scope of religion because they are universal religion meant for all of humanity – looking for converts  Islam = prophetalizing law • Philosophy precedes religion in time o Religion is an imitation of philosophy • Story of theAscetic o Ascetic wants to flee a tyrant  guards are out to het him  Disguises himself, carries a cymbal and acts drunk • He gets to the gate and when the guard asks who he is, he tells him he is the ascetic they are looking for but the guard thinks he is joking, allowing the ascetic to escape • Told this story because in Plato’s writing he cultivates a reputation of writing in riddles so not every person can understand it o Philosophy is dangerous and must be held carefully • 4 things to attain happiness from o Theoretical virtue o Deliberative virtue o Moral virtue o Practical virtue • Must inspire and promote practical arts and moral values to other people in order for them to attain happiness as well o Useless if individual, works better in a communal sense • Man is a political animal  must live in cities • Supreme ruler must possess knowledge of theoretical sense and moral character and must also be persuasive (teach theoretical sciences to those who aren’t philosophical) • Tries to make sense of Islam through The Republic o Like Plato’s philosopher king, Prophet Muhammad is King-prophet-legislature • Every community is divided into 2 parts o The elect and the vulgar  The vulgar confine themselves to opinions  rely on persuasion/imagination  The elect scrutinize and ponder to find the truth • Rely on demonstrations • Science of knowledgeable beings originated in Iraq to Egypt and then to Greeks where it stayed until transmitted to Syrians andArabs • If you don’t exploit this science for the benefit of others, it is defective • Assent through demonstrations, but that’s
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