Alfarabi and the Foundation of Islamic Political Philosophy

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9780226501871: Alfarabi and the Foundation of Islamic Political Philosophy

In this work, Muhsin Mahdi—widely regarded as the preeminent scholar of Islamic political thought—distills more than four decades of research to offer an authoritative analysis of the work of Alfarabi, the founder of Islamic political philosophy. Mahdi, who also brought to light writings of Alfarabi that had long been presumed lost or were not even known, presents this great thinker as his contemporaries would have seen him: as a philosopher who sought to lay the foundations for a new understanding of revealed religion and its relation to the tradition of political philosophy.

Beginning with a survey of Islamic philosophy and a discussion of its historical background, Mahdi considers the interrelated spheres of philosophy, political thought, theology, and jurisprudence of the time. He then turns to Alfarabi's concept of "the virtuous city," and concludes with an in-depth analysis of the trilogy, Philosophy of Plato and Aristotle.

This philosophical engagement with the writings of and about Alfarabi will be essential reading for anyone interested in medieval political philosophy.

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In this much-anticipated work, Muhsin Mahdi-widely regarded as the preeminent scholar of medieval Islamic political philosophy-distills more than four decades of research to offer an authoritative analysis of the work of Alfarabi, the founder of Islamic political philosophy. Mahdi, whose research brought to light writings of Alfarabi previously known only through medieval bibliographical references, presents this great thinker as his contemporaries and followers would have seen him: as a philosopher who sought to lay the foundations for a new understanding of revealed religion and its relation to the tradition of political philosophy.
Mahdi begins with a survey of Islamic philosophy and a discussion of its historical background. He then gives a general sense of the philosophical debate, or an introduction, to the interrelated spheres of philosophy, political thought, theology, and jurisprudence within Islam and, more particularly, within medieval Islam at the time of Alfarabi. Mahdi turns to Alfarabi's concept of "the virtuous city" in the second part of the book. Here, philosophy is distinguished from science on the one hand and religion on the other. Mahdi concludes with an examination of the work that is key to understanding Alfarabi's political thought, the trilogy knows as the "Philosophy of Plato and Aristotle."
An extraordinary philosophical engagement with the writings of and about this great thinker, "Alfarabi and the Foundation of Islamic Political Philosophy" is essential reading for anyone interested in medieval political philosophy.

About the Author:

Charles E. Butterworth is Emeritus Professor of Government and Politics at the University of Maryland. He is the author or translator of many books, including The Political Writings: "Selected Aphorisms" and Other Texts by Alfarabi, also from Cornell.

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Mahdi, Muhsin S
Verlag: University of Chicago Press (2001)
ISBN 10: 0226501876 ISBN 13: 9780226501871
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Buchbeschreibung University of Chicago Press, 2001. Kartoniert. XVII, 282 S. Oktn. 439 Gramm. Buch. Artikel-Nr. 53885

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