Alfarabi's Philosophy of Plato and Aristotle by Alfarabi, ed. and trans. Muhsin Mahdi

By Alfarabi, ed. and trans. Muhsin Mahdi

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This is the case also in every other major part of the city. 33 Furthermore, it is obvious that what is most useful and noble is in every case either most noble according to generally accepted opinion, most noble according to a particular religion, or truly most noble. Similarly, virtuous ends are either virtuous and good according to generally accepted opinion, virtuous and good according to a particular religion, or truly virtuous and good. No one can discover what is most noble according to the followers of a particular religion unless his moral virtues are the specific virtues of that religion.

They the religion when they are in the souls of the multitude. For when the legislator knows these things, they are evident to him by sure insight, whereas what is established in the souls of the multitude is through an image and a persuasive argument. Although it is the legislator who also represents these things through images, 10 neither the images nor the persuasive arguments are intended for himself. As far as he is concerned, they are certain. He is the one who invents the images and the persuasive arguments, but not for the sake of establishing these things in his own soul as a religion for himself.

Were one to consider the case of the true philosopher, he would find no difference between him and the supreme ruler. For he who possesses the faculty for exploiting what is comprised by the theoretical matters for the benefit of all others possesses the faculty for making such matters intelligible as well 15 as for bringing into actual existence those of them that depend on the will. The greater his power to do the latter, the more perfect is his philosophy. Therefore he who is truly perfect possesses 2 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1 44 « ALFARABI with sure insight, first, the theoretical virtues, and subsequently the practical.

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