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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Sample text

First, the theoretical virtue through which the beings become intelligible with certain demonstrations. Next, these same 5 10 3 1 15 2 3 35 40 « ALFARABI intelligibles acquired by persuasive methods. Subsequently, the science that comprises the similitudes of these intelligibles, accepted by persuasive methods. Finally, the sciences extracted from these three for each nation. There will be as many of these extracted sciences as there are nations, each containing everything by which a particular nation becomes perfect and happy.

Only when all other arts, virtues, and activities seek to realize his purpose and no other, will his art be the most powerful art, his [moral] virtue the most powerful virtue, his deliberation the most powerful deliberation, and his science the most powerful science. For with all of these powers he will be exploiting the 15 powers of others so as to accomplish his own purpose. This is not possible without the theoretical sciences, without the greatest of all deliberative virtues, and without the rest of those things that are in the philosopher.

He also investigated whether the things that are useful in the eyes of the multitude are truly as they believe them to be or not. He explained that they are not, and here he went through all the things that are good gains in the eyes of the multitude. This is to be found in his book known as Alcibiades Minor. 15 Then, after that, he investigated the truly useful things, the truly gainful things, and the gains that are truly good, and how one does not come to any of them by way of the generally accepted arts.

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