St. Thomas Aquinas
AL-FARABI   Macroknow Library
   

   
Philosophy of Plato and Aristotle.

Part I. THE ATTAINMENT OF HAPPINESS

"When the theoretical sciences are isolated and their possessor does not have the faculty for exploiting them for the benefit of others, they are defective philosophy."1a

" . . . [P]hilosophy is prior to religion in time."1b

" . . . [T]he idea of Imam, Philosopher, and Legislator is a single idea. However, the name philosopher signifies primarily theoretical virtue. . . Legislator signifies excellence of knowledge concerning the conditions of practical intelligibles, the faculty for finding them, and the faculty for bringing them about in nations and cities. . . The name prince signifies sovereignty and ability. . . Therefore the true prince is the same as the philosopher-legislator."1c*

Part II. THE PHILOSOPHY OF PLATO

"He [Plato] started by investigating what true justice is, how it ought to be, and how it ought to be applied. . .
When he had investigated it . . . , it became evident to him that it is complete injustice and extreme evil; these great evils . . .  would not slacken or vanish so long as the cities continued as they were; another city ought to be founded which is different from those cities, in which and in the like of which there would be true justice . . .
"1d PLATO

Part III. THE PHILOSOPHY OF ARISTOTLE

" . . . [I]f man is a part of the world, and if we wish to understand his purpose and activity and use and place, first we have to know the purpose of the whole world so that we may see clearly what the purpose of man is, and also that man has to be a part of the world because his purpose is necessary for realizing the ultimate purpose of the world."1e  ARISTOTLE


  
 

 

  

* Italics in the original.

Alfarabi. Philosophy of Plato and Aristotle. Rev. ed. Translated with an Introduction by Muhsin Mahdi. Foreword by Charles E. Butterworth and Thomas L. Pangle. The Free Press of Glencoe, 1962. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1969, 2001.
a Part I. The Attainment of Happiness, at 43
b Ibid., at 45.
c Ibid, at 46.
d Part II. The Philosophy of Plato, at 65.
e Part III. The Philosophy of Aristotle, at 79-80.

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