Political writings: Selected Aphorisms And Other Texts of al-Farabi
Translated and Annotated by Charles E. Butterworth
Political writings: Selected Aphorisms
Imam Alfarabi (ca. 870-950) established the Aristotelian/Platonic political philosophy tradition in medieval Islamic and Arabic culture.
Charles E. Butterworth gives translations of Alfarabi’s Political Regime and Summary of Plato’s “Laws” in this second set of political literature, together with introductions that explain the background for each work and investigate its teaching.
The texts are also meticulously annotated to help the reader follow Alfarabi’s thesis.
A glossary of Arabic-English/English-Arabic allows interested readers to double-check how specific words are translated.
Butterworth’s method is to consistently translate the same Arabic word into the same English word throughout the book, rendering Alfarabi’s style in an unusually faithful and yet approachable way.
There are two aspects to a political regime.
One concentrates on nature and existing natural objects, as well as the principles that guide the existent things beyond nature.
The explanation in the second part focuses on human beings and their place in the wider cosmic whole, as well as how a suitable organization of human life in political association creates the conditions for human beings to attain their goals.
The first nine books of Plato’s Laws are summarized in this summary of Plato’s Laws. Alfarabi discusses Plato’s writing style in general and the method he uses to write the Laws in particular.
The Summary is a more specialized study of the question of legislation and laws than Alfarabi’s other works, which examine the place of legislation and laws in the broader context of political philosophy.