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Averroes on Plato's "Republic"

Averroes on Plato's "Republic"

Series: Agora Editions
Copyright Date: 1974
Edition: 1
Published by: Cornell University Press
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  • Book Info
    Averroes on Plato's "Republic"
    Book Description:

    "In one fashion or another, the question with which this introduction begins is a question for every serious reader of Plato'sRepublic: Of what use is this philosophy to me? Averroes clearly finds that theRepublicspeaks to his own time and to his own situation. . . . Perhaps the greatest use he makes of theRepublicis to understand better theshari'aitself. . . . It is fair to say that in deciding to paraphrase theRepublic, Averroes is asserting that his world-the world defined and governed by the Koran-can profit from Plato's instruction."-from Ralph Lerner's Introduction

    An indispensable primary source in medieval political philosophy is presented here in a fully annotated translation of the celebrated discussion of theRepublicby the twelfth-century Andalusian Muslim philosopher, Abu'l-Walid Muhammad Ibn Ahmad Ibn Rushd, also know by his his Latinized name, Averroes. This work played a major role in both the transmission and the adaptation of the Platonic tradition in the West. In a closely argued critical introduction, Ralph Lerner addresses several of the most important problems raised by the work.

    eISBN: 978-0-8014-7165-0
    Subjects: Philosophy, Religion

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Preface
    (pp. vii-x)
    R. L.
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. xi-xii)
  4. Introduction
    (pp. xiii-xxviii)

    Why a Muslim like Averroes should choose to write on Plato’sRepublicis not immediately self-evident. Of what use is this pagan closet philosophy to men who already hold what they believe to be the inestimable gift of a divinely revealed Law, ashanī a? Can that Law, which presents itself as complete and sufficient and which addresses all men, the Red and the Black, be in need of supplement or correction ? Further, what has the “lawyer, imām, judge, and unique scholar” (as Averroes chooses to describe himself elsewhere) to do with those matters that Plato makes the theme...

  5. Abbreviations and Symbols
    (pp. xxix-xxx)

    • [The First Treatise]
      (pp. 3-70)

      The intention of this treatise is ┌to abstract┐ such scientific arguments attributable to Plato as are contained in theRepublicby eliminating the dialectical arguments from it. We shall be strict in speaking succinctly of all this. Yet on account of the ordering of teaching, we ought to preface an introduction in which the [subject of] study is presented in due order, for Plato set down ┌this┐ book only after [other] books of his on this science. We shall also mention as well something of the utility of this science, and its intention and its parts.

      We say: This science,...

    • The Second Treatise
      (pp. 71-103)

      Since this governance can only come into being if it is possible—and perchance happens—that the king is a philosopher, and since this also holds for ┌its┐ preservation after it has come into being, and since it was his intention to speak of the natures of these [individuals] and the manner of their education, he began first by describing the philosopher. He said: He is the one who longs for knowledge of what is and inquiry into its nature apart from matter. This may be discerned, according to his opinion, in the statement concerning forms. You ought to know...

    • The Third Treatise
      (pp. 104-150)

      Having completed the discussion in this part of this kind [of governance], namely the discussion of the governance of the virtuous cities, he turned to what remained for him of this science, namely the discussion of nonvirtuous governances. He makes known only their unmixed kinds, and how some turn into others, and the resemblance between them and the virtuous governance and between one another. He makes known which governance is most opposite ┌to the virtuous governance; and makes known | which may be set down as being be t ween these two governances—i.e., the virtuous [and that] which is...

    (pp. 153-158)
    (pp. 159-162)
    (pp. 163-166)
  10. Glossary
    (pp. 167-170)
  11. Index
    (pp. 171-176)
  12. Back Matter
    (pp. 177-178)