Philosophy Dictionary of Arguments

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Höffe I 126
Governance/rule/al-Farabi/Höffe: Just as there is a guiding and at the same time perfect organ in the hierarchically structured body, so a community needs an excellent regent, who by his innate nature belongs to the rule, to which the gift of prophecy also belongs. >Community/al-Farabi.
The ideal ruler is characterized (...) by a double qualification, by the unity of philosophy and prophecy, which makes one think of Mohammed qua Regent of the city-state of Medina, even if al-Fārābī does not name him here.(1) The excellent ruler must also be a good orator who knows how to convince, in which the precedence over authoritarian orders is evident.
Al-FarabiVsPlato: two differences:
a) While Mohammed willingly took over the rule of Medina, i.e. he had a "natural" interest in power, Plato lacks this interest, for his
Höffe I 127
philosophers must be forced to rule because they prefer to philosophize rather than rule.
b) Socrates [is] a mere philosopher who, according to the Symposium, allows himself to be taught by a priestess, Diotima, but does not present his teaching as a revelation free from self-reflection and criticism. >State/al-Farabi.
Ruler: Dominion [is] not inherited, since it is not the son but the most able who should rule.


1. al-Farabi, On the perfect State.


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
al-Farabi
Höffe I
Otfried Höffe
Geschichte des politischen Denkens München 2016


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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2020-09-19
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