Breaking with Athens

Breaking with Athens : Alfarabi as Founder

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Description

This unique interpretation of Alfarabi's thought stresses the ways in which the tenth-century Arab philosopher self-consciously broke the metaphysical tradition that began with Plato. By examining Alfarabi's work as more than an extension or continuation of Greek philosophy, Colmo rethinks what medieval philosophy is and challenges almost universal assumptions about the origins of modernity.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 200 pages
  • 147.3 x 223.5 x 20.3mm | 249.48g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • 0739110160
  • 9780739110164
  • 2,093,092

Review quote

In this thoughtful meditation on the political philosophy of Alfarabi, Christopher Colmo demolishes a series of myths-that Alfarabi was an apologist for Islam, that he was a slavish follower of Plato and Aristotle, that he was a Neo-Platonist-and makes a powerful case for the view that he would be regarded as the true founder of philosophical modernity and appropriated as a fertile source for reflection on the present discontents. -- Paul A. Rahe, Hillsdale College Not only is Colmo's Breaking with Athens an engaging and sure to be controversial addition to Farabi scholarship-arguing as it does that Farabi is in fact a proto-modern-but an exemplary piece of philosophical exegesis which brings life to the fundamental questions in the tradition of political philosophy. -- Gregory Bruce Smith, Trinity College This is simply the best book about the philosophy of Alfarabi written in English. Colmo brings to his interpretation of key works of Alfarabi a wide- ranging knowledge of Plato's dialogues, an acute sense of philosophic irony, and a refreshing willingnessto take the literal text seriously. His defense of the thesis that Alfarabi rejected fundamental aspects of Platonic philosophy is so forceful and provocative it should become the reference point for every thoughtful study of Alfarabi in the years ahead... -- Miriam Galston, George Washington University Law School The writing throughout is elegant and analytical. Colmo is to be congratulated for offering a new and convincing interpretation of one of the great Arabic philosophers. Excellent references, bibliography, and useful index. Summing Up: Highly recommended. CHOICE In this fascinating study, Christopher Colmo argues persuasively that Alfarabi is a perfectly competent philosopher who can be read on his own terms and not as the unwitting product of his age, religion, social class, or anything else. Colmo shows that Alfarabi sees himself as doing something neither Plato or Aristotle could accomplish, namely, providing an answer to the question of 'why philosophy?' and this without finding it necessary to refute either one. Especially appealing are Colmo's clear, jargon-free style and gentle correction of other scholars. He deftly refocuses the debate, showing what is incorrect about other views without being tendentious. -- Charles Butterworth, University of Maryland This is simply the best book about the philosophy of Alfarabi written in English. Colmo brings to his interpretation of key works of Alfarabi a wide- ranging knowledge of Plato's dialogues, an acute sense of philosophic irony, and a refreshing willingness to take the literal text seriously. His defense of the thesis that Alfarabi rejected fundamental aspects of Platonic philosophy is so forceful and provocative it should become the reference point for every thoughtful study of Alfarabi in the years ahead. -- Miriam Galston, George Washington University Law Schoolshow more

About Christopher A. Colmo

Christopher A. Colmo is professor of political science at Dominican University.show more

Table of contents

Chapter 1 Introduction Chapter 2 Human Action and the Quest for Certainty Chapter 3 The Natural and the Voluntary Chapter 4 Teleology in an Imperfect World Chapter 5 From the Outset Chapter 6 Why Philosophy? Alfarabi's Platonic Comedy Chapter 7 Theory and Practice in the Book of Religion Chapter 8 Alfarabi, Islam, and the Hereafter Chapter 9 Neoplatonic Theology Chapter 10 Alfarabi's Discourse on Method Chapter 11 Conclusionshow more

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