Metaphysics as Rhetoric: Alfarabi's Summary of Plato's

Metaphysics as Rhetoric: Alfarabi's Summary of Plato's "Laws"

by Joshua Parens

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Overview

Metaphysics as Rhetoric: Alfarabi's Summary of Plato's "Laws" by Joshua Parens

Parens argues that Alfarabi, the tenth-century Muslim philosopher, demonstrated that Plato is not the originator of Western metaphysics, and that what appears to be Plato's metaphysics was intended as a rhetorical defense of his politics.

The most widely accepted view in the West today, particularly among postmodernists, is that Plato attempted to ground politics on a rational metaphysics and initiated the tradition of foundationalism that has given rise to systems of oppression ranging from racism, sexism, and ethnocentrism to the technological mastery of the earth. Metaphysics as Rhetoric controverts this view, arguing that Plato was not the originator of this metaphysical tradition. Using as a basis the tenth-century Muslim philosopher Alfarabi's interpretation of Plato, especially his Summary of Plato's "Laws", Parens shows that what appears to be Plato's metaphysics was intended as a rhetorical defense of his politics. Parens demonstrates that rather than seek to establish politics on the definitive metaphysical ground, Alfarabi's Plato analyzes politics on its own terms, phenomenologically.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780791425749
Publisher: State University of New York Press
Publication date: 09/28/1995
Series: SUNY series in Middle Eastern Studies Series
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 195
Product dimensions: 6.01(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.56(d)

About the Author

Joshua Parens is Bradley Fellow and Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Government Department at Georgetown University.

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