Aristotle and Iranian Ethicists: Friendship as a Moral and a Political Paradigm
Journal: Comparative Islamic Studies
From Aristotle to the end of the Middle Ages, friendship was considered to be a core notion in Western political philosophy. However, as Von Heyking and Avramenko argue, friendship has lost its prominent politico-philosophical status in the modern era, particularly in the Western liberal tradition. In the Muslim tradition, and specifically in the history of Iranian thought, friendship as a moral paradigm went through a different course of development. In this article, I will present a comparative view of friendship as reflected in the works of Aristotle and three major Iranian ethicists: Abū ʿAlī Aḥmad Miskawayh (d. 1030), Abūʾl-Qāsim Ḥusayn al-Rāghib al-Isfahānī (d. ca. 1108) and Naṣir al-Dīn Ṭūsī (d. 1274). I will examine friendship-related perspectives rooted in the Irano-Islamic philosophical traditions that represent a significant but overlooked dimension of Iranian cosmopolitanism valuable for modern peacemaking approaches beyond such concepts as: “justice before peace,” “liberal peace” and “cold peace.”
Author: Mohammad Jafar Amir Mahallati
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