Al-Farabi On The Perfect State Analysis

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In two excerpts from al-Farabi’s work, one from The Attainment of Happiness and the other from Al-Farabi on the Perfect State, he writes about the difference between religion and philosophy as he sees it. He gives a definition of each term which he continues to work with through the rest of both excerpts. From those definitions, al-Farabi writes about the relationship between philosophy and religion, eventually stating that religion is an imitation of philosophy. The definitions of philosophy and religion that he provides are important to the rest of his writing, as his explanation of the relationship between these two terms depends on it. He defines the terms based on how knowledge is gained, first laying out all the possible ways in which a human being might gain knowledge. Al-Farabi states that in order to gain knowledge of an idea, the idea must first be comprehended. This comprehension can arise in only two ways: either by …show more content…
The first type of person has the potential to gain philosophical knowledge, but begins by rejecting a succession of religious imitations and symbols before finally having the possibility of philosophical knowledge. The second type of person al-Farabi describes is one who actively tries to reject any religious knowledge because he sees it as an obstacle to one of many ignorant goals. Al-Farabi describes the third type of person as having rejected all of the imitations and symbols which religion presents and thus eventually growing to believe that there is no truth at all. All three of these possible results of a lack of philosophical knowledge are presented as clearly inferior to a philosopher who has direct intellectual perception of “ultimate principles” (The Attainment of Happiness, page

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