Who would have ever thought to look there?
an obscure text by a philosopher known today only to a limited number of specialists in medieval Arab thought.
This is about the nuclear bomb in a turban known as Alfarabi.
The west thinks of the middle east as one of the most backward places in the world, and of the medieval age as one of the most backward times in history, so how could they possibly find someone who lives in the distant future there?
This chapter begins with the remark that interpretation of Alfarabi is “difficult and unsettling”.
A Nietzschean’s recovery of a Jew’s recovery of a Muslim’s recovery of Plato’s recovery of Socrates, or, What It Takes To Thaw The Ice
Fârâbî resolved to bring to light, or to extract, some of the thoughts to which Plato had alluded in his Laws
Seriously, it all revolves around the hemlock mechanism. I wonder why social scientists won’t write about this–oh right, for the same reason I just said.
If you obsess about this too much you eventually realize what some of these are
the most elevated subjects of philosophic speculations
It’s similar to Hegel deeming dramatic poetry the finest art or Badiou deeming theatre the most truth-producing art (Badiou is a Hegelian by the way), except in the realm of philosophy proper and not mere aesthetics. One might ask how life itself is like dramatic poetry viewed at the theatre. The answer is “the theological-political problem”.
Enigmatic- Strauss on Farabi’s books
The relation between the Philosophy of Plato and the Summary [of the Laws] reflects the relation between philosophy and the divine law as between two entirely different worlds
What this pertains to has substantial gravity. It’s about how to preserve the truly human, how reason can survive in conditions hostile to it. Posthumanism is really something ancient. What we know of as “humanity” isn’t truly human for the most part. Even those scholars of the theological-political aren’t truly human because they have to write and thus think so cautiously. Nonetheless they’re far above in the spirit world those who have no awareness of what they write about. I hope it still gives people a moment of pause when I remind them that we’re learning about this sort of thing from someone who wrote among Islamists. We’re not too different from them, we just “tell ourselves” we have a radically different theological-political order from theirs.
Now I’ll show you something amusing
This is from that favorite Index of mine. Only one entry on that book of books, and so so many Jews have entries on this Index. In contrast, there are over 20 entries on Plato’s Laws, 50 on the Bible, 25 on the Quran, 75 on Kant, etc. etc. Just amusing that’s all. Yaffe’s isn’t even anything that explicit. Just goes to show that even these cloud aristos inadvertently invite extrapolation.