By Alfarabi, ed. and trans. Muhsin Mahdi
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Extra info for Alfarabi's Philosophy of Plato and Aristotle
Yet if the deliberative virtue is independent of the moral virtue, then he who has the capacity for discovering the (good) moral virtues will not himself be good, not even in a single virtue. But if he himself is not good, how then does he seek out the good or wish the true good for himself or for others? And if he does not wish the good, how is he capable of discovering it without having set it before himself as an end? Therefore, if the deliberative virtue is independent of the moral virtue, it is not possible to discover the moral virtue with it.
For if a youth is such, and then sets out to study philosophy and learns it, it is possible that he will not become a counterfeit or a vain or a false philosopher. 61 The false philosopher is he who acquires the theoretical sciences without achieving the utmost perfection so as to be able to introduce others to what he knows insofar as their capacity permits. The vain philosopher is he who learns the theoretical sciences, but without going any further and without being habituated to doing the acts considered virtuous by a certain religion or the generally accepted noble acts.
It became evident to him that this art does not supply that knowledge at all, and he explained how much it supplies of the knowledge that can provide a way to that knowledge. This is to be found in his book known as the Cratylus. 9 Then, since the former arts do not supply this knowledge, he investigated whether the art that supplies it is poetry; whether the faculty for obtaining this knowledge of the beings is the ability to compose poems and the ability to acquire that of which poems and poetic statements are made; whether or not the recitation of poems, the understanding of their meanings, and the maxims they contain, supply us with that knowledge of the natural beings and knowledge of the desired way of life; whether or not to form one's character by poems and improve oneself by means of the maxims they contain is sufficient for man to make him lead the perfect human way of life; and whether or not the investigation of the beings and the ways of life by the poetic method is the way to that knowledge and that way of life.
Alfarabi's Philosophy of Plato and Aristotle by Alfarabi, ed. and trans. Muhsin Mahdi