Aristotle and Iranian Ethicists
Friendship as a Moral and a Political Paradigm
Keywords:Friendship, peacemaking, ethics, bounty, justice-plus, religion, political philosophy, cosmopolitanism
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: Ab? ?Al? A?mad Miskawayh (d. 1030), Ab??l-Q?sim ?usayn al-R?ghib al-Isfah?n? (d. ca. 1108) and Na?ir al-D?n ??s? (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.”
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