Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, Vol 14, No 3 (2018)

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Reconstruction of the Sociopolitical Hierarchy in Farabi’s Virtuous City based on Type of Knowledge and Function

Mohammad Ali Tavana, Hamid Nassaj, Morteza Bahrani,


Farabi’s Virtuous City has a special sociopolitical hierarchy, which at first glance, appears to be original. Now, the following questions are raised: What was Farabi’s main criteria for creating this sociopolitical hierarchy? And to what extent did he drew on historical facts to establish this hierarchy? Findings of the present research indicate that the two components of knowledge and function have been Farabi’s most important criteria for establishing the sociopolitical hierarchy of his Virtuous City. Accordingly, he categorizes the classes of Virtuous City as follows: 1- the ruling class; 2- assistants to the ruler, including Al-Afazel (the nobles), Zuvei al-lasana (speakers), Al-Moqadderoun (specialists), Al-Mujahedun (the military), Al-Maliyun (economic forces); 3- the masses; and 4- the opponents and adversaries, including Navabet and Bahimiyun. It seems that there are similarities between the function of some of these classes and the function of historical classes in the ancient Iran’s monarchy and the Islamic Caliphate system, yet Farabi’s innovation is in integrating them into a whole based on the criteria of knowledge and function and believing that those groups that do not meet the main objectives of Virtuous City -public happiness - may be suppressed. On the whole, it appears that Farabi’s Virtuous City has an organic class system in which not only the autonomy of classes and individuals is not recognized, but also any opposition is violently suppressed. Methodological approach of this article is methodological hermeneutics with an emphasis on Hirsch’s hermeneutics.


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