Activities per year
Plato begins the Laws with a discussion of unending war between cities and the laws established for enduring combat. However, the Athenian Philosopher in the dialogue quickly turns the discussion to the internal war within each soul, between passions and reason. Using the image of a marionette, the Athenian describes the individual as being pulled by various strings, strong strings of the passions and desires and the weak string of reason in the form of law. According to the Athenian, the law cannot predict victory in inter-city war because of chance. A central question of the Laws – and one that is not answered in the dialogue – is whether, or to what extent law can reliably guide the individual to success in the internal war, i.e., to virtue. While the Laws did not make it in its full form into Arabic, the above-mentioned themes are all highlighted in Al-Farabi's Commentary on the Laws. In other works, Al-Farabi associates these kinds of war with jihād. Maimonides adopts similar views of law and war in his Mishneh Torah. Yet, significantly, the unending, external war is relegated to the messianic period in a far-distant future and consequently not practically relevant for the intended readership of the Mishneh Torah. The internal struggle of the passions effectively receives two treatments. The first is in the Book of Knowledge, where Maimonides recommends using reason and regulated habits to control the passions and allow human beings to turn to virtue on their own. The second treatment is in the remainder of the Mishneh Torah, where the law is used to regulate habits. These treatments in the Mishneh Torah highlight the difficulty in using law to promote virtue on a national level. An individual can better attain virtue through the methods of the Guide. Yet the legal and regulated promotion of virtue described in the Mishneh Torah does lay the foundations for a peaceful society, governed by politics rather than war.
|Original language||American English|
|State||Published - 2017|
|Event||A Key to the Soul: Philosophical Knowledge, Spiritual Life, and Religious Identity in Medieval Judaism (1250–1600) - Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic|
Duration: 12 Jun 2017 → 13 Jun 2017
|Conference||A Key to the Soul: Philosophical Knowledge, Spiritual Life, and Religious Identity in Medieval Judaism (1250–1600)|
|Period||12/06/17 → 13/06/17|
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A Key to the Soul: Philosophical Knowledge, Spiritual Life, and Religious Identity in Medieval Judaism (1250–1600)
Yehuda Halper (Participant)12 Jun 2017 → 13 Jun 2017
Activity: Participating in or organizing an event › Organizing a conference, workshop, ...