From among the views propounded in the field of ethics, Aristotle’s theory of golden mean has attracted the greatest attention of Muslim philosophers, including Farabi, who is considered to be the founder of Islamic philosophy. The problem here is whether Farabi himself More
From among the views propounded in the field of ethics, Aristotle’s theory of golden mean has attracted the greatest attention of Muslim philosophers, including Farabi, who is considered to be the founder of Islamic philosophy. The problem here is whether Farabi himself was merely content with a pure imitation, explanation, and expansion of Aristotle’s theory in designing his ethical system or developed his independent view in the realm of ethics. Through presenting a documented report of Farabi’s views in ethics, the present paper intends to demonstrate that, in spite of Aristotle’s undeniable influence on his thoughts in the development of some of his philosophical principles in the field of ethics, such as considering happiness to be the ultimate goal and resorting to the theory of the mean in explaining virtues and posing Aristotle’s four-fold virtues, Farabi was never content with a mere explanation of Aristotle’s ideas in this regard and, on the contrary, presented his own specific theories. Clearly, Farabi promotes happiness from the level of a purely ethical concept with an individualistic bent to the level of a social concept and considers it to be the foundation of the political systems that are based on virtue. He also enters some purely religious features into this field and clearly explains them. However, his ideas in this regard are not immune to criticism. What places Farabi with regard to his ethical theories in the same line with Aristotelians is the problem of proposing the mean as the criterion for determining moral virtues. Through emphasizing this problem, this paper intends to demonstrate how Farabi has organized his ethical system based on the elements he has borrowed from Aristotle.