AL-FĀRĀBĪ’S IDEA OF HAPPINESS IN THE PERFECT STATE
The present text discusses Al-Fārābī’s idea of happiness in the Perfect State. Plato offers Al-Fārābī the idea that the ruler of the Perfect State has to be a self-realized philosopher. In Aristotle, Al-Fārābī finds philosophical resources to affirm that the only 'good without qualification' is the happiness and, as such, it is the ultimate end towards which political life must be directed. That said, Al-Fārābī’s originality on these points might not be readily apparent to the casual reader. In what follows, I wish to demonstrate that, in his account of a Perfect State, rather than just adapting elements of Greek philosophy to his religious beliefs, Al-Fārābī indeed constructed a quite original version of Plato’s political leader, and a notion of political order – especially his notion of justice and foreign relations – that sounds weirdly contemporary and, thus, still relevant today.
Keywords: Al-Fārābī; perfect state; happiness; justice; corruption.