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Islamic and Arab Perspectives on Machiavelli's Virtù

[journal article]

Stoenescu, Dan

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Abstract This paper argues that although the concept of virtue is an ambiguous concept rooted in ancient Greek philosophy and remarkably developed by Machiavelli, the Islamic view of this term deserves more attention since it might provide a useful insight to a deeper understanding of how this concept is used in Eastern philosophies. This paper also argues that the concept of virtue in Islamic philosophy has many commonalities with Machiavelli's concept of virtue although the last has certain revolutionary attributes for the European Middle Ages. The first part of the essay will discuss the various interpretations of the concept of virtue from the perspectives of Islamic scholars and that of Machiavelli. The second part will analyze the commonalities and the major differences between Machiavelli and two important Islamic scholars such as Ibn Zafar and Ibn Khaldun, both precursors of Machiavelli. This essay concludes that Machiavelli's concept of virtue (virtù) is not entirely an original concept although introducing the so-called vices as part of it is a revolutionary idea.
Keywords virtue; Machiavelli, N.; Islam
Classification Philosophy, Ethics, Religion
Free Keywords Virtue; Ibn Zafar; Ibn Khaldun
Document language English
Publication Year 2009
Page/Pages p. 39-45
Journal Studia Politica : Romanian Political Science Review, 9 (2009) 1
ISSN 1582-4551
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works