By Alfarabi, ed. and trans. Muhsin Mahdi
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Extra info for Alfarabi's Philosophy of Plato and Aristotle
And they should be made to pursue a course of study and form the habits of character from their childhood until each of them reaches maturity, in accordance with the plan described by Plato. Then the princes among them will be placed in subordinate offices and promoted gradually through the ranks until they are fifty years old. Then they will be placed in the office with the highest authority. This, then, is the way to instruct this group; they are the elect who should not be confined to what is in conformity with unexamined common opinion.
That virtue must be natural and must come into being by nature, and it must be coupled with a certain deliberative virtue [that is, cleverness] which comes into being by nature and discovers the moral virtues formed by the will. The virtue formed by the will will then be the human virtue by which man, after acquiring it in the way in which he acquires voluntary things, acquires the human deliberative virtue. 5 1 10 15 28 2 3 36 But one ought to inquire what manner of thing that natural virtue is.
This is to be found in his book known as the Protagoras. 1 2 3 15 5 5 55 THE PHILOSOPHY OF PLATO « 6 Then he investigated whether this attainable knowledge is attained by chance or by investigation or by instruction and study; and whether a way of investigation or instruction or study exists by which to attain this knowledge, or whether no way of investigation, instruction, or study by which to attain this knowledge exists at all—as Meno (meaning fixed) used to assert. For he [Meno] claimed that investigation and instruction and study are futile, useless, and do not lead to knowledge; that man either knows a thing, not through investigation or instruction or study, but by nature and chance, or does not know it; what is not known cannot become known either by investigation or by study or by inference; and the unknown remains unknown forever, despite what the protagonists of investigation assert about a thing's being apprehended by investigation, instruction, or study.