By Alfarabi, ed. and trans. Muhsin Mahdi
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Additional info for Alfarabi's Philosophy of Plato and Aristotle
Moreover, he should be brought up according to laws and habits that resemble his innate disposition. He should have sound conviction about the opinions of the religion in which he is reared, hold fast to the virtuous acts in his religion, and not forsake all or most of them. Furthermore, he should hold fast to the generally accepted virtues and not forsake the generally accepted noble acts. For if a youth is such, and then sets out to study philosophy and learns it, it is possible that he will not become a counterfeit or a vain or a false philosopher.
44 The other group, employed to form the character of nations and the citizens of cities with their consent, is composed of those who possess the rational virtues and arts. For it is obvious that the prince needs to return to the theoretical, intelligible things 2 1 2 3 38 « ALFARABI whose knowledge was acquired by certain demonstrations, look for 33 the persuasive methods that can be employed for each, and seek out all the persuasive methods that can be employed for it (he can do this because he possesses the power to be persuasive about individual cases).
Therefore he investigated whether the sciences supplied by these arts constitute that knowledge and whether the actions originating in them constitute that way of life. He explained that they do not supply that knowledge or constitute that way of life, and that the intention of those who acquire them is not ultimate perfection, but rather to obtain by them only useful and gainful things. Now the useful may be necessary, while the gainful is always good but not necessary. With what they acquire of these arts, they intend, then, either necessary things or gain, that is, what is good.
Alfarabi's Philosophy of Plato and Aristotle by Alfarabi, ed. and trans. Muhsin Mahdi