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George F. Hourani

Bio: George F. Hourani is an academic researcher from University of Michigan. The author has contributed to research in topics: Islam & Obedience. The author has an hindex of 5, co-authored 5 publications receiving 217 citations.

Papers
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Kerferd as discussed by the authors argues that the only way in which Thrasymachus' position can be maintained without inconsistency is if one of his assertions is not seriously meant by him as a "real" definition.
Abstract: T HE PROBLEM of interpreting Thrasymachus' theory of justice (tb 8LxoLov) in Republic i, 338c-347e, is well known and can be stated simply. He makes two assertions about the nature of just or right action, each of which appears at first glance as a "real" definition: i. Justice is serving the interest of the stronger.' 2. Just action is obedience to the laws of one's state. But, as Socrates quickly points out (3 39b-e), these two assertions cannot both be true as definitions, because their two predicates conflict in certain instances; for obedience to the laws by the subjects is occasionally not in the interest of the rulers. Thus the only way in which Thrasymachus' position can be maintained without inconsistency is if one of his assertions is not seriously meant by him as a "real" definition. Assuming, then, as a working hypothesis that he has a consistent position, we must look in the text for answers to the questions, which assertion does he mean seriously as a "real" definition? and what is the logical character of the other assertion? We shall then be able to see the relation of the two assertions to each other in his argument. The obvious answer to the first question, and the one that generally remains in our memory of Thrasymachus, is that he defines "justice" (a loose word for "just action") as doing what is in the interest of the stronger. This answer also seems to be supported by Thrasymachus' own deliberate choice in face of the contradiction shown by Socrates, for he then says that justice is the real interest of the stronger, not what they think to be their interest as shown in the laws they make (34oc34ia). Nevertheless I believe there are good reasons for the other view, that Thrasymachus' intended definition of justice is obedience to law (conventionalism or legalism). This view is not new it has been held by Grote, Gomperz, Lindsay, Bosanquet, Winspear and others but it needs to be justified by a closer examination of the text than has yet been made for this purpose. The present article attempts to do this, and to answer objections raised by Professor G. B. Kerferd in an article publish-

16 citations

Journal ArticleDOI

13 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The third and fourth proofs of the eternity of the world as a whole are based on the concept of possibility as discussed by the authors, which can be expressed as follows: the world is certainly possible.
Abstract: The philosophers’ third and fourth proofs of the eternity of the woild are both based on the concept of possibility. In the third proof 1 the argument turns around the possibility of the world as a whole. I t can be stated very briefly, as follows : Everyone must admit that at least the possibility of the world’s existence is eternal; for it could never have been impossible and then become possible. But what can possibly exist eternally must actually do so, because, as Ibn Rushd puts it, “what can receive eternity cannot become corruptible” 2, i.e. have a beginning or ending. I t is not clear how this conclusion follows, until we see that the argument rests on a hidden assumption, pointed out by Van den Bergh 3 that the world as a whole is ungenerated. Now everything ungenerated is eternal, because by definition it could never have come into existence or been corrupted. In this case it can be argued: the world is certainly possible. I t has also existed actually at mme time. But if it existed at any time, it must have done so at every time, since it is not subject to generation or decay (al-kaun wu-Z-fasdd) . The assumption made, that the world is ungenerated, begs the whole question at issue, as Van den Bergh has shown. If we substitute ‘(Socrates” for “the world” we can start off with the premise : “the possibility of Socrates’ existence is eternal.” But it is obvious that we cannot prove from this that Socrates is actually eternal. Al-Ghazgli makes this objection, saying quite correctly that eternal possibility does not imply eternal actuality, “for reality does not conform to possibility but differs from it.” 4 He does not see the hidden assumption, that the world as a whole is something ungenerated. Even if he had seen it, he would not have accepted it as a proved fact. The fourth p o o f 5 concerns the relation o€ possibility to matter, inside the world. The philosophers’ argument can be stated as follows. While the world as a whole is ungenerated and uncorrupted, the world in detail is continually changing. Change means the combination of fresh forms in matter, making new things actual. Now every new combination was eternally possible. But possibility requires a substratum, matter, in which the changes of form take place. Therefore this substratum, matter, must also be eternal. This is the essence of the philosophers’ argument. Here a criticism may be offered, which does not occur in Al-Ghazfili. I t seems to me

11 citations


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Book
01 Jan 2006
TL;DR: In this article, the authors discuss the role of money in the theft of time and space in the history of Europe, and the role that money played in the collapse of Europe and the domination of Asia.
Abstract: Introduction Part I: 1. Who stole what? Time and space 2. Antiquity: no markets, but did they invent politics, freedom and the alphabet? 3. Feudalism: transition to capitalism or the collapse of Europe and the domination of Asia 4. Asiatic despots, in Turkey and elsewhere? Part II: 5. Science and civilization in Renaissance Europe 6. The theft of 'civilization': Elias and Absolutist Europe 7. The theft of 'capitalism': Braudel and global comparison Part III: 8. The theft of institutions, towns and universities 9. The appropriation of values: humanism, democracy and individualism 10. Stolen love: European claims to the emotions 11. Last words Bibliography.

278 citations

MonographDOI
01 Jan 2007
TL;DR: Ayoob's "The Many Faces of Political Islam" is the first work to thoroughly describe the myriad manifestations of this rising ideology, and to analyze its impact on global relations as mentioned in this paper.
Abstract: Analysts and pundits from across the American political spectrum describe Islamic fundamentalism as one of the greatest threats to modern, Western-style democracy. Yet very few non-Muslims would be able to venture an accurate definition of political Islam. Mohammed Ayoob's "The Many Faces of Political Islam" is the first work to thoroughly describe the myriad manifestations of this rising ideology, and to analyze its impact on global relations.

160 citations

Book
29 Aug 1987
TL;DR: Menocal as discussed by the authors argues that major modifications of the medieval canon and its literary history are necessary and examines the Arabic cultural presence in a variety of key settings, including the courts of William of Aquitaine and Frederick II, the universities in London, Paris, and Bologna, and Cluny under Peter the Venerable.
Abstract: Arabic culture was a central and shaping phenomenon in medieval Europe, yet its influence on medieval literature has been ignored or marginalized for the last two centuries. In this ground-breaking book, now returned to print with a new afterword by the author, Maria Rosa Menocal argues that major modifications of the medieval canon and its literary history are necessary. Menocal reviews the Arabic cultural presence in a variety of key settings, including the courts of William of Aquitaine and Frederick II, the universities in London, Paris, and Bologna, and Cluny under Peter the Venerable, and she examines how our perception of specific texts including the courtly love lyric and the works of Dante and Boccaccio would be altered by an acknowledgment of the Arabic cultural component.

133 citations

Book ChapterDOI
01 May 1988
TL;DR: The idea of empire detached from its gentile anchorage acquired Roman-Christian universality in the 8th and 9th centuries as mentioned in this paper, when the Frankish kings Pippin and Charlemagne successfully mobilised two elites, the higher clergy of the Franciscan Church and the frankish aristocracy.
Abstract: For ideas of kingship, the period c. 750 to c. 1150 was no longer one of beginnings but of consolidation. It saw the formation of a single culture in an expanded Latin Christendom. It began with the incorporation of significant Spanish and insular contributions into the mainstream of western political thought, and it ended with new contributions from as far afield as Bohemia and Denmark. The history of the period was dominated first by the Frankish Empire, then by states that succeeded to or were profoundly influenced by it. Its creation strengthened in the short run the traditional elements in barbarian kingship, successful leadership of the people ( gens ) in wars of conquest and plunder bringing Frankish domination of other gentes. Hence the hegemonial idea of empire, of the emperor ruling many peoples and realms, arose directly from the political experience of the eighth-century West. In the longer run power devolved to kingdoms that proved durable, without a gentile identity or an economic base in plunder and tribute. This brought new formulations of the realm as a territorial and sociological entity, the aristocracy sharing power and responsibility with the king. The idea of empire detached from its gentile anchorage acquired Roman-Christian universality. In the eighth century the Frankish kings Pippin and Charlemagne successfully mobilised two elites, the higher clergy of the Frankish Church and the Frankish aristocracy. Power-sharing was built into the fabric of the Carolingian Empire though it was masked at first by a community of interest that evoked a chorus of praise for rulers evidently possessed of divine approval.

105 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors argue that Islam plays a significant role in political modernization and nation building in the modern world, pointing out the centrality and universality of the faith for Muslims.
Abstract: ▪ Abstract Among the four major world cultural traditions—Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam, and Christianity—Islam appears to have the most pervasive role in contemporary politics. The vast and varied spectrum of the scholarly works that have addressed this distinctive phenomenon started with a tradition that presumed a conflict between Islam and political modernity, while noting the centrality and universality of the faith for Muslims. This conception runs contrary to the admission of the reality of secular politics in historical Islam. If there is, on the contrary, a congruity between Islam and modernity, one still needs to provide an account of the speecificity of Muslim politics. Addressing this issue, another tradition stressed that because of its very survival into the modern era, the great Islamic tradition can play a significant role in political modernization and nation building. While this argument may be true in the cases of the historical experiences of a number of Islamic countries in the early ...

102 citations