The Nasirean Ethics (RLE Iran C)
The Nasirean Ethics is the best known ethical digest to be composed in medieval Persia, if not in all mediaeval Islam. It appeared initially in 633/1235 when Tūsī was already a celebrated scholar, scientist, politico-religious propagandist. The work has a special significance as being composed by an outstanding figure at a crucial time in the history he was himself helping to shape: some twenty years later Tūsī was to cross the greatest psychological watershed in Islamic civilization, playing a leading part in the capture of Baghdad and the extinction of the generally acknowledged Caliphate there. In this work the author is primarily concerned with the criteria of human behaviour: first in terms of space and priority allotted, at the individual level, secondly, at the economic level and thirdly at the political level.
Translator’s Introduction. A: Work’s Significance and Special Quality B: Tūsī’s Life and Writings C: The Present Rendering D: The Work’s Style E: Purpose of Present Vision F: Acknowledgements G: Bibliography Author’s Preamble. Exordium. Circumstances of Composition. Prolegomena. Scheme of Work. First Discourse: On Ethics First Division: On Principles 1. Elementary Principles 2. The Human or Rational Soul 3. The Faculties of the Human Soul 4. Man, the Noblest Being 5. The Soul’s Perfection and Deficiency 6. Wherein Lies the Soul’s Perfection 7. On Good, Felicity and Perfection Second Division: On Ends 1. Limit, Nature and Alterability of Disposition 2. Noblest of Disciplines is Correction of Dispositions 3. Classes of Virtue and Excellences of Dispositions 4. Species Within Classes of Virtues 5. Types of Vices 6. Virtues and Pseudo-Virtues 7. Justice, Noblest of All Virtues 8. Acquisition of Virtues and Degrees of Felicity 9. Preserving the Soul’s Health 10. Treating the Soul’s Sicknesses Second Discourse: On Economics 1. On Households In General 2. Regulation of Property and Provisions 3. Regulation of Wives 4. Regulation of Children 4a. Regulation of Parents 5. Government of Servants and Slaves Third Discourse: On Politics 1. Need for Civilization and Nature of Politics 2. On Love, Connector of Societies 3. Divisions of Societies and Conditions of Cities 4. Government of Realm and Manners of Kings 5. Government of Retainers and Manners of King’s Followers 6. On Friendship and Friends 7. How to Deal with Different Classes of Mankind 8. Testaments Attributed to Plato.
Review of the original edition of The Nasirean Ethics: 'Provided with an excellent introduction...note...and a very useful index, this translation is doubtless the best book yet published in any Western language supplying first-hand material for future research on Tūsī and his ethics.' Heshmat Moayyad, Journal of Near Eastern Studies, Vol 31, No. 3.