chapter  16
16 Pages

The Philosopher’s Solitude

WithMarco Lauri

Medieval Arabic philosophical reflection about the ideal social and political order, rooted in Platonic legacy, saw itself, ultimately, as a quest for happiness encompassing both individual and societal levels.3 Tension, if not conflict, between these levels appears to have been a focus of philosophical thinking, at least since Socrates. In general, philosophers have been often interested in ways to reduce conflict and harmonize tension. In Classical and Medieval thought, this tension was commonly understood as relating to contrasts between individual and collective goals.