Abstract and Keywords
This chapter describes Islamic virtue ethics through the exemplary figure, Abu ‘Ali Ahmad ibn Muhammad Miskawayh (932–1030) and his influential work, The Refinement of Character (Tahdhid al-akhlaq). Miskawayh’s understanding of virtue is an example of cultural assimilation, especially of Greek philosophy, Islamic theology, and Sufism. Miskawayh’s theory of virtue ethics is described through his theological adoption of Greek ethics, view of moral anthropology, enumeration of specific virtues, and discussion of happiness. Finally, three ambiguities within Miskawayh’s theory of virtue are explored: individual versus social dimensions of ethics, the body’s role in the cultivation of character, and the grounding of virtue in a theory of mysticism.
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