Moderation in Greek and Islamic Traditions and a Virtue Ethics of the Quran

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This article looks at some of the salient analyses of moderation in the ancient Greek and the Islamic traditions and uses them to develop a contemporary view of the matter. Greek ethics played a huge role in shaping the ethical views of the Muslim philosophers and theologians, and thus the article starts with an overview of the revival of contemporary western virtue ethics--in many ways an extension of Platonic-Aristotelian ethics--and then looks at the place of moderation or temperance in Platonic-Aristotelian ethics. This sets the stage for an exposition of the position taken by Ibn Miskawayh and al-Ghazali, which is then used as a backdrop for suggesting a revival of the Quran's virtue ethics. After outlining a basis for its virtue ethics, the Quranic view of wasatiyya or moderation is discussed briefly.



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M. Adeel
Kutztown University of Pennsylvania

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