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Ghazali's Politics in Context by Yazeed Said

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4 The foundation of Ghazālī's society

Introductory remarks

In the previous chapter we saw how John Finnis defines a theory of Natural Law as ‘practical reasonableness’ — not in the Kantian sense of universalisable immutable ethical rules, but in that of contingently constituted practical knowledge, which articulates the individual’s capacity for knowledge and action. According to this analysis, one cannot give justice to legal and political ideas without a particular acceptance and understanding of ‘knowledge’ and ‘rationality’, which opens up to non-negotiable sources of learning. Finnis’ theory shares the theoretical basis of Ghazālī’s answer to his untidy context,1 as it points to the moral foundation of the shift that Ghazālī’s text is concerned ...

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