Circle of Equity

8 sentences of political advice Aristotle allegedly gave Alexander the Great (the most popular guy in the world it seems) which were adopted by Ibn Khaldun and then by the Ottoman thinker Kinalizade ‘Ali Celebi who coined it as the Circle of Equity which would go on to become the ethos of governance under the Ottomans, specifically Suleyman the Awesome. The Circle of Equity (‘adl) promotes the idea of four orders within society which must be maintained for the sustenance of a society’s equilibrium and the stability of the state. Kinalizade related society to the human body, the latter which is made up of four elements that must remain in equilibrium for the body to function properly in its healthy and natural manner.

The world is a garden hedged in by sovereignty/the dynasty
Sovereignty/the dynasty is authority, by which the law lives
Law is administration, governed by kingship
Kingship is order, supported by the army
The army are helpers, supported by wealth
Wealth is livelihood, gathered by the people
The people are servants, enfolded by justice
Justice is familiar, it is the support of the world.

One thought on “Circle of Equity

  1. As much as I love Aristotle, I’m grounded by remembering that Alexander grew to loathe him, executed his grand-nephew, transferred his hatred for Aristotle to all other philosophers, and Aristotle’s other two statesmen students: Antipater and his son Cassander, were murderous tyrants. Even more humbling for Aristotle’s legacy is how his message was filtered into Ayn Rand’s beliefs. He was the apple of her eye, after her father of course (not going there).

    But his translation into Islamic philosophy and the later Scholastics is certainly interesting unto itself.

    Love Ibn Khaldun.

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