Miskawayh on Pleasures and Pains by Peter Adamson

On March 14 2014, 9-11am, Professor Adamson from Munich (LMU) presents his translation of a formerly neglected text, “On Pleasures and Pains,” by the Islamic thinker Miskawayh, and a paper on how Miskawayh responds to Plato’s and Aristotle’s theories of pleasure.

Poster by Jens Haas

Comments by Jonathan Fine (Columbia) and Christiana Olfert (Tufts). Location: Philosophy Hall 716, Columbia University. Please see below Professor Adamson’s abstract.

Miskawayh (d. 1040) was a polymath historian and philosopher who fused themes from the Islamic tradition with ideas taken from Greek philosophical works as they had reached him in Arabic translation. After sketching the Greek background, especially in Aristotle, this presentation will look at a previously unstudied work by Miskawayh, “On Pleasures and Pains,” which draws on Aristotle and Plato to formulate a theory of pleasure that ascribes pleasure to the life of God and denies that physical experiences like sex, eating and drinking are true pleasures.