"Hamid Dabashi';s 1997 work Theology of Discontent reveals a creative thinker capable not only of understanding how an argument is built, but also of redefining old issues in new ways. The Iranian Revolution of 1978-9 was front-page news in the West, and in some ways remains so today. Though it was an uprising against authoritarian royal rule, with a coalition of modernisers and Islamists, the revolution saw the birth of a new Islamic Republic that seemed to reject pro-Western democracy. Dabashi wanted to analyze the real reasons for this change, while examining how Islamic ideologies contributed to the revolution and the republic that followed. Theology of Discontent examines different Islamic thinkers, analyzing how views with seemingly little in common contributed to the modern Iranian belief system. Beyond its insightful analytical dissection of these eight thinkers, Theology of Discontent also shows Dabashi';s creative thinking skills. Reframing the debates about Iran';s relationship with the West, he traced the ways in which Iranian identity formed in reactive opposition to Western ideas. In many ways, Dabashi suggested, Iran was trapped in a cycle of deliberately asserting its difference from the West, a process that was fundamental to the development of its own unique brand of revolutionary Islamism."--Provided by publisher.
"Aristotle remains one of the most celebrated thinkers of all time in large part thanks to his incisive critical thinking skills. In Politics, which can be considifered one of the foundational books of the western political tradition, the focus is on problem-solving, and particularly on the generation and evaluation of alternative possibilitiesAristotle';s aim, in Politics, is to determine how best to organize a society. He looks in turn at several different type of organization--kingship, oligarchy and the polity, or rule in the hands of many--and evaluates the arguments for each in turn. But he takes the exercise further than his predecessors had done. Having concluded that rule by the aristocracy would be preferable, since it would mean rule by citizens capable of taking decisions on behalf of the society as a whole, Aristotle subjects his solution to a further checking process, asking productive questions in ordifer to make a sound decision between alternatives.Politics was ground-breaking in its approach. Unlike previous thinkers, Aristotle based all his ideas on a practical assessment of how they would play out in the real world. Ultimately, Aristotle argues, the problem of self-interest means that the adoption of a mixed constitution--one based on carefully considifered laws which aims at a balance of power between the people and the elite--is most likely to bring eudaemonia (happiness). It';s a conclusion firmly based on careful evaluation (not least the process of judging the adequacy of arguments) and the product of outstanding problem-solving skills. "--Provided by publisher.