Avicenna on Humans as Social Animals | Harper's Magazine

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Avicenna on Humans as Social Animals



The human being differs from all other animals in being unable to live well as an isolated individual […] with no partner to help him satisfy his needs. He must be supported by another of his kind, who, in turn, must also be supported by him and by his like, so that, for instance, one will provide vegetables for another, while the other makes bread; one will sew when the other provides the needle. When they join forces they are complementary. This is why human beings are compelled to found societies.

Ab? ‘Al? al-Husayn ibn ‘Abd All?h ibn S?n? (??? ????) (Avicenna), Kitab al-Najat (Book of Salvation), p. 303 (U. Cairo ed. 1936)(ca. 1030)

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