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Rethinking the Human Person

Moral Landscape and Ethical Literacy

Nahal Jafroudi

Recent developments in the natural and social sciences have brought great benefits to humanity, both in terms of our material wellbeing and our intellectual and conceptual capacities. Yet, despite a broad ethical consensus and highly developed innate faculties of reason and conscience, there seems to be a significant discrepancy between how we ought to behave and how we actually behave, leading to a disregard for the dignity of human persons across the globe. This book suggests that the problem arises from various misunderstandings of the nature of the self and that the solution could lie in adopting a holistic concept of the human person within the context of a carefully cultivated ethical literacy. It argues that the ideas of the Iranian philosopher Ostad Elahi (1895–1974) provide a powerful and compelling alternative to the dominant post-Enlightenment understanding of selfhood, education and morality.

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Completion of this book has been a long process of discovery that has found its inspiration in the thoughts of Nur Ali Elahi, whose philosophy, greatly expounded by his son Prof. Baharam Elahi, sparked my initial interest in this subject and to both of whom I owe a great deal of appreciation and gratitude for my conception and realisation of this work. This book is also a culmination of perfect working relationships with those whose insightful comments, discerning guidance, positive encouragement and unflinching support have had an enormous influence on the development of my ideas and maintaining my motivation in seeing this project through to completion. I also owe a special debt to my family who have patiently believed in me and encouraged and supported me in writing this book. Not least, I should like to express sincere appreciation to all those who have shone a light on my path of self-discovery and knowledge which facilitated the fruition of this endeavour from a possibility to actuality.

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