Impact of Art on Social Preferences: Farabi’s Perspective

Document Type : Scholary


1 دانشیار گروه فلسفه و حکمت اسلامی دانشگاه تهران

2 PhD, History of Islamic Arts



Abu Nasr Farabi believes in the critical influence of the arts of his own time like poetry, paintings, images, statues, and crafts in the utopia. The second rank of Farabi’s utopia includes ‘carriers of the religion’ who are orators, poets, music composers, and so on. There is a shared task between the first two ranks which is the translation of intellectual concepts and ultimate happiness into imaginable forms in order to make them understandable for the public. The philosopher, on the first level, uses allegories to render the intelligible into imaginable and it is this regard towards the public that makes him the prophet. The media and artists’ duty, on the second level includes the same task of simplification of intellectual concepts and ultimate contentment. This is what makes them the ‘carriers of religion’. But how effective is art in changing political preferences? This essay reports what is probably the first scientific study of the effect of media and art on political preferences. Using a randomized experiment, this study measures the extent to which a short film weakens misogyny.


Main Subjects