The Philosophical Works of al-Kindi

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2012-09-29
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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This volume renders into English the philosophical writings of the first philosopher of Islam: al-Kindi, known as the "Philosopher of the Arabs". One of the greatest figures of medieval philosophy, al-Kindi initiated the process of integrating Greek philosophical ideas into Islamic culture. Hewas deeply involved in the translation of Greek philosophy and science into Arabic, and wrote on a wide range of philosophical and scientific topics including metaphysics, theology, psychology, cosmology, ethics, and medicine. In these works al-Kindi sets out pioneering ideas about the relation of philosophy to religion, the oneness and providence of God, the nature of the human soul, the structure of the cosmos, and the eternity of the world. This book makes the whole of al-Kindi's philosophical corpus - some two dozenworks - available in English, most of them for the first time. Extensive explanatory material is provided, in the form of an overall introduction, introductions to each work, and extensive notes. The translations are based largely on Arabic original texts, but in a few cases on medieval Latinversions where the Arabic originals are lost. The volume will thus give a wide readership unprecedented access to al-Kindi's philosophical and scientific ideas.

Author Biography

Peter E. Pormann Professor of Classics and Graeco-Arabic Studies at the University of Manchester.

Peter Adamson is Professor of Ancient and Medieval Philosophy at King's College London.

Table of Contents

Notes on Abbreviations, Usage, Transliteration
Biography and Work Lists
Section One: God and Eternity
On First Philosophy [First Phil.]
Three Texts against the Infinity of the World [Against Infinity]
On the True Agent [True Agent]
Against the Trinity [Against Trinity]
Section Two: The Soul and the Mind
On the Intellect [Intellect]
On Recollection [Recollection]
That There Are Incorporeal Substances [Incorp. Subst.]
Discourse on the Soul [Discourse Soul]
A Concise and Brief Statement About the Soul [Concise Soul]
On the Quiddity of Sleep and Dreams [Sleep Dreams]
Two Texts on Colour [Colour]
Section Three: The Cosmos
On the Proximate, Agent Cause of Generation and Corruption [Prox. Agent Cause]
The Prostration of the Outermost Body [Prostration]
On the Nature of the Celestial Sphere [Celestial Sphere]
On Why the Ancients Related the Five Geometric Shapes to the Elements [Five Geometric Shapes]
Why the Higher Atmosphere is Cold [Higher Atmosphere]
On Rays [Rays]
Section Four: Ethics
On Dispelling Sorrows [Dispelling Sorrows]
The Sayings of Socrates [Sayings Socrates]
Section Five: Systematising Philosophy
On the Quantity of Aristotle's Books [Aristotle's Books]
On the Definitions and Descriptions of Things [Definitions]
On the Five Essences [Five Essences]
Three Fragments [Fragments]

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