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  • Print publication year: 2000
  • Online publication date: May 2011

47 - The origins of Islamic philosophy

from VIII - Philosophy in transition
Summary
The origins of Arabic-Islamic philosophy are found in the transmission of a great amount of texts both from classical Greece and post-classical Greek thought, from Hellenism to late antiquity. This chapter shows that post-classical thought has been of momentous importance in the Arab interpretation of Plato's and Aristotle's doctrines. Scientist and philosopher al-Kindi echoes Aristotle's Metaphysics in his treatise that intermingles genuine Aristotelian tenets and a great amount of late Platonic elements, mostly derived from Plotinus and Proclus as well as from Philoponus' anti-eternalist works. Aristotle's universe, in Arabic-Islamic philosophy, embraces two worlds, the intelligible and the visible, both transcended by a unique First Principle supremely simple. What Arabic-Islamic philosophy owes to late antiquity is the same that Medieval Latin philosophy owes to it: a powerful rethinking of the Greek classical heritage, through the readings of Aristotle and Plato, by Alexander of Aphrodisias and Plotinus.
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The Cambridge History of Philosophy in Late Antiquity
  • Online ISBN: 9781139095464
  • Book DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521194846
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