A Translation of Yaqub Ibn Ishaq Al-Kindi's Treatise
'On First Philosophy' Fi al-Falasafah al Ula
with Introduction & Commentary by Alfred I Ivry
Hardback 207 Pages
Published By State University of New York Press (SUNY) Albany
In Fi al-falsafa al-ula, al-Kindi described the first philosophy, which is also the most noble and highest philosophy, as the knowledge of the first truth, including the cause of every truth (the first cause). The first cause is prior in time because it is the cause of time. By the study of philosophy, people will learn the knowledge of things in reality, and through this the knowledge of the divinity of God and his unity. They will also learn human virtue. Al-Kindi emphasizes the importance of the intellect ('aql) and contrasts it with matter.
He also discusses the One Truth, which is another name for God, and states that it does not have any attributes, predicates or characteristics. (This view is consonant with the Mu'tazili declaration of the unity of God as being strictly without attributes, and consequently al-Kindi has sometimes been deemed to be a Mu'tazili by scholars.)
Other aspects of his position include emphasis on the absolute unity of God, his power - particularly as creator - and creation The Eternal, that is God, is not due to another; he has no cause and has neither genus nor species. There is no 'before' for the Eternal. The Eternal is unchanging, immutable and imperishable. In human terms, death is the soul's taking leave of the body, which it employed during life. For al-Kindi, the intellect continues. Perhaps the soul is primarily the locus of the intellect..
Abu Yusuf Yaqub ibn Ishaq Al-Kindi (born in
Kufah Iraq c801 AD) is the father of Islamic Philosophy. He was also a
scientist of high caliber a gifted Mathematician, astronomer, physician and a
geographer as well as a talented musician.
All-Kindi served as a translator and editor of Greek philosophical works at the court of the Abbasid caliphs al-Ma'mun and Mu'tasim. He was well versed in ancient learning and devoted his life to its dissemination in all areas of Muslim culture.
He Died c873 AD in Baghdad Iraq. 978-0873950923
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