Neoplatonism Through the Renaissance

Islam’s Influence

What was al-Kindi‘s main contribution to philosophy?

Abu Yusuf al-Kindi (c. 800–850), known in Latin as Alkindus, had both a noble heritage and an important position in the caliphate (the governing body representing Islamic leaders, headed by the Caliph). He promoted the introduction of Western philosophy into the Arabic world, with a focus on Plato and Aristotle. Unlike his successors, he believed that there was a literal correspondence between the metaphysical writings of the ancient Greeks and parts of the Qu’ran. His work was closer to Neoplatonism than Aristotelianism, and the tradition he began is contrasted by scholars to that of Matta Ybn Yanus (d. 940), who founded a school of Aristotelianism in Baghdad.


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