By Kiki Kennedy-Day
The 1st element of this ebook surveys the improvement of Islamic philosophy even though an exam of the definitions for substance, reason and topic. those very important philosophical phrases have been outlined by means of every one new iteration of philosophers. The definitions convey an information of Greek philosophy, but in addition take metaphysical concept into an Islamic matrix. within the moment part the writer interprets Ibn Sina's Kitab al-hudud (Book of Definition) and places the tenth-century thinker in his right geopolitical sphere. Questions of Ibn Sina' reference to the East in addition to medieval scholastic philosophy are thought of. educating Islamic philosophy outdoors of the Arabic-speaking international has been handicapped through an absence of basic texts in translation and reviews of simple thoughts. This ebook makes the root of this box extra obtainable to scholars and a normal readership. through translating this little-known yet pivotal textual content into readable English, Kennedy-Day has opened a door for a much wider diversity of readers.
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Additional resources for Books of Definition in Islamic Philosophy: The Limits of Words
One small point is that al-Kindi chooses ‘unsur for element, which is an Arabic word, he does not use ustuqas – a Greek loan word. 22 AL-KINDI: THE FIRST ARABIC BOOK OF DEFINITIONS Al-Kindi’s deﬁnitions A few selected terms will be analyzed in depth. They are: al-jawhar, the term for substance, al-cilla al-ula for the ﬁrst cause, al-cilal al-tabicyya for the natural causes, and al-hayula for matter. These kinds of terms are among those necessary for any philosophical scheme. As such they are of basic importance to the falasifa.
339 AH /AD 950–951), the second failasuf, was particularly gifted in the ﬁeld of logic. 1 Al-Farabi’s other ﬁeld was political philosophy – analyzing the relations of citizens in the state. In his book Kitab al-huruf (The Book of Letters), al-Farabi gives what is a philosophy of language approach to philosophy. 2 Al-Farabi argues that expressions in Arabic such as al-mawjud had their logical equivalents in other languages including Sogdian, Greek, and Persian. ”3 In the same vein, he says that these words appear in Greek, Syriac, and other languages as well, although he does not give examples taken from any other languages.
The state of Greek translation in the tenth century The translations from the Greek literature are speciﬁcally interesting for observing al-Farabi’s use of particular translations. If these are translations which were not available to al-Kindi (because their date is known to be later than al-Kindi) then evidence exists that only al-Farabi could have used them. However whether or not al-Farabi had better translated texts to work with is a hotly debated issue. The traditional view is that translation technique improved drastically in the ninth century, when Hunayn ibn Ishaq and Ishaq ibn Hunayn created a more technical method of translating.