Al-Farabi, Founder of Islamic Neoplatonism: His Life, Works, by Majid Fakhry

By Majid Fakhry

This is often a superb resource on a tricky topic. Islamic neoplatonism is a posh net of rules made relatively available through this e-book. Thankyou for the scholarship it should have taken to provide it.

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34 Al-Fa¯ra¯bi, Founder of Islamic Neoplatonism intend to prove that the world is eternal, but rather the contrary, since he has shown in that book and in other physical and metaphysical writings that time is the measure of the motion of the sphere from which it is generated. Now what is generated from something is not contained in that thing. Therefore, by his statement that the world has no temporal beginning should be understood that it was not generated bit by bit, every part of which succeeding the other, as a house or an animal is generated, but rather at once, by an act of divine creation (ibda¯‘ ), without any reference to time.

1204), in his Guide of the Perplexed (Dala¯lat al-Ha¯’ı¯rı¯n), written originally in Arabic. Here, Maimonides is out to exonerate Aristotle from the charge of adhering to the thesis of eternity and quotes the same passages from Topica and De Coelo cited by al-Fa¯ra¯bi. For Maimonides, Aristotle has no demonstrative proof that the world is eternal and cannot for that reason be charged with adhering to that thesis. It is puzzling, however, that Maimonides, who had a lot of regard for al-Fa¯ra¯bi, goes on to attribute to him the contrary thesis that Aristotle indeed 62.

Psychology, which for him formed part of the natural sciences, is actually contained in De Anima (Kita¯b al-Nafs) and the Parva Naturalia, known in Arabic as Kita¯b al-Hiss wa’l-Mahsu¯s (Sense and Sensibles). Having concluded the discussion of the physical corpus, al-Fa¯ra¯bi turns next to metaphysics or the ‘divine science’ (al-‘Ilm al-Ila¯hı¯ ). This science, we are told, is contained in its entirety in Aristotle’s book known as the Metaphysics (Ma¯ Ba‘d al-Tabı¯‘ah, Metaphysica). The ‘divine science’, he goes on to say, is divided into three parts: 1.

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