Encyclopedia of Medieval Philosophy

2011 Edition
| Editors: Henrik Lagerlund

Plotinus, Arabic

  • Cristina D’Ancona
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-9729-4_407

Abstract

One of the most influential among the works translated into Arabic, the Enneads IV–VI circulated in the Arabic-speaking world under Aristotle’s name. The Arabic version belongs to the set of translations done by the scholars gathered around al-Kindī (Endress 1973, 1997). This early translation gave rise to three texts: the so-called Theology of Aristotle, an Epistle on the Divine Science falsely attributed to al-Fārābī, and a collection of sayings attributed to a “Greek Sage” (al-Shaykh al-Yūnānī). To the Plotinian doctrines assimilated and adapted within the Kindī’s circle an extraordinary impact was granted by Aristotle’s alleged authorship, and this in almost all the fields of Arabic philosophy outside logic and physics. No matter what solutions the falāsifa espoused, their agenda of problems was significantly influenced by the Arabic Plotinus in metaphysics and cosmology (the separatedness and absolute simplicity of the First Principle, its universal causality through the mediation of the first Intellect, the separate substances and cosmic Soul) as well as in psychology (the spirituality and immortality of the human soul, the union of soul with the separate Intellect).

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Authors and Affiliations

  • Cristina D’Ancona
    • 1
  1. 1.Dipartimento di FilosofiaUniversità di PisaPisaItaly