Encyclopedia of Medieval Philosophy

Living Edition
| Editors: Henrik Lagerlund

al-Kindī, Abū Yūsuf Yaʿqūb ibn Isḥāq

  • Peter AdamsonEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-024-1151-5_289-2


Al-Kindī (c. 800–870) was the first figure in the Arabic philosophical tradition to make explicit and extensive use of Greek ideas. He is thus often described as the first philosopher of this tradition. He also oversaw the work of translators who rendered works by Aristotle, Plotinus, Proclus, and others into Arabic. His own writings, usually in the form of epistles to patrons, range widely over the topics of Greek philosophy and science. His fusion of Aristotelianism with Neoplatonism was intended to be congenial to Islam, and this approach influenced several other authors of the early Arabic philosophical tradition.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


Primary Sources

  1. Abū Rīda, M. (Ed.) (1950/1953). Al-Kindī. Rasā’il al-Kindī al-falsafiyya, 2 vols. Cairo: Dār al-Fikr al-‘Arabī.Google Scholar
  2. Adamson, P., & Pormann, P. E. (Trans) (2012). The philosophical works of al-Kindī. Karachi: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Ivry, A. (1974). Al-Kindī’s metaphysics. Albany: SUNY.Google Scholar
  4. McGinnis, J., & Reisman, D. C. (Eds. & Trans) (2007). Classical Arabic philosophy: An anthology of sources. Indianapolis: Hackett.Google Scholar
  5. Mestiri, S., & Dye, G. (2004). Al-Kindī: Le moyen de chasser les tristesses et autres textes éthiques. Paris: Fayard.Google Scholar
  6. Rashed, R. (1997). Oeuvres philosophiques & scientifiques d’al-Kindī: vol 1: L’Optique et la catoptrique. Leiden: Brill.Google Scholar
  7. Rashed, R., & Jolivet, J. (1998). Oeuvres philosophiques & scientifiques d’al-Kindī: vol 2, Métaphysique et cosmologie. Leiden: Brill.Google Scholar
  8. Ritter, H., & Walzer, R. (1938). Uno scritto morale inedito di al-Kindī. Rome: Reale Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei.Google Scholar

Secondary Sources

  1. Adamson, P. (2002a). Abū Ma‘shar, al-Kindī and the philosophical defense of astrology. Recherches de philosophie et théologiemédiévales, 69, 245–270.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Adamson, P. (2002b). The Arabic Plotinus: A philosophical study of the theology of Aristotle. London: Duckworth.Google Scholar
  3. Adamson, P. (2003). Al-Kindī and the Mu‘tazila: Divine attributes, creation and freedom. Arabic Sciences and Philosophy, 13, 45–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Adamson, P. (2007a). Al-Kindī. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Adamson, P. (2007b). The Kindian tradition: The structure of philosophy in Arabic Neoplatonism. In C. D’Ancona (Ed.), The libraries of the Neoplatonists (pp. 351–370). Leiden: Brill.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. D’Ancona, C. (1995). Recherches sur le Liber de causis. Paris: Vrin.Google Scholar
  7. Davidson, H. A. (1969). John Philoponus as a source of medieval Islamic and Jewish proofs of creation. Journal of the American Oriental Society, 89, 357–391.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Druart, T.-A. (1993). Al-Kindī’s ethics. The Review of Metaphysics, 47, 329–357.Google Scholar
  9. Endress, G. (1973). Proclus Arabus. Zwanzig Abschnitte aus der Institutio theologica in arabischer Übersetzung. Beirut: Steiner.Google Scholar
  10. Endress, G. (1987/1992). Die wissenschaftliche Literatur. In H. Gätje (Ed.), Grundriss der arabischen Philologie (vol 2, pp. 400–506, Vol. 3(supplement), pp. 3–152). Wiesbaden: Ludwig Reichert.Google Scholar
  11. Endress, G. (1994). Al-Kindī über die Wiedererinnerung der Seele. Oriens, 34, 174–221.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Endress, G. (1997). The circle of al-Kindī. In G. Endress & R. Kruk (Eds.), The ancient tradition in Christian and Islamic Hellenism (pp. 43–76). Leiden: Research School CNWS.Google Scholar
  13. Gannagé, E. (2016). Al-Kindī, Ptolemy (and Nicomachus of Gerasa) revisited. Studia Graeco-Arabica, 6, 83–112.Google Scholar
  14. Gutas, D. (1998). Greek thought, Arabic culture: The Graeco-Arabic translation movement in Baghdad and early ‘Abbāsid society (2nd–4th/8th–10th centuries). London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Gutas, D. (2004). Geometry and the rebirth of philosophy in Arabic with al-Kindī. In R. Arnzen & J. Thielmann (Eds.), Words, texts and concepts cruising the Mediterranean Sea: Studies on the sources, contents and influences of Islamic civilization and Arabic philosophy and science (pp. 195–209). Leuven: Peeters.Google Scholar
  16. Jolivet, J. (1971). L’Intellect selon Kindī. Leiden: Brill.Google Scholar
  17. Rosenthal, F. (1942). Al-Kindī als Literat. Orientalia, 11, 262–288.Google Scholar
  18. Rudolph, U., Hansberger, R., & Adamson, P. (2016). Philosophy in the Islamic world: 8th–10th century. Leiden: Brill.Google Scholar
  19. Travaglia, P. (1999). Magic, causality, and intentionality. The doctrine of rays in al-Kindī. Turnhout: Micrologus.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Philosophy DepartmentLMU MunichMunichGermany