Life, Works, and Influence
This chapter provides an overview of the evidence regarding al-Kindī’s biography, and surveys what is known of his writings based on the account in Ibn al-Nadīm’s Fihrist. While most of his works are lost, there is a significant extant corpus which is also summarized here. The chapter discusses how al-Kindī’s writings relate to the translation movement under the ’Abbāsids, which produced Arabic versions of Greek philosophical and scientific works. It concludes by considering al-Kindī’s legacy, among Neoplatonic philosophers who followed his broad approach (such as al-’Āmirī and Miskawayh), contrasting this “Kindian tradition” to the more Aristotelian school in Baghdad, whose most famous representative was al-Fārābī.
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