Socratic, Stoic, Platonic
Al-Kindī’s extant ethical corpus is relatively small, but sufficient to show that his ethics is an application of his Neoplatonic ideas about metaphysics and psychology. He provides the first Arabic account of Socrates, a philosophical hero who is presented as despising things of the physical world, or “external goods” — Socrates is here conflated with the Cynic philosopher Diogenes. In al-Kindī’s largest ethical treatise, On Dispelling Sorrows, al-Kindī provides a work of consolation which uses Platonist ideas to undergird a broadly Stoic or Cynic teaching on the value of external goods.
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