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Peter Adamson

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195181425

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195181425.001.0001

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Infinite Creator and Finite World

(p.74) 4 Eternity

Peter Adamson (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter surveys the Greek background in Plato’s Timaeus, Aristotle’s Physics and De Caelo, and the dispute between late Greek thinkers, especially Proclus and Philoponus. Against this background, al-Kindī’s arguments that only God can be eternal and that creation must be finite in time as well as space are explored. It is suggested that al-Kindī’s interest in this topic can be explained in terms of the contemporary ’Abbāsid dogma that the Koran is not eternal, but created.

Keywords:   eternity, creation, infinity, Mutazilites, Philoponus, time, Proclus, Timaeus, De Caelo, ’Abbāsids

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