• George N. Atiyeh
Reference work entry

Al‐Kindī, Abū Yūsuf Ya˓qūb ibn Isḥāq, was born ca. 801 in Kūfah and died ca. 866 in Baghdad.

Often called the Philosopher of the Arabs, little is known with certainty about the life of this early Muslim philosopher and scientist. He flourished in Baghdad, then capital of the Abbasid Empire and center of its intellectual life. Greek, Persian, and Indian works were being translated into Arabic and a multitude of religious and other thinkers were developing new and sophisticated schools of thought and literature. The Mutakallimūn, Islamic theologians, were actively engaged in controversies over God's attributes and freedom of the will as well as over the methodology of knowledge. During the life of al‐Kindī, Baghdad experienced the political ascendancy and fall of the dialectical theological movement of the Mu˓tazilah, a movement that used a rationalistic approach to defend the religious dogmas of Islam. Al‐Kindī sympathized with some ideas of this movement such as the uniqueness of God,...

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  • George N. Atiyeh

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