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Aristotelianism in Islamic philosophy

DOI
10.4324/9780415249126-H002-1
DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-H002-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved April 21, 2018, from https://www.rep.routledge.com/articles/thematic/aristotelianism-in-islamic-philosophy/v-1

Article Summary

In Arabic, Aristotle was referred to by name as Aristutalis or, more frequently, Aristu, although when quoted he was often referred to by a sobriquet such as ‘the wise man’. Aristotle was also generally known as the First Teacher. Following the initial reception of Hellenistic texts into Islamic thought in al-Kindi’s time, al-Farabi rediscovered a ‘purer’ version in the tenth century. In an allusion to his dependence on Aristotle, al-Farabi was called the Second Teacher. Ibn Rushd, known in the West as Averroes, was the last great Arabophone commentator on Aristotle, writing numerous treatises on his works. A careful examination of the Aristotelian works received by the Arabs indicates they were generally aware of the true Aristotle. Later, transmission of these works to Christian Europe allowed Aristotelianism to flourish in the scholastic period.

We should not take at face value the Islamic philosophers’ claims that they were simply following Aristotle. The convention in Islamic philosophy is to state that one is repeating the wisdom of the past, thus covering over such originality as may exist. There was a tendency among Islamic philosophers to cite Aristotle as an authority in order to validate their own claims and ideas.

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Citing this article:
Kennedy-Day, Kiki. Aristotelianism in Islamic philosophy, 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-H002-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis, https://www.rep.routledge.com/articles/thematic/aristotelianism-in-islamic-philosophy/v-1.
Copyright © 1998-2018 Routledge.

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