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date: 25 April 2019

Abstract and Keywords

On First Philosophy is the most emblematic work of Abū Yūsuf Ya‛qūb b. Isḥāq al-Kindī’s (ca. 801–ca. 870) surviving treatises. Aiming primarily to prove the oneness of God, the surviving part of the treatise consists of four chapters that form a consistent unit. The chapter provides a close reading of and commentary on the four chapters and shows how the texts unfold by following a very tight argument leading to the thesis toward which the whole treatise seems to aim: the true One, who is the principle of unity and hence the principle of existence of all beings, on the one hand, and the absolutely transcendent God, which can be approached only through a negative theology, on the other, are one and the same principle. In the meantime, al-Kindī would have demonstrated the noneternity of the world and shown the impossibility of finding sheer unity in the sensible world.

Keywords: philosophy, one, unity, multiplicity, eternity, first Truth, cause, essence, accident, attribute

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