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date: 17 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines al-Fārābī’s (d. 950 CE) treatise On the One and Oneness (Kitāb al-wāḥid wa-l-waḥda), a work that focuses exclusively on the metaphysical themes of unity and multiplicity, and which represents one of the master’s less well-known and studied works. After some general observations concerning the treatise’s contents, structure, and style, the present chapter addresses some specific metaphysical and theological implications this work has in the context of al-Fārābī’s philosophy. It shows that On the One and Oneness is aligned with al-Fārābī’s other works and thoroughly inscribed within his metaphysical program and that its main purpose was to provide a theoretical framework and elucidation for concepts lying at the core of his cosmological and theological system. Accordingly, the treatise reveals its true purpose and scope only if it is read in light of al-Fārābī’s more descriptive theological and cosmological works, such as The Principles of Existents (Kitāb Mabādiʾ al-mawjūdāt).

Keywords: al-Fārābī, unity and multiplicity, metaphysics, cosmology, theology, Arabic philosophy

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