Studies on Plotinus and al-Kindi: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Studies on Plotinus and al-Kindi

1st Edition

By Peter Adamson


376 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Hardback: 9781472420251
pub: 2014-12-28

FREE Standard Shipping!


This book collects 15 papers on the greatest philosopher of late antiquity and founder of Neoplatonism, Plotinus (d.270), and the founding figure of philosophy in the Islamic world: al-KindÄ« (d. ca. 873). A number of the contributions focus on the text that joins the two: the so-called Theology of Aristotle, in fact an Arabic version of Plotinus’ Enneads produced in al- KindÄ«’s translation circle. Across several papers, Adamson argues that this translation is best understood as a reinterpretation of Plotinus designed to appeal to contemporary readers in the culture of the ’Abbāsid era. Two contributions also analyze the notes on the Theology written by the great Avicenna. Other papers look at aspects of al-KindÄ«’s own thought, exploring his ideas concerning metaphysics, free will astrology, and optics. The traditions of Plotinus and al-KindÄ« are also treated, with papers on Plotinus’ student Porphyry and his Arabic reception, and on followers of al-KindÄ«. Adamson argues that we can identify what he calls a 'Kindian tradition' in the 9th-10th centuries. He discusses the philosophical presuppositions of this movement, and the use of al-KindÄ«’s ideas made by one particular representative of the Kindian tradition, the Persian thinker Miskawayh.


"These thoughtful papers demonstrate the erudition for which Adamson is known (…) He presents evidence that helps explain, among other things, why Kindian tradition was short-lived in philosophy." - Anthony F. Shaker, McGill University

About the Author

Peter Adamson is Professor for Late Antique and Arabic Philosophy at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Germany.

About the Series

Variorum Collected Studies

The first title in the Variorum Collected Studies series was published in 1970. Since then well over 1000 titles have appeared in the series, and it has established a well-earned international reputation for the publication of key research across a whole range of subjects within the fields of history.

The history of the medieval world remains central to the series, with Byzantine studies a particular speciality, but the range of titles extends from Hellenistic philosophy and the history of the Roman empire and early Christianity, through the Renaissance and Reformation, up to the 20th century. Islamic Studies forms another major strand as do the histories of science, technology and medicine.

Each title in the Variorum Collected Studies series brings together for the first time a selection of articles by a leading authority on a particular subject. These studies are reprinted from a vast range of learned journals, Festschrifts and conference proceedings. They make available research that is scattered, even inaccessible in all but the largest and most specialized libraries. With a new introduction and index, and often with new notes and previously unpublished material, they constitute an essential resource. 

For further information about contributing to the series please contact Michael Greenwood at [email protected]

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Islamic Studies