Al-Kindi's Metaphysics

A Translation of Ya'qub ibn Ishaq al-kindi's Treatise "On First Philosophy"

Introduction by Alfred L. Ivry
Commentaries by Alfred L. Ivry

Subjects: Islam
Paperback : 9781438434162, 217 pages, June 1974
Hardcover : 9780873950923, 217 pages, June 1974

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Table of contents

I. Introduction

1. Al-Kindi and Kindi Studies: A Résumé

2. On First Philosophy: Text and Translation: A Description
An Analysis 3. Al-Kindi and the Muʿtazilah: A Reevaluation

II. Text and Commentary

On First Philosophy

List of Abbreviations
Index of Aristotelian Sources

A translation and commentary on al-Kindi's “On First Philosophy,” a seminal work of early Islamic thought.


Al-Kindi emerges as a philosopher who attempted to present, interpret, and supplement past philosophies as parts of an essentially unified tradition that would make for a viable philosophy in Islamic society. He assumes a place at or near the beginning of a philosophical current—based on transmission of studies from late Greek thought—that remained vital in the Islamic world for several centuries. Alfred L. Ivry presents a reevaluation of al-Kindi's relationships with the powerful group of theologians, Muʿtazilah. The commentary defines and interprets terms used by al-Kindi, identifies original Arabic and Greek sources, and analyzes the most recent critical research related to each allusion. Complete bibliography and index of Aristotelian sources.

Alfred L. Ivry is Professor Emeritus of Hebrew and Judaic Studies, Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at New York University.