The Simple Ontology of Kalām Atomism: An Outline

In: Early Science and Medicine
Sabra History of Science Department, Science Center 371, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.

Search for other papers by Sabra in
Current site
Google Scholar
Download Citation Get Permissions

Access options

Get access to the full article by using one of the access options below.

Institutional Login

Log in with Open Athens, Shibboleth, or your institutional credentials

Login via Institution


Buy instant access (PDF download and unlimited online access):



This paper aims to present concisely the Islamic kalām atomism as an alternative philosophy to Hellenizing falsafa. Kalām is a theological-philosophical discourse which, first (in the third/ninth century) ventured to rival the falsafa represented early by al-Kindī ( 252/866), then by al-Fārābī and Avicenna in the fourth/tenth and fifth/eleventh centuries, and which eventually (in the sixth/twelfth century and after) appeared to be inclined to propose a mingling of the kalām discourse with falsafa in a series of varied "syntheses".—Focusing on the simple ontology of the basic kalām atomism, and noting the hybrid character of kalām, the aim of this paper is to help to clarify the inevitable problematic consequences of those late ventures of Islamic intellectualism.

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 580 122 14
Full Text Views 177 5 0
PDF Views & Downloads 179 11 0