This article analyzes al-Fārābī's (d. 950) conception of the astronomical method by examining rarely studied texts such as the K. al-mūsīqā and K. al-burhān and by addressing key issues such as the subject matter of astronomy, the techniques used to derive the first principles of this science, the relation between astrology, astronomy, physics, and metaphysics, and the place of al-Fārābī in the Arabic astronomical tradition. The analysis indicates that al-Fārābī's theories combine material from the Greek astronomical tradition, especially Geminus, as well as from the logical works of Aristotle, particularly the Posterior Analytics. Moreover, it enables us to view al-Fārābī as a link between the Greek astronomers on the one hand and Ibn Sīnā and Naşīr al-Dīn al-Tūsī on the other.
This volume contains a collection of articles focusing on the philosophical and theological exchanges between Muslim and Christian intellectuals living in Baghdad during the classical period of Islamic history, when this city was a vibrant center of philosophical, scientific, and literary activity. The philosophical accomplishments and contribution of Christians writing in Arabic and Syriac represent a crucial component of Islamic society during this period, but they have typically been studied in isolation from the development of mainstream Islamic philosophy. The present book aims for a more integrated approach by exploring case studies of philosophical and theological cross-pollination between the Christian and Muslim traditions, with an emphasis on the Baghdad School and its main representative, Yaḥyā ibn ʿAdī.
Contributors: Carmela Baffioni, David Bennett, Gerhard Endress, Damien Janos, Olga Lizzini, Ute Pietruschka, Alexander Treiger, David Twetten, Orsolya Varsányi, John W. Watt, Robert Wisnovsky
This study—the first monograph devoted exclusively to al-Fārābī’s cosmology—provides a new interpretation of this thinker’s philosophical development through an analysis of the Greek and Arabic sources and a contextualization of his life and thought in the cultural and intellectual milieu of his time. It discusses key cosmological and metaphysical concepts articulated in his works, with a special focus on celestial causation, intellection, and motion. This book also examines al-Fārābī’s cosmological method and particularly the connection between astronomy, physics, and metaphysics. The result is a reassessment of al-Fārābī’s cosmology vis-à-vis late-antique Greek philosophical trends and a clearer understanding of how it creatively adapted and transformed this legacy to establish a new cosmological paradigm in Arabic thought.