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This month, we sit down with Peter Adamson, Professor of Philosophy at Ludwig Maximilians Universität in Munich and King’s College, London. Click here to listen to our conversation with him.

Al-Kindi may not be required reading for undergraduate philosophy majors these days, but the role he played in the history of philosophy was pivotal. Working in the ninth century, he was one of the first philosophers to try to unify the ancient Greek philosophical tradition with the tenets of Islam.

Although he himself was not fluent in Greek, he was actively involved in a massive movement to translate the ancient Greek philosophical canon into Arabic. And it was this translation movement, coupled with Al-Kindi’s extensive commentaries on the texts that were being translated, which gave rise to the next phase in what we typically think of as Western philosophy: a sort of philosophical golden age in the Muslim world that lasted for centuries.

Join us as Peter Adamson walks us through Al-Kindi’s fascinating arguments against the eternity of the world and for the unity of the fundamental explanatory principle behind it!

Matt Teichman