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Unformatted text preview: Al-FarabiAl-Farabi was a tenth-century Arab philosopher who had a profound effect on medieval philosophy, Muslim, Jewish and Christian. He translated and wrote commentaries on Aristotle's works and on many of those of the Neo-platonists. Al-Farabi synthesized or combined the ideas of Aristotle and Neo-platonist philosophers, setting the direction of most subsequent medieval philosophy.FOCUSAl-Farabi's most significant contribution to the cosmological argument is a dramatic shift of focus from motion or change to contingent existence. By "contingent", I mean "actual but not necessary". Anything that exists but need not have existed is contingent. Al-Farabi argues that there are such contingent existences (including all those things subject to change, or to creation or destruction), and that all such contingent existences must have a cause. Al-Farabi introduces into philosophy a crucial distinction: that between "essence" and "existence". This distinction is inspired by some comments by Aristotle in his Posterior "existence"....
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This note was uploaded on 11/09/2011 for the course PHI PHI2010 taught by Professor Jorgerigol during the Fall '09 term at Broward College.
- Fall '09