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John Philoponus as a Source of Medieval Islamic and Jewish Proofs of Creation

Herbert A. Davidson
Journal of the American Oriental Society
Vol. 89, No. 2 (Apr. - Jun., 1969), pp. 357-391
DOI: 10.2307/596519
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/596519
Page Count: 35
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John Philoponus as a Source of Medieval Islamic and Jewish Proofs of Creation
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Abstract

Information from a number of sources has established that John Philoponus' Contra Aristotelem, a refutation of Aristotle's proofs of the eternity of the world, was at least partially available to the Arabic philosophers in the Middle Ages. The present article shows that the Arabic Jewish writer Saʿadia used a set of proofs of creation ultimately deriving from Philoponus. With the aid of this result the following further conclusions are also drawn: Kindi too used a set of proofs of creation ultimately deriving from Philoponus; a variety of medieval arguments from the impossibility of an infinite are to be traced to Philoponus; the standard Kalām proof of creation, the proof from "accidents," originated as a reformulation of one of Philoponus' arguments.

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