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The Transmission of Aristotelian Philosophy into the Islamic World


In Arabic, Aristotle was referred to by name as Aristutalis or, more frequently, Aristu, although when quoted he was often referred to by a sobriquet such as 'the wise man'. Aristotle was also generally known as the First Teacher. Following the initial reception of Hellenistic texts into Islamic thought in al-Kindi's time, al-Farabi rediscovered a 'purer' version in the tenth century. In an allusion to his dependence on Aristotle, al-Farabi was called the Second Teacher. Ibn Rushd, known in the West as Averroes, was the last great Arabophone commentator on Aristotle, writing numerous treatises on his works. A careful examination of the Aristotelian work conducted by the Arabs indicates that they were generally aware of the true Aristotle. Later, transmission of these works allowed Aristotelianism to flourish in Christian Europe.

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