- It is the first translation of al-Kindi’s philosophical writings into English; only a handful of the two dozen works included had been translated into English before, and some of these were not easy to get hold of. Some others had been translated into other modern languages, but again these were not necessarily easy to find. And certainly this is the first opportunity to see all of al-Kindi’s work in one place in any European language.
- Adamson has already written a monograph on the thought of al-Kindi (also published by OUP in the Great Medieval Thinkers series). This monograph, together with the abundant supporting material in the present volume, should help to make al-Kindi’s thought comprehensible and interesting to a wider public.
- Because al-Kindi is the first philosopher in the Islamic world, he is of obvious historical importance, and he is an influential thinker who needs to be read carefully to understand the background of such famous authors as al-Farabi and Avicenna.
- Al-Kindi’s ideas on many topics are of philosophical, as well as historical importance: for instance he has novel and fascinating discussions of God’s unity, the eternity of the world, soul’s relation to body, divine providence, ethics, and the nature of knowledge.
- Not only is this the first comprehensive English version of al-Kindi’s works; it is in fact the first such collection devoted to any philosopher who wrote in Arabic. So this is an unprecedented opportunity for readers to see the entire output of a major thinker from this tradition in the round, with all aspects of his thought gathered together in one place.