Article ID: CBB001220533

Between Logic and Mathematics: Al-Kindi's Approach to the Aristotelian Categories (2012)


What is the function of logic in al-Kindi's corpus? What kind of relation does it have with mathematics? This article tackles these questions by examining al-Kindi's theory of categories as it was presented in his epistle On the Number of Aristotle's Books (Fi Kammiyyat kutub Aris?u), from which we can learn about his special attitude towards Aristotle theory of categories and his interpretation, as well. Al-Kindi treats the Categories as a logical book, but in a manner different from that of the classical Aristotelian tradition. He ascribes a special status to the categories Quantity (kammiyya) and Quality (kayfiyya), whereas the rest of the categories are thought to be no more than different combinations of these two categories with the category Substance. The discussion will pay special attention to the function of the categories of Quantity and Quality as mediators between logic and mathematics.

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Authors & Contributors
Rashed, Roshdi
De Young, Gregg
Pini, Giorgio
Michel, Alain P.
McCarthy, Daniel P.
Byrne, John G.
Arabic Sciences and Philosophy
Archive for History of Exact Sciences
Early Science and Medicine: A Journal for the Study of Science, Technology and Medicine in the Pre-modern Period
Sciamvs: Sources and Commentaries in Exact Sciences
Sudhoffs Archiv: Zeitschrift fuer Wissenschaftsgeschichte
British Journal for the History of Philosophy
Al-Furqan Islamic Heritage Foundation
Edizioni Cadmo
Arab/Islamic world, civilization and culture
Categories (philosophy)
al-Kindī, Abū Yūsuf Yaʿqub ibn Isḥāq
al-Fārābī, Abū Naṣr Muḥammd ibn Muḥammad
Ibn al-Haytham, Abū ʿAlī al-Ḥasan
Ibn al-Jazzar, Abu Ja'far Ahmad Ibn Ibrahim
Duns Scotus, Johannes
Baghdad (Iraq)
Andalusia (Spain)
Mediterranean region
9th century
10th century
11th century
19th century
13th century

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