Abu Nasr Al-Farabi, who lived in the ninth century, left a valuable heritage for Islamic thinkers after him. In the framework of his metaphysics, he developed a theory of emanation describing the origin of the material universe. Ten intellects or intelligences are coming in succession from the First Being, and, from each of them, a sphere of the universe is produced. The first intellect created the outermost sphere and a second intellect. From this second intelligence, the sphere of the fixed stars and a third intellect had been generated. The process continues, through the spheres of the planets, downwards to the sphere of the Moon. From the Moon, a pure intelligence, defined as the â€œactive intelligenceâ€, provides a bridge between heavens and earth. In the paper, we discuss this cosmology, comparing it to the cosmology of Robert Grosseteste, an Oxonian thinker of the thirteen century.
Al-Farabi, Robert Grosseteste, Medieval Cosmology, Medieval Science
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