Eternity [addendum 2] - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Philosophy

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Eternity [addendum 2]

Islamic and Jewish philosophy emerged from a Hellenistic climate in which the universe was taken to be an everlasting emanation from a unitary source (Plotinus), so the debate that ensued among thinkers in these two traditions had to reconcile this philosophical conviction with the pronouncement of their respective revelational books: "In the beginning God created heaven and earth" (Genesis 1.1) and "God said 'be' and it is" (Qurʾan 2:117). An absolute beginning linked to an initial moment of time is conflated here with the freedom of the creator to create. Plotinus never denied emanation to be free, although that freedom appropriate to the One would be vastly different from creatures: not being faced with anything—including alternatives—freedom in the One (so far as humans can grasp it) would be more like pure assent.

Al-Fārābī (d. 950), the...

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This section contains 531 words
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Eternity [addendum 2] from Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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