Al-Kindi and Nietzsche on the Stoic Art of Banishing Sorrow

Journal of Nietzsche Studies 28 (1):139-173 (2004)
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This comparative examination of Nietzsche and the Islamic philosopher al-Kindi emphasizes their mutual commitment to the recovery of classical Greek and Hellenistic thought and the idea of philosophy as a way of life. Affiliating both thinkers with the Stoic lineage in particular, I examine the ways in which they appropriate common themes such as fatalism, self-cultivation via spiritual exercises, and the banishing of sorrow. Focusing primarily on their respective conceptions of self and nature, I argue that the antipodal worldviews of al-Kindi and Nietzsche can be understood as a bifurcation of Stoic philosophy.
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