Philoponus: Against Proclus on the Eternity of the World 1-5 by John Philoponus

By John Philoponus

It is a post-Aristotelian Greek philosophical textual content, written at a vital second within the defeat of paganism by way of Christianity, advert 529, whilst the Emporor Justinian closed the pagan Neoplatonist university in Athens. Philoponus in Alexandria was once a super Christian thinker, steeped in Neoplatanism, who became the pagans' principles opposed to them. the following he assaults the main religious of the sooner Athenian pagan philosophers, Proclus, protecting the distinctively Christian view that the universe had a starting opposed to Proclus' eighteen arguments on the contrary, that are mentioned in eighteen chapters. Chapters 1-5 are translated during this quantity

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Extra resources for Philoponus: Against Proclus on the Eternity of the World 1-5

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And besides, they will not [be able to] show that the cause is co-everlasting with that which is caused even on that basis. If different effects are produced at different times in air and the [other] things that are receptive of light, and the light produced in them – if, as has been demonstrated and as Proclus believes, it is perishable – is not [always] numerically one and the same, then it is not the case that 25 22,1 5 10 15 20 25 23,1 5 32 10 15 20 Chapter 1, Section 8 - Chapter 2 light, remaining one and the same, coexists with the sun, any more than that heat in the air originating from [a fire], remaining one and the same, does with the fire – if, that is, the sun is one and the fire is one while the light in the air, and likewise the heat, is different at different times.

For both the Form of animal and the perceptible animal itself are called animal and the same applies to man and to the beautiful and the just, etc. From this we can most certainly see that Aristotle’s refutations of Plato are not directed at people who have misunderstood Plato, which is a fiction created by some more recent [commentators] out of embarrassment at the disagreement between the [two] philosophers,98 but [rather] constitute a rebuttal of the notions of Plato himself. For, if Aristotle had not been attacking Plato’s own position on the Forms but, as these [commentators] claim, [that of] people who had misunderstood99 him, he would have specified precisely this at the outset and not have refuted the doctrine of the Forms generally and without qualification, just as, for instance, in the passage we have [just] quoted, he does not criticise Socrates, who defines the common features in perceptible [things], but Plato, who has not understood Socrates correctly.

For if so many species have come to be, what would prevent another, say, two or three from existing in the world? For if men have managed to produce the mule by mating the donkey with the horse and have produced many mixed species of birds, how could it be other than absurd to claim than God could not bring natural animals of this kind into existence? (I call [these last] natural because men do not need to bring together different animals to breed them as in the other case,43 but natural reproduction is preserved among them as among other [animals]).

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