Proclus on the order of philosophy of nature

Synthese 174 (2):205 - 223 (2010)
In this paper I show that Proclus is an adherent of the Classical Model of Science as set out elsewhere in this issue (de Jong and Betti 2008), and that he adjusts certain conditions of the Model to his Neoplatonic epistemology and metaphysics. In order to show this, I develop a case study concerning philosophy of nature, which, despite its unstable subject matter, Proclus considers to be a science. To give this science a firm foundation Proclus distills from Plato’s Timaeus the basic concepts Being and Becoming and a number of basic propositions, among others the quasi-definitions of the basic concepts. He subsequently explains the use of these quasi-definitions, that are actually epistemic guides, in such a way that he obtains a connection between a rational and an empirical approach to the natural world. A crucial task in establishing the connection is performed by the faculty of doxa and by geometrical conversion. The result is that Proclus secures a universal, necessary and known foundation for all of philosophy of nature.
Keywords Proclus  Philosophy of nature  Science
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