Proclus on Nature: Philosophy of Nature and its Methods in Proclus’ Commentary on Plato’s timaeus

Brill (2010)
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Abstract

One of the hardest questions to answer for a (Neo)platonist is to what extent and how the changing and unreliable world of sense perception can itself be an object of scientific knowledge. My dissertation is a study of the answer given to that question by the Neoplatonist Proclus (Athens, 411-485) in his Commentary on Plato’s Timaeus. I present a new explanation of Proclus’ concept of nature and show that philosophy of nature consists of several related subdisciplines matching the ontological stratification of nature. Moreover, I demonstrate that for Proclus philosophy of nature is a science, albeit a hypothetical one, which takes geometry as its methodological paradigm. I also offer an explanation of Proclus’ view of what is later called the mathematization of physics, i.e. the role of the substance of mathematics, as opposed to its method, in explaining the natural world. Finally, I discuss Proclus’ views of the discourse of philosophy of nature and its iconic character

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Marije Martijn
VU University Amsterdam

References found in this work

Empiricism and the philosophy of mind.Wilfrid S. Sellars - 1956 - Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science 1:253-329.
Conceptions of Truth.Wolfgang Künne - 2003 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
The Shaping of Deduction in Greek Mathematics: A Study in Cognitive History.Reviel Netz - 1999 - Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press.
Lore and Science in Ancient Pythagoreanism.Walter Burkert - 1972 - Cambridge: Mass., Harvard University Press.
Aristotle's Criticism of Plato and the Academy.Harold F. Cherniss - 1944 - Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

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