Philosophy and Commentary: Evaluating Simplicius on the Presocratics

In John F. Finamore & Danielle A. Layne (eds.), Platonic Pathways: Selected Papers from the Fourteenth Annual Conference of the International Society for Neoplatonic Studies. Gloucestershire: The Prometheus Trust. pp. 227-242 (2018)
Authors
Bethany Parsons
University of Edinburgh
Abstract
No fully extant text of Presocratic philosophy has survived antiquity. Occasionally, there are significant new discoveries such as the Strasbourg papyrus of Empedocles, but, as Runia commented in 2008, “even the students of early Hellenistic philosophy are better off” when it comes to source material. The modern scholar of early Greek philosophy is reliant on source books published in the shadow of the Diels-Kranz that collect together fragments and testimonia from later sources. Much of what we know about the Presocratics comes from Plato and Aristotle, but also from the Neoplatonic tradition, in the form of the explicit influences that the Presocratics had on particular Neoplatonic thinkers, and the wealth of verbatim fragments preserved in Neoplatonic texts. This paper discusses the reception and transmission of early Greek philosophy through the lens of Neoplatonism, focusing on Simplicius’ commentaries on the works of Aristotle. Many of the fragments and testimonia that we have today come from Simplicius. However, there are issues surrounding our reliance on Simplicius’ commentaries. Why does Simplicius include extended references to Aristotle’s predecessors in his commentaries on Aristotle? Does the tendency to harmonize the doctrines of Plato and Aristotle in Neoplatonic works, known as the harmonization hypothesis, extend to Simplicius’ reportage of the Presocratics? The paper evaluates Simplicius’ contribution to Presocratic scholarship and asks what implications there are for our reading of the Presocratic fragments we receive from Simplicius.
Keywords Simplicius  Presocratic philosophy  Commentary  Late Antiquity  Neoplatonism
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 37,153
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Simplicius: Commentary, Harmony, and Authority.Rachel Barney - 2009 - Antiquorum Philosophia 3:101-120.
Chapter 9. Akrasia and Enkrateia in Simplicius’s Commentary on Epictetus’s Encheiridion.Marilynn Lawrence - 2014 - In Harold Tarrant & Danielle A. Layne (eds.), The Neoplatonic Socrates. University of Pennsylvania Press. pp. 127-142.
Archytas Lu Par Simplicius. Un Art de la Conciliation.Marc-Antoine Gavray - 2011 - International Journal of the Platonic Tradition 5 (1):85-158.
Stoicism and Byzantine Philosophy: Proairesis in Epictetus and Nicephorus Blemmydes.Sotiria Triantari - 2014 - Bochumer Philosophisches Jahrbuch Fur Antike Und Mittelalter 17 (1):85-98.
Melissus of Samos: A Commentary on the Sources and Fragments.Brian Leon Merrill - 1998 - Dissertation, The University of Texas at Austin

Analytics

Added to PP index
2018-06-04

Total downloads
1 ( #1,104,443 of 2,308,624 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #447,376 of 2,308,624 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads

Sorry, there are not enough data points to plot this chart.

My notes

Sign in to use this feature