Simplicius and avicenna on the nature of body

Ibn S¯ına, known to the Latin West as Avicenna, was a medieval Aristotelian— one of the greatest of all medieval Aristotelians. He lived in Persia from 980 to 1037, and wrote mostly in Arabic. Simplicius of Cilicia was a sixth century Neoplatonist; he is known mostly for his commentaries on Aristotle. Both of these men were, broadly speaking, part of the same philosophical tradition: the tradition of Neoplatonic or Neoplatonizing Aristotelianism. There is probably no direct historical connection between them, however, and anyway I will not try to demonstrate one. In this paper I will examine their closely related, but ultimately quite different, accounts of corporeity— of what it is to be a body—and in particular of the essential relationship between corporeity and materiality.
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