The late ancient commentators on Aristotle, most of them Platonists, have been gradually re-emerging on the philosophical and scholarly horizon during the last two or three decades. Their reappearance is not likely to cause any major transformations of the scene, but they are interesting enough in themselves to deserve careful study and they have been influential in the past to the extent that proper understanding of their work sheds light on the subsequent history of the interpretation of Aristotle. This and (...) much more is borne out by Blumenthal's excellent study. A considerable number of ancient commentaries have now appeared in English translations initiated by Richard Sorabji, and books and articles on them have begun to appear as never before. After writing some pioneering works on Plotinus's psychology, in which the relevance of Aristotle for the latter's fundamentally Platonic psychology is much in focus, Blumenthal set out in the 1970s to study the commentators and thus belongs to the pioneers in the contemporary awakening. (shrink)
The relative neglect of Greek commentary by modern Aristotelian scholarship could be justified, if only the neglectors had sufficient knowledge of the material they disdain. The curt dismissal of ancient views on the active intellect by W. D. Ross is perhaps a paradigm case of misplaced condemnation, for he evidently failed to take account of what their authors were about. It would be open to those who wish to discount these commentators to argue that they were, to a greater or (...) lesser extent, influenced by their Neoplatonism, and that this impairs their judgment on Aristotelian problems. But that would not be sufficient ground for total neglect: it merely indicates the need for careful utilization. One might go so far as to ask whether it is not perfectly possible for a commentator who happened to be a Neoplatonist to offer straightforward and reasonably unbiased commentary on Aristotle. Even if the answer to that question were negative, is it not likely that such Neoplatonic views as he read into Aristotle would at least be slanted towards Aristotelianism? (shrink)
For a true Platonist the nature of the soul is, in a sense, unproblematic. So too is its status. It is an immaterial entity, with all the attributes that that entails, and it is independent of any body with which it might, from time to time, be associated. And yet this extreme dualism must be modified in some way or other, if any account is to be given of the life and activities of a man, or any other living thing, (...) at least some of which require a body for their exercise. The problems that produced are notorious. The purpose of this paper is to explore how some of them were formulated by one Platonist, John Philoponus of Alexandria, and some of the ways in which he attempted to solve them. (shrink)
"The studies collected in this book are all concerned with aspects of the Platonic tradition, either in its own internal development in the Hellenistic age and the period of the Roman Empire, or with the influence of Platonism, in one or other of its forms, on other spiritual traditions, especially that of Christianity." [Book jacket].
This detailed commentary of Gellius' accounts of his teacher Taurus reconstructs the picture of this Middle Platonic philosopher as teacher and man and conveys interesting insights into the practice of philosophical teaching in the second century A.D. A collection of all testimonies and fragments of Taurus is added.
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