Philoponus. Against Proclus's "On the Eternity of the World " The Ancient Commentators on Aristotle. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, About Philoponus: Against Proclus On the Eternity of the World This is a post-Aristotelian Greek philosophical text, written at a crucial moment in the defeat. : Philoponus: Against Proclus On the Eternity of the World (Ancient Commentators on Aristotle) : John Philoponus, Michael.


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Philoponus: Against Proclus On the Eternity of the World 6-8

The first concerns the composition of the heavens and its manner of movement. Philoponus argues against the Aristotelian thesis that philoponus against proclus is a fifth heavenly body that has a natural circular motion.


He concludes that even though the celestial region is composed of fire and the other three elements, it can move in a circle by philoponus against proclus agency of its soul, and that philoponus against proclus circular motion is not compromised in any way by the innate natural motion of the fire.

Yet even if it were true that creation out of nothing never occurs in nature, God is surely more powerful a creator than nature and therefore capable of creatio ex nihilo IX 9.

The treatise Against Proclus is followed by a second and even more provocative publication, On the Eternity of the World against Aristotle. This work was published c. The third stage is represented by one, perhaps two, non-polemical treatises that have survived in fragments which indicate that numerous arguments against eternity and for creation were arranged in some kind of systematic order.

Like the philoponus against proclus against Proclus, Against Aristotle is mainly devoted to removing obstacles for philoponus against proclus creationist. If Aristotle were right about the existence of an immutable fifth element ether in the celestial region, and if he were right about motion and time being eternal, any belief in creation would surely be unwarranted.

Against Proclus' "On the Eternity of the World 12–18"

Philoponus succeeds in pointing to numerous contradictions, inconsistencies, fallacies and improbable assumptions in Aristotle's philosophy of nature relating to these claims.

Dissecting Aristotle's philoponus against proclus in an unprecedented way, he time and again turns the tables on Aristotle and so paves the way for demonstrative arguments philoponus against proclus non-eternity.

One such argument is reported by Simplicius In Phys. It relies on three premises: From these not at all un-Aristotelian premises Philoponus deduces that the conception of a temporally infinite universe, understood as a successive causal chain, is impossible.


The celestial spheres philoponus against proclus Aristotelian theory have different periods of revolution, and in any given number of years they undergo different numbers of revolutions, some larger than others. The assumption of their motion having gone on for all eternity leads to the conclusion that infinity can be increased, even multiplied, which Aristotle too held to be absurd.

As in the case of his theory of light, this argument philoponus against proclus a shift of meaning. In the context of Aristotle's argument in Phys.

Against Proclus "On the Eternity of the World 1-5"

Theological Treatises By the end of the s Philoponus seems to have stopped producing philosophical works; his career as a philosopher was finished.

Thenceforward his writing was devoted to theological topics.


Since there is no evidence that philoponus against proclus belonged to the clerical order, it is difficult to picture his professional life as a theologian. While discussing the biblical text Philoponus philoponus against proclus refers to philosophers like Aristotle, Plato and Ptolemy as well as to St.

Basil the Great, whose own treatise on the creation served him as inspiration. As we have seen 2. Significantly, Philoponus compares the rotation implanted in the celestial bodies to the rectilinear movements of the elements as well as to the movements of animals: In virtue of this bold suggestion Philoponus is often credited with having envisaged, for the first time, a unified theory of dynamics, since he strove to give the same kind of explanation for phenomena which Aristotle had to explain by different principles, depending upon their different cosmological contexts.

On the eve of the fifth Council Constantinople, Philoponus stepped forward as a partisan of monophysite Christology which, in the course of the century, had become increasingly influential in the eastern part of the Roman empire.

Against Proclus' 'On the Eternity of the World 12–18'

The monophysites, who were bent on emphasizing the divinity of Christ, were scandalized by the conjunction of Christological formulae enuntiated at the Council of Chalcedon in The argument goes roughly as follows: Now, when one speaks of the unification and discernibility of two natures in Philoponus against proclus, this cannot be meant to say that the universal natures of godhead and manhood have been unified in Christ else philoponus against proclus would be also true to say that not only the Logos, but also the Father and the Spirit have become man, since the universal nature of godhead applies to them as much as it does to the Logos.

Philoponus against proclus, the reference must be to the particular nature of the divine Logos and the particular nature of Jesus the man: Philoponus concedes, of course, that the nature of Christ is not an ordinary one; it is complex, combining and preserving the properties of both what it is to be a god and what it is to be a man.

However, one needs to be aware of an important difference:

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