George E. Karamanolis

in Plato and Aristotle in Agreement?

Published in print April 2006 | ISBN: 9780199264568
Published online September 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191603990 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Philosophical Monographs


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This chapter examines the instances in which Plotinus compares Peripatetic and Platonic views, and attempts to sketch a preliminary answer to the question of how Plotinus saw the relationship between Platonic and Aristotelian philosophies. It is argued that Plotinus’ attitude to Aristotle’s doctrines is complex and differs from case to case. In general, Plotinus is cautious in accepting Aristotelian views and when he does so, he subjects them to critical judgment. This cautiousness results from his belief that Aristotle’s metaphysics is considerably different from that of Plato and results in serious problems and inconsistencies, which Plotinus sets out to show, often targeting Alexander’s interpretation of Aristotle. Despite this, Plotinus does not show hostility to Aristotle; quite the opposite, he sometimes refrains from criticizing him. Several different uses of Aristotle by Plotinus are identified.

Keywords: Plotinus; Peripatetic; metaphysics; Stoic; Alexander; ethics

Chapter.  12778 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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