Chapter

Nature in Proclus:

Alain Lernould

in Neoplatonism and the Philosophy of Nature

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780199693719
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191739019 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199693719.003.0005
Nature in Proclus:

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In the prologue of his commentary on Plato’s Timaeus Proclus defines Nature as the last of the productive causes of the corporeal, as an incorporeal essence inseparable from bodies. Nature is both an immanent (following Aristotle) ontological principle and a transcendent one (following Plato). It is an intermediate hypostasis between soul and the corporeal, possessing the reason-principles of sensible bodies—an hypostasis which Proclus identifies with the Divisible Essence that becomes in bodies, mentioned at Timaeus 35a2f. Immanence and transcendence can here be reconciled by the distinction between Nature as monad and the many natures dependent from this monad. Another important point is the distinction between nature qua nature and nature qua soul, intellect, One. Nature is so defined as ‘divine art’ and ‘instrument of the gods’—an instrument which is not deprived of self-motion and is integrated in the divine order.

Keywords: Nature; reason-principles; incorporeal essence; Divisible Essence; divine art; instrument of the gods; immanent; transcendent; productive cause; monad

Chapter.  20395 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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