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Plato and Aristotle in Agreement?

George E. Karamanolis

Published in print April 2006 | ISBN: 9780199264568
Published online September 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191603990 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199264562.001.0001

Series: Oxford Philosophical Monographs

Plato and Aristotle in Agreement?

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This book breaks new ground in the study of later ancient philosophy by examining the interplay of the two main schools of thought, Platonism and Aristotelianism, from the first century BC to the third century AD. From the time of Antiochus and for the next four centuries, Platonists were strongly preoccupied with the question of how Aristotle’s philosophy compared with the Platonic model. Scholars have usually classified Platonists into two groups, the orthodox ones and the eclectics or syncretists, depending on whether Platonists rejected Aristotle’s philosophy as a whole or accepted some Peripatetic doctrines. The book argues against this dichotomy, claiming that Platonists turned to Aristotle only in order to discover and elucidate Plato’s doctrines and thus to reconstruct Plato’s philosophy. They did not hesitate to criticize Aristotle when judging him to be at odds with Plato. For them, Aristotle was merely auxiliary to their accessing and understanding Plato. The evaluation of Aristotle’s testimony on the part of the Platonists also depends on their interpretation of Aristotle himself. This is particularly clear in the case of Porphyry, with whom the ancient discussion reaches a conclusion, which most later Platonists accepted. While essentially in agreement with Plotinus’s interpretation of Plato, Porphyry interpreted Aristotle in such a way that the latter appeared to agree essentially with Plato on all significant philosophical questions, a view which was dominant until the Renaissance. It is argued that Porphyry’s view of Aristotle’s philosophy guided him to become the first Platonist to write commentaries on Aristotle’s works.

Keywords: Platonism; Aristotelianism; orthodox; synchretist; Porphyry; Plotinus; Antiochus

Book.  432 pages. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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Table of Contents

<b>Introduction</b> in Plato and Aristotle in Agreement?

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<b>Antiochus of Ascalon</b> in Plato and Aristotle in Agreement?

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<b>Plutarch</b> in Plato and Aristotle in Agreement?

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<b>Numenius</b> in Plato and Aristotle in Agreement?

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<b>Atticus</b> in Plato and Aristotle in Agreement?

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<b>Ammonius Saccas</b> in Plato and Aristotle in Agreement?

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<b>Plotinus</b> in Plato and Aristotle in Agreement?

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Porphyry in Plato and Aristotle in Agreement?

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