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By Philoponus

This can be a post-Aristotelian Greek philosophical textual content, written at a very important second within the defeat of paganism via Christianity, advert 529, while the Emperor Justinian closed the pagan Neoplatonist institution in Athens. Philoponus in Alexandria used to be an excellent Christian thinker, steeped in Neoplatanism, who became the pagans' rules opposed to them. right here he assaults the main religious of the sooner Athenian pagan philosophers, Proclus, protecting the distinctively Christian view that the universe had a starting opposed to Proclus' eighteen arguments on the contrary, that are mentioned in eighteen chapters. Chapters 1-5 are translated during this quantity.

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Extra resources for Against Proclus On the Eternity of the World 1-5 (Ancient Commentators on Aristotle)

Sample text

But, since the heaven does not have its essence in being a pattern for civic well-being, there is no necessity that, because order exists in the heaven, its copy, I mean a successful city, should at once exist. [And] in just the same way, one assumes, even though the Forms are eternal, it is not at all necessary that their copies (I mean the perceptible substances) should also always exist,127 since their being does not consist in being patterns if they are not relatives but substances. The necessity in these matters holds in the other direction.

And one must either continue this absurdity ad infinitum or suppose that the creative power of God is infinite, or rather that the divine is in all respects infinitely powerful. Moreover, if it is agreed that God has knowledge of all things – of those there have been, those there are, and those there will be – but the world is, as they hold, without beginning and without end, and for that reason the things that have been and that will be are infinite, it Chapter 1, Sections 2-3 21 is not possible for God, if his cognitive power is finite and not infinite, to fully grasp knowledge either of what has been or of what will be.

For, having been a pupil of Cratylus from an early age and [become familiar with] the Heraclitean doctrines that all perceptible things are always in flux and that there is no knowledge of them, he held these views even in later years. Socrates, on the other hand, had concerned himself with ethical matters and not at all with any aspect of the world of nature, yet was seeking the universal in them and was the first to have paid attention to definitions, and after taking him as a teacher, [Plato], on account of such [considerations],91 took the view that this92 had to do with other things and not with anything perceptible;93 for a common definition cannot be of any perceptible thing, since they are always changing.

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