By Philoponus

This is often probably the most fascinating of all post-Aristotelian Greek philosophical texts, written at a vital second within the defeat of paganism through Christianity, advert 529, whilst the Emperor Justinian closed the pagan Neoplatonist institution in Athens. Philoponus in Alexandria used to be an excellent Christian thinker, steeped in Neoplatonism, who grew to become the pagans' principles opposed to them. the following 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 6-8 are translated during this quantity.

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Extra info for Against Proclus On the Eternity of the World 6-8 (Ancient Commentators on Aristotle)

Sample text

And if matter and form are not the beginnings for the world, then when Plato asks whether the world has come to be and has a beginning to its existence, he is not asking whether it is composite, being composed of matter and form. As Porphyry himself says, this is the [mode of] generation of bodies, not of the world, and Plato has undertaken to investigate the generation of the world first with the intention of investigating the generation of bodies afterwards. Porphyry himself, then, constrained by Plato’s express words, has handed us a concise refutation of the present hypothesis [as to the meaning of] ‘generated’, but either he has not seen that these matters are relevant to each other and that a contra- Chapter 6, Sections 14-16 41 diction is escaping his notice, or he has seen this but thought that he can keep quiet and so cheat the reader.

And Plato certainly shows an exact knowledge of what things ‘before’ and ‘then’ and similar time words should be used of when he immediately goes on to rebuke those who apply these time words – I mean ‘was’ and ‘shall be’ and the like, to which ‘before’ and ‘then’ are related – to the divine nature. Only ‘is’, he says, should be said of God, stating this Mosaic [rule] quite explicitly. 87) If Plato thought that it is brought88 into existence by God from everlasting, without a beginning to its being, how is it that, in the same breath as he rebukes others for applying ‘was’ and ‘shall be’ to God, he falls foul of his own charge?

For the world to come to be, both bodies and God must exist, for bodies to, there must be matter, God, and supervening [form]178 (one lot so that the matter may become body, and another to give order to the things that have become body). All of these always come into existence at once and not separately over time, but instruction necessarily separates them so as to be able to explain that which comes to be accurately. 179 And a bit later: 10 15 20 166,1 5 10 It should be taken as evidence that the framing of body and that of the world are not in Plato’s view the same thing and that at this point [the creator] takes over not matter but bodies that have been produced from matter, that he says that what is taken over is visible – and what could visible things be other than bodies?

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