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Chapter 9 - Conflicting Authorities? Hermias and Simplicius on the Self-Moving Soul

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  19 February 2021

Michael Erler
Affiliation:
Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg, Germany
Jan Erik Heßler
Affiliation:
Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg, Germany
Federico M. Petrucci
Affiliation:
Università degli Studi di Torino, Italy
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Summary

Aristotle plays a highly authoritative role in Neoplatonic philosophy, second only to the almost undisputed authority of Plato. However, as any reader of Plato’s and Aristotle’s works knows, the views of the two philosophers often diverge and generate conflicts. These conflicts provide the Neoplatonic commentators with a serious interpretative challenge: although, as Platonists, their main goal is to defend Plato and the Platonist position, they are also hesitant to openly criticise Aristotle, who is regarded as a true adherent of Plato’s philosophy. The commentators most prominently face such a challenge in the case of the self-moving soul, a core Platonic doctrine severely criticised by Aristotle, implicitly in Physics 8.5 and explicitly in De anima 1.3.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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