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date: 17 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Greek Neoplatonist commentators on Aristotle practiced philosophy and science in the third through seventh centuries ce by performing innovative exegesis of Aristotle’s works. To investigate nature is, for the commentators, to read with understanding Aristotle’s treatises in a set curriculum, with a commentary and teacher. Therefore, a mature philosopher would often prove to be a capable commentator, or interpreter, who could foster the reading of the primary texts with charity and objectivity, eliciting the author’s meaning through paraphrase, lemmatized discussion, and a critically evaluated doxography of the puzzles presented by the text. On the Neoplatonist account, the system expounded in Aristotle’s treatises is uniform and consistent, and is harmonious with the philosophy expounded in Plato’s dialogues. This chapter surveys concepts in the commentators including nature (phusis), biological reproduction, the five or four elements, dynamics and Philoponus’ impetus, natural place and three-dimensional space, modes of causation, teleology, time, cosmogony, and cosmology.

Keywords: Alexander of Aphrodisias, Ammonius of Alexandria, Aristotle, biology, Iamblichus, Olympiodorus, Philoponus, Plato, Proclus, Simplicius

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