Against Proclus On the Eternity of the World 1-5 (Ancient by Philoponus

By Philoponus

It is a post-Aristotelian Greek philosophical textual content, written at an important second within the defeat of paganism by way of Christianity, advert 529, while the Emperor Justinian closed the pagan Neoplatonist tuition in Athens. Philoponus in Alexandria used to be an excellent Christian thinker, steeped in Neoplatanism, 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 1-5 are translated during this quantity.

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

Sample text

And I shall cite Aristotle himself explicitly arguing this very point – I mean that the infinite can in no manner exist in actuality. But I believe that this is in fact self-evident. For the very same reason (aitia) that the infinite cannot exist all at once and at the same time it cannot emerge into actuality by existing a bit at a time. For if it were at all possible for the infinite to have emerged into actuality by existing a bit at a time, what further reason (logos) could there be to prevent it from also existing in actuality all at once?

Even so there is no obvious necessity that products based on these creative principles should in every case coexist together with them. Once more the necessity is in the other direction. If [such] products exist, the principles in accordance with which they came into existence must in every case exist as well, but [created] things will not in every case follow upon [the existence of] the principles. A shipwright or a builder may be in possession of the principles for [building] a ship or a house but not yet be creating [anything] based on them.

For it would seem much more impossible to claim that the infinite is brought to actual birth bit by bit and, as it were, counted out one unit after another than that it exists all at once and at the same time. For, if it exists all at once, perhaps there will be no need to go through it unit by unit and, as it were, count it off;35 but if it comes to be a bit at a time and one unit always exists after another, so that eventually an actually infinite number of units has come to exist, even if it does not exist all at once at the same time because parts of it have ceased to exist while parts [still] exist, it has nevertheless become traversable.

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