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Aristotle’s Criticism of the Theory of Forms between Athens and Alexandria

Aristotle’s Criticism of the Theory of Forms between Athens and Alexandria



Much has been written in recent decades about the relation between the Athenian and Alexandrian commentators of the fifth and sixth centuries CE. Many of these studies suffer from the fact that there are hardly any cases where one can compare the interpretations of a single source-text by commentators from Athens and Alexandria. Syrianus’ commentary on Metaphysics M and Asclepius’ commentary on Metaphysics A provide a valuable exception. In this talk, I will present a case study on Syrianus’ and Asclepius’ ways of approaching Aristotle’s criticism of the Forms. Taking as our starting point the analysis of both commentators’ response to the criticism of the Platonic arguments for the existence of Forms in Metaphysics A/M and in On Ideas, we will try to get a better grip on the doctrinal and exegetical affinities and divergences between the two commentators and their schools.


Pieter d’Hoine: Professor of Ancient Philosophy and Director of the De Wulf – Mansion Centre for Ancient, Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy (KU Leuven). His main research interests concern epistemological and metaphysical issues in post-Plotinian Platonism. He is co-editor of the OCT edition of Proclus’ Commentary on the Parmenides (directed by C. Steel) and of the collected volume All from One: A Guide to Proclus (OUP, 2017; with M. Martijn). He is also the Director of the KU Leuven Institute for the Study of the Transmission of Texts, Ideas and Images in Antiquity, the Middle Ages and the Renaissance (LECTIO).


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