This can be the most attention-grabbing of all post-Aristotelian Greek philosophical texts, written at a vital second within the defeat of paganism by means of Christianity, advert 529, whilst the Emperor Justinian closed the pagan Neoplatonist college in Athens. Philoponus in Alexandria used to be an excellent Christian thinker, steeped in Neoplatonism, who became the pagans' rules opposed to them. right here 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 resources for Against Proclus On the Eternity of the World 6-8 (Ancient Commentators on Aristotle)
57 6. Come now, if you will bear with me, to the height of absurdity to which this fine-sounding statement that ‘it is the act of an evil being to wish to unbind what has been well put together’58 leads us. For if the creator can unbind the world but would not unbind it unless he became evil, then to unbind the world is evil; for if to unbind it is not evil, he would not become evil by unbinding it. And if to unbind it is evil, and if God has the power to unbind the world, then God, since he has the power to do evil, also has the power to become evil.
It is not possible for it to be generated and not either have come to be, or be in the process of coming to be, or be going to come to be [in the sense] in which it is [described as] Chapter 6, Sections 9-10 33 generated; otherwise it would not be generated at all. So if the world has not come to be [in the sense] in which it is generated, then it must certainly be the case that it is neither coming to be now nor going to come to be [in that sense], for the world would not be in one state now and another at another time.
Thought] are bodies resolved into substratum and form and composed once more out of these. They claim, then, that the world too is generated in the sense that we can notionally resolve it into its components, that is, the first substratum and the qualities stamped upon it. It is this sense of ‘generated’ that Porphyry above all subscribes to. Here, at any rate, to quote his exact words, is what he says in the second book of his commentary on the Timaeus: Those who claim that [Plato believes that] the world is ungenerated with respect to time and that it is in some other sense that he describes the world as generated must be ready, after 20 25 153,1 5 10 15 20 25 154,1 5 34 10 15 20 25 155,1 5 10 15 20 156,1 Chapter 6, Sections 10-11 [first] enumerating the senses of ‘generated’, to determine which of these senses the argument he advances for its having come to be fits.