Cosmology

Philoponus : against Proclus on the eternity of the world by Philoponus, James Wilberding

By Philoponus, James Wilberding

In chapters 12-18 of Against Proclus, Philoponus maintains to do conflict opposed to Proclus' arguments for the beginninglessness and everlastingness of the ordered universe. during this ultimate part there are 3 outstanding matters less than dialogue. the 1st issues the composition of the heavens and its demeanour of flow. Philoponus argues opposed to the Aristotelian thesis that there's a 5th heavenly physique that has a ordinary round movement. He concludes that even supposing the celestial quarter consists of fireside and the opposite 3 parts, it will probably circulation in a circle through the employer of its soul, and that this round movement isn't compromised whatsoever by means of the innate usual movement of the fire.Chapter sixteen comprises a longer dialogue of the need of God and His relation to details. right here Philoponus addresses concerns that develop into principal to medieval philosophical and theological discussions, together with the solidarity, timelessness and indivisibility of God's will. eventually, all through those seven chapters Philoponus is engaged in an in depth exegesis of Plato's Timaeus which goals to settle a couple of regular interpretive difficulties, significantly how we should always comprehend the pre-cosmic country of disorderly movement, and the assertion that the seen cosmos is a picture of the paradigm. Philoponus' exegetical issues culminate in bankruptcy 18 with an in depth dialogue of Plato's perspective to poetry and fantasy

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And the astronomers would have the sun all by itself and many of the fixed stars be much larger than the earth, not to mention all the stars together with the spheres in which they are seated. The heaven, then, incomparably exceeds the things within it. So how, Aristotle asks, could the things within it have endured if the celestial bodies were fiery? But it is possible to say to him, first: (1) Not even you yourself escaped this difficulty. For when you would have the ensemble of fire, which you call the hupekkauma, surround the rest of the elements, you must assume that it is by all means larger than the things within it.

11. (Taking up again what has been said) that it is false that the things that come to be and are destroyed in any way whatever are not parts of the cosmos. And that the parts of the elements are also parts of the entire cosmos. 12. That animals, plants and the rest of the composite bodies are parts of the whole cosmos – both according to reason and according to Plato. 13. According to Plato from Timaeus, that the whole cosmos is constituted exclusively of four bodies, but the heaven is mostly of fire.

7. Further, the following has been shown: (i) there is no necessity on account of the circular motion to suppose that the celestial body is foreign and alien to the nature of the four elements; (ii) the heaven is constituted out of these very elements according to Plato; (iii) the contraries are observed in the elements – hot and cold, dry and moist and the other contrarieties;81 (iv) generation and destruction, as Proclus has said in these lines,82 belong to contraries. 84 8. It is also important to consider the next part of the argument:85 How can Proclus, forced by the self-evidence of the proposition, first agree that the elements of the cosmos are generated and destroyed in their parts where he says ‘although these elements are generated and destroyed in their parts’,86 and then, having perceived that it necessarily follows that a thing whose parts are generated and destructible Translation 31 must itself be generated and destructible, a little further down refuted his own thesis?

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