Aristotle and Neoplatonism in Late Antiquity: Interpretations of the De Anima

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Cornell University Press, 1996 - Philosophy - 244 pages
"H. J. Blumenthal is such an eminent scholar in the field of Neoplatonic Studies, and the scholarship exhibited by this book is so wide-ranging and impressive, that I would venture to say that this is the most important book on Neoplatonism to be published since Dominic O'Meara's Pythagoras Revived." —Steven Strange, Emory UniversityScholars have traditionally used the Aristotelian commentators as sources for lost philosophical works and occasionally also as aids to understanding Aristotle. In H. J. Blumenthal's view, however, the commentators often assumed that there was a Platonist philosophy to which not only they but Aristotle himself subscribed. Their expository writing usually expressed their versions of Neoplatonist philosophy. Blumenthal here places the commentators in their intellectual and historical contexts, identifies their philosophical views, and demonstrates their tendency to read Aristotle as if he were a member of their philosophical circle.This book focuses on the commentators' exposition of Aristotle's treatise De anima (On the Soul), because it is relatively well documented and because the concept of soul was so important in all Neoplatonic systems. Blumenthal explains how the Neoplatonizing of Aristotle's thought, as well as the widespread use of the commentators' works, influenced the understanding of Aristotle in both the Islamic and Judaeo-Christian traditions.H. J. Blumenthal is the author or coeditor of six previous books and is currently preparing a two-volume translation, with introduction and commentary, of Simplicius' Commentary on "De anima" for publication in Cornell's series Ancient Commentators on Aristotle.
 

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Contents

why the De anima commentaries?
3
their identity and their background
35
The writings of the De anima commentators
53
The De anima commentaries and Neoplatonic psychology
73
The nature and divisions of the soul
93
The subsensitive soul
111
Awareness imagination and memory
137
Reason and intellect
151
Epilogue
171
Notes
179
Bibliography
217
Index Locorum
231
General Index
237
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