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Against Proclus On the Eternity of the World 6-8 (Ancient by Philoponus

By Philoponus

This can be the most fascinating of all post-Aristotelian Greek philosophical texts, written at an important second within the defeat of paganism by means of Christianity, advert 529, whilst the Emperor Justinian closed the pagan Neoplatonist institution in Athens. Philoponus in Alexandria was once an excellent Christian thinker, steeped in Neoplatonism, who grew to become 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 info for Against Proclus On the Eternity of the World 6-8 (Ancient Commentators on Aristotle)

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It follows that he is seeking the beginning of the generation of the world. If by ‘has come to be’ he had simply meant that it has its being in coming to be, it would have been enough to say ‘whether it has always been, exempt from generation, or has come to be’. (Although it would have been even more appropriate to say ‘or is coming to be’). But he actually says ‘having no beginning [to its] generation’ and, again, ‘or has come to be, having started from some beginning’, always linking [the idea of] beginning with [that of] generation.

Individual things, all of which likewise have their being in coming to be, have one and all had a beginning to their being. In fact Plato’s own words will show that he does not believe that the world is beginningless. ‘Whether’, he says,191 ‘[the world] has always been, having no beginning [to its] generation, or has come to be, having started from some beginning’. Observe that the question he puts to himself is whether [the world] has no beginning [to its] generation or whether it has come to be, having started from some beginning.

And if it is appropriate to talk of a time before it came to be in the case of the heaven, it will also be appropriate to talk of a time before Chapter 6, Section 7 27 he made [it] in the case of God. As Proclus himself says,89 it is when the maker makes that what comes to be comes to be. 90 If, then, time had always existed, and if Plato understands the correct usage of time words and has just explained their correct usage, he would never have ventured to use the words ‘before the heaven came to be’, nor indeed the words ‘but he now contrived their generation at the same time as the heaven was put together’ if he believed that the existence of the world is without a beginning.

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