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Cyril Of Alexandrias Use Of Aristotelian Logic

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Chapter Summary

While Cyril of Alexandria has often been depicted as an exegete and a theologian with little knowledge of philosophy, recent studies have made it plausible that he was quite familiar with Aristotelian logic and that he combatted Arianism with the same logical tools that his opponents used. This chapter investigates the archbishop's knowledge and utilization of Aristotelian logic in his trinitarian writings. In the third century, Aristotelian logic was incorporated into neo-Platonism by Porphyry, which makes it possible that Cyril acquired his knowledge of it not directly from the Peripatetic tradition, but from Porphyry or other neo-Platonic authors. Therefore, attention is given also to two important works by Porphyry. Cyril's use of logical terminology and reasonings in the Thesaurus and in his Dialogues on the Trinity are then investigated. Finally, a brief overview of contemporary literature about archbishop's grasp of philosophy in general and of logic in particular is provided.

Keywords: Arianism; Aristotelian logic; Cyril of Alexandria; neo-Platonism; Porphyry; trinitarian writings



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