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Introduction

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Chapter Summary

This is the introductory chapter of the book, which covers three centuries of natural philosophy from Plotinus to the late-antique commentators on Aristotle. The presence of natural philosophy in Plotinus works, however, is far more pervasive than what Porphyrys editorial choices suggests: extensive discussions on matter, nature, physical motion and bodies are scattered throughout the enneadic corpus, from the first Ennead to the sixth. Late-antique understanding of the natural world, it may be argued, involved a sort of physical instantiation of metaphysical principles. The legacy of Platos Timaeus was substantial in this respect: as the papers collected in this book suggest, this dialogue was certainly the most important source for Neoplatonic natural philosophy.

Keywords: Aristotle; Neoplatonic natural philosophy; Plotinus; Porphyry

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