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The Heteroousians And Philosophical Theories Of Names

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Chapter Summary

Platonist interpretations of the Cratylus and its naturalist view of names were influenced by the Stoics. This chapter argues that the Mesoplatonist and Neoplatonist writings suggested by some scholars as the sources for the Heteroousian theory had only a very remote influence upon them. It contends that if Platonist speculations on names had any influence on the Heteroousians, it was mediated through Philo of Alexandria and Eusebius of Caesarea. Yet even in these cases there are only scattered points of contact, and these not without considerable modification. The chapter also argues that neither Philo nor Eusebius had any influence on the Heteroousians in the initial formulations of their theory of names. Yet it suggests that Eunomius's later theory of the origin of names is an adaptation of Philo's similar theory.

Keywords: Cratylus; Eunomius's theory of names; Eusebius of Caesarea; Heteroousians; Philo of Alexandria; Platonist tradition



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