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Proclus' Criticism Of Aristotle's Theory Of Abstraction And Concept Formation In Analytica Posteriora II 19

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Chapter Summary

Proclus' interest in Aristotle can be traced back to the time when he studied in Alexandria under a certain Olympiodorus. As we learn from his biographer Marinus, the Neoplatonist must have been a brilliant student with an exceptional memory. There is, however, a small number of passages in Proclus and Hermias of Alexandria, where the term is used in a positive, that is, 'Platonic' or Neoplatonic' sense. Whenever Proclus uses hysterogenes with a positive connotation to signify derived 'Platonic' or 'Neoplatonic' concepts, he does so against the background of his criticism of Aristotle, who according to Proclus already speaks about the hysterogenes in De anima. In contrast to Aristotle, however, the 'Neoplatonic' concept is not exclusively derived from the sensibles, but is an image of the innate reason-principles which comes into being when by means of sense perception the process of recollection is instigated.

Keywords: Alexandria; Aristotle; Neoplatonist; Olympiodorus; Proclus



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