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The Theory of materia prima in Marsilio Ficino's Platonic Theology

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This paper is an examination of the theory of materia prima of the fifteenth century Platonist Marsilio Ficino. It limits its discussion of Ficino's theory to the ontological and epistemic status of prime matter in his Platonic Theology. Ficino holds a "robust" theory of prime matter that makes two fundamental assertions: First, prime matter exists independent of form, and second, it is, at least in principle, intelligible. Ficino's theory of prime matter is framed in this paper with a discussion of the divergence among Scholastic philosophers over the nature of prime matter.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Philosophy, The CUNY Graduate Center


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