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Open Access What Has Aristotelian Dialectic to Offer a Neoplatonist? A Possible Sample of Iamblichus at Simplicius on the Categories 12,10-13,12

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What Has Aristotelian Dialectic to Offer a Neoplatonist? A Possible Sample of Iamblichus at Simplicius on the Categories 12,10-13,12

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Abstract Simplicius in Cat. 12,10-13,12 presents an interesting justification for the study of Aristotle’s Categories, based in Neoplatonic psychology and metaphysics. I suggest that this passage could be regarded as a testimonium to Iamblichus’ reasons for endorsing Porphyry’s selection of the Categories as an introductory text of Platonic philosophy. These Iamblichean arguments, richly grounded in Neoplatonic metaphysics and psychology, may have exercised an influence comparable to Porphyry’s.

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19. FN1 1)See for example Ebbesen 1990, 2005; Newton 2008; Karamanolis 2006; Gerson 2005. On the early Platonist interpretation of the Categoriesin particular, see Tarrant 2008.
20. FN2 2)See Chiaradonna 2002, 2005; Strange 1987; De Haas 2001; Evangeliou 1988.
21. FN3 3)While Alexandrians following Ammonius agree on ascribing the synthetic solution (words + concepts + referents) to Iamblichus, they disagree on which earlier commentators took which partial view (for example, Olympiodorus ascribes the verbal interpretation to Porphyry and the conceptualist interpretation to Alexander, while Philoponus ascribes the conceptualist interpretation to Porphyry and the verbal interpretation to Alexander).

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Affiliations: 1: The University of British Columbia


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