The article focuses on the debates on universals in the Aristotelian tradition from about 50 BC to AD 200. Building on a passage from Dexippus’ commentary On Categories, the author argues that Boethus of Sidon and Alexander of Aphrodisias should be seen as the key figures in these debates. The later Neoplatonist commentator Dexippus levels Boethus’ and Alexander’s views as entailing a quasi-nominalist position on universals. However, a detail scrutiny of the extant sources offers a different picture. As emerges from the testimonia preserved in Simplicius’ commentary On Categories, Boethus held an extensionalist view according to which universals are nothing but collection of individuals: thus, genera and species have no substantial status in themselves. This position is closely connected with Boethus’ view on the status of the immanent form, which he rejects outside the category of substance. Alexander’s position can be seen as an Aristotelian essentialist reaction against Boethus’ nominalist reading of Aristotle. Building on recent scholarship, the author focuses on Alexander’s Quaestio 1.3, where Alexander’s essentialist account of universals is presented in detail and connected with some crucial aspects of his physics. The last part of the chapter focuses on Dexippus’ and Simplicius’ accounts of the previous Peripatetic commentators. As the author argues, Dexippus and Simplicius Neoplatonist philosophical background explains why they incline to level Boethus’ and Alexander’s views.

Chiaradonna, R. (2013). Alexander, Boethus and the Other Peripatetics”: The theory of Universals in the Aristotelian Commentators. In Chiaradonna R (a cura di), Universals in Ancient Philosophy (pp. 299-328). Pisa : Edizioni della Normale.

Alexander, Boethus and the Other Peripatetics”: The theory of Universals in the Aristotelian Commentators

CHIARADONNA, RICCARDO
2013-01-01

Abstract

The article focuses on the debates on universals in the Aristotelian tradition from about 50 BC to AD 200. Building on a passage from Dexippus’ commentary On Categories, the author argues that Boethus of Sidon and Alexander of Aphrodisias should be seen as the key figures in these debates. The later Neoplatonist commentator Dexippus levels Boethus’ and Alexander’s views as entailing a quasi-nominalist position on universals. However, a detail scrutiny of the extant sources offers a different picture. As emerges from the testimonia preserved in Simplicius’ commentary On Categories, Boethus held an extensionalist view according to which universals are nothing but collection of individuals: thus, genera and species have no substantial status in themselves. This position is closely connected with Boethus’ view on the status of the immanent form, which he rejects outside the category of substance. Alexander’s position can be seen as an Aristotelian essentialist reaction against Boethus’ nominalist reading of Aristotle. Building on recent scholarship, the author focuses on Alexander’s Quaestio 1.3, where Alexander’s essentialist account of universals is presented in detail and connected with some crucial aspects of his physics. The last part of the chapter focuses on Dexippus’ and Simplicius’ accounts of the previous Peripatetic commentators. As the author argues, Dexippus and Simplicius Neoplatonist philosophical background explains why they incline to level Boethus’ and Alexander’s views.
978-88-7642-484-7
Chiaradonna, R. (2013). Alexander, Boethus and the Other Peripatetics”: The theory of Universals in the Aristotelian Commentators. In Chiaradonna R (a cura di), Universals in Ancient Philosophy (pp. 299-328). Pisa : Edizioni della Normale.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11590/171298
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