5957Re: Agent intellect
- Mar 2, 2013Maybe 'Aristotelian rendering of Plotinus' sounds too stong - what I meant was that the Arabic Plotinus seems to be concerned with certain Aristotelian questions and is adding commentary on the Plotinian perspective based on a familiarity with Aristotle's works, adding Aristotelian terminology not found in the Plotinian passage, although the interesting example below, while being expanded discussion on an Aristotelian question, admittedly seems more like a standard Platonic argument to the Aristotelian problem, not much in the way of extra Aristotelian elements.
> M.C. I'm afraid I don't believe either of these claims is accurate. The
> only discussion in the Theology of the soul as the form of the body, as
> far as I can tell occurs at p. 55 Badawi, and closely follows Plotinus's
> discussion at Ennead IV 7 8.5. Like Plotinus (and Porphyry, for that
> matter, who wrote a treatise against Aristotle on the subject), the author
> rejects the concept, or at least severely qualifies it. Cf. Theology II,
> 71, p. 211 Lewis: "If the soul is a form, adhering and not
> separating...then how does she withdraw in sleep, and separate from the
> body ..if the soul were a perfection of the body qua body, she would not
> separate from it and would not know the remote...and that is not so."
> Plotinus' other main discussion of the notion of the soul as entelechy
> (Enn. 4, 2, 1) has no parallel in the Theology.
> Since the Theology passes itself off as being written by Aristotle, it has
> to contain some echoes of Aristotle to make the forgery credible. But its
> most characteristic elements - creation of the world ex nihilo and outside
> of time, separability of the soul, doctrine of the First principle as pure
> being, doctrine of emanation - have nothing to do with Aristotle and are
> purely Neoplatonic. Neoplatonism had, of course, integrated a number of
> Aristotelian doctrines, so it's not surprising if the Neoplatonica Arabica
> contain some traces of them. But they are far from being the dominant
> aspect, These writings were, in fact, invented to supplement Aristotle by
> providing a Neoplatonic-style theology that was absent in his theory.
> Peter Adamson will, I hope, correct me if I'm wrong.
> Best, Mike
> Michael Chase
> CNRS UPR 76
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