This book examines the place of physical bodies, a major topic of natural philosophy that has occupied philosophers since antiquity. Aristotle’s conceptions of place (topos) and the void (kenon), as expounded in the Physics, were systematically repudiated by John Philoponus (ca. 485-570) in his philosophical commentary on that work. The primary philosophical concern of the present study is the in-depth investigation of the concept of place established by Philoponus, putting forward the claim that the latter offers satisfactory solutions to problems raised by Aristotle and the Aristotelian tradition regarding the nature of place. Philoponus’ account proposes a specific physical model of how physical bodies exist and move in place, and regards place as an intrinsic reality of the physical cosmos. Due to exactly this model, his account may be considered as strictly pertaining to the study of physics, thereby constituting a remarkable episode in the history of philosophy and science.
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Ioannis Papachristou holds a PhD in Philosophy from Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. He is a post-doctorate researcher in the Project ‘Sourcebook of Byzantine Philosophy’ at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens.
Table des matières :
Chapter1. Form, Method and Structure of the Physics Commentary
1.1 The form of the Physics commentary
1.2 A note on Vitelli’s edition
1.3 The form of the commentary and Philoponus’ philosophical contributions
1.4 Levels of interpretation
1.5 Dividing Aristotle’s Physics into lectures
1.6 Introduction to the digressions
1.7 The argument of the digressions
1.8 A note on Philoponus’ sources and targets in the digressions
Chapter 2. Place as Extension: Problems and Solutions
2.1 Aristotle’s rejection of place as extension
2.2 Themistius’ exegesis of Aristotle’s argument
2.3 Philoponus’ exegesis of Aristotle’s argument
2.4 Philoponus refuting the infinity of places
2.5 Philoponus refuting changing and coinciding places
Chapter 3. The Ontology of Place According to Philoponus
3.1 Three-dimensionality of place
3.2 Place as measure
3.3 Place and the ‘violation’ of nature
3.4 The empty universe
3.5 Place, substance, qualities and quantity
Chapter 4. Philoponus on Void as Place
4.1 The concept of plērōsis
4.2 The void is place
4.3 Motion through void and motion through a corporeal medium
4.4 Motion of bodies in Philoponus’ cosmological system
4.5 Philoponus on physical place
Chapter 5. Philoponus against Aristotle and the Peripatetic Tradition
5.1 Aristotle’s definition of place
5.2 The equality between place and the bodies in it
5.3 The immobility of place
5.4 Motion through surfaces
5.5 The place of the heavens
Informations pratiques :
Ioannis Papachristou, John Philoponus on Physical Place, Louvain, Leuven University Press, 2021 (Ancient and Medieval Philosophy – Series 1, 60). 193 p., 234 × 156 × 14 mm. ISBN : 9789462702745. Prix : 69,50 euros.
Source : Leuven University Press
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