Aristotle's De spiritu as a Critique of the Doctrine of pneuma in Plato and His Predecessors

In: Mnemosyne
Authors: Bos 1 and Ferwerda 2
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  • 1 Vrije Universiteit, Faculteit der Wijsbegeerte, De Boelelaan 1105, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • 2 Stationsweg 79, 6711 PL Ede, The Netherlands

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Abstract

The treatise De spiritu of the Corpus Aristotelicum deserves better treatment than it has received since W. Jaeger in his 1913 article rejected its authenticity and dated it one hundred years after Aristotle. In this paper the authors argue that De spiritu defends purely Aristotelian viewpoints against persons like Plato and Empedocles, who held respiration to be the most important vital process. Most of the De spiritu is directed against the pneuma doctrine of Plato's Timaeus. The 'Aristogenes' mentioned in De spiritu 2 is either Plato 'the son of Ariston' or a contemporary pupil of Plato and Aristotle.

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