Proclus on Nature

Philosophy of Nature and Its Methods in Proclus’ Commentary on Plato’s Timaeus

Series:

Of Proclus’ immense philosophical system, the part concerning the natural world may well be the most fascinating. Traditional scholarship tends to downplay that part of Neoplatonism, in favour of idealism, but recently this attitude is changing. This study contributes to that development by showing how Proclus’ natural philosophy relates to theology, while remaining a science in its own right. Starting from his Commentary on Plato’s Timaeus, it presents a revision of Proclus’ metaphysics of nature and provides new insight into his surprisingly peripatetic philosophy of science, the role of mathematics, and the nature of discourse in natural philosophy. This book will be of interest both to students of the Platonic tradition, and to historians of natural science, metaphysics and epistemology.

E-Book: List price

EUR €151.00USD $186.00

Biographical Note

Marije Martijn, Ph.D. (2008) in Philosophy, Leiden University, is lecturer at the VU University Amsterdam. She has published on different aspects of Proclus' work and is currently working on the metaphysical foundations of his scientific aesthetics.

Review Quotes

"[...] scholars of late antique philosophy will be very grateful for the synthesis that Marije Martijn presents in this splendid new book on the subject. Philosophers who concentrate on Plato’s Timaeus itself, rather than its later reception, can also benefit from this book. [...] This is not an introductory book. It is, however, rich in erudition, philosophically rigorous, and highly original. In my view, Martijn’s first book announces her as a name to watch in the rapidly expanding field of late antique philosophy." Dirk Baltzly in BMCR, 20.4.2011

"[...] cette thèse est d'une extraordinaire richesse, d'une maîtrise incomparable, à la fois des concepts, et des auteurs, d'une érudition, sans commune mesure, dans leur maniement, leur évocation de l'essence de la Nature, au chapitre II, qu'au chapitre III, à propos de la méthode géométrique, là où elle part des définitions, des démonstrations, ou des axiomes, dans cette approche épistémologique très pointue, et au chapitre IV sur les mathématiques, les sens et la vue. Ce qui fait de l'ouvrage un instrument incomparable pour tous ceux qui voudraient entreprendre une recherche, à quelque niveau que soit sur le Commentaire sur le Timée de Proclus. Jean-Michel Charrue in Revue philosophique de Louvain 1/2012

Table of contents

I INTRODUCTION
I.2 Philosophy of nature as theology
I.3 Προψηλαφήματα - the prooemium of the Timaeus

II PLATONIC ΦΥΣΙΣ ACCORDING TO PROCLUS
II.1 Introduction
II.2 The essence of nature
II.3 Nature, soul, and the natural
II.4 The ontological level of Nature
II.5 Nature’s working
II.6 Conclusion

III THE PROOEMIUM: THE GEOMETRICAL METHOD OF PHYSIOLOGIA
III.1 Introduction – φυσιολογία, θεολογία, and the geometrical method of the Timaeus
III.2 The constituents of the geometrical method in the prooemium
III.3 After the starting points – Proclus takes stock

IV AFTER THE PROOEMIUM: MATHEMATICS, THE SENSES, AND LIFE
IV.1 Introduction
IV.2 Book III: Intermediate Philosophy of Nature and mathematics
IV.3 Books IV and V: Lower Philosophy of Nature, the Senses, and Life
IV.4 General conclusion
IV.5 Appendix: The Elements of Physics

V DISCOURSE AND REALITY: THE ΕΙΚΩΣ ΛΟΓΟΣ
V.1 Introduction
V.2 The εἰκὼς λόγος today – a selection
V.3 Proclus on the εἰκώς λόγος: preliminaries
V.4 The nature of the εἰκώς λόγος: resemblance
V.5 Unlikeness
V.6 A true and likely story
V.7 The practice of discourse: assimilation
V.8 In conclusion: φυσιολογία as scientific mimesis

VI CONCLUSION
VI.1 Introduction
VI.2 Chapter II: Nature
VI.3 Chapter III: Theological philosophy of nature
VI.4 Chapter IV: Mathematical, empirical, biological philosophy of nature
VI.5 Chapter V: The likely story


Readership

Historians of philosophy, primarily those interested in Neoplatonism and the philosophy of the commentators, but also those studying ancient natural science, philosophy of science, mathematics, logic, and theories of language.

Index Card

Collection Information