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The Greek Tradition

Directed by B. Bydén

From Hellenistic times very little material has survived with relevance to the Aristotelian texts on sense-perception. An important exception is a surviving treatise by Aristotle’s own student, Theophrastus, De sensibus (which was commented on by Priscian around the turn of the 5th century). Theophrastus’ views are also partly reported by later authors, especially Themistius (4th c.). From about 200 AD there is an important commentary on Aristotle’s De Sensu by Alexander of Aphrodisias, who also wrote two other works on the soul, the De anima and the so-called Mantissa, and there are several late ancient commentaries on the De Anima (all in the CAG series). Even though these texts have now been available in critical editions for more than a century, they have not been extensively studied, especially as regards the question of sensation.

The first commentaries on the Parva naturalia date from the Byzantine period (Michael of Ephesus, 12th century, and a few later paraphrases). In addition, the Byzantines carried on the ancient tradition of commenting on the De anima; several compendia and smaller treatises were also composed on these subjects.

For conceptualization we have further material from late Antiquity. This includes numerous commentaries on Categories, De Interpretatione, Posterior Analytics and Ethics. After the famous account of universals put forth by Porphyry in his Isagoge, the commentaries on this text become also an essential source for theories about conceptualization, mainly in the Medieval tradition. From the Byzantine period there is an abundance of material part of which is still unedited. Texts on the Organon include commentaries and various compendia (e.g. Anonymus Heiberg, Nikephoros Blemmydes, Epitome Logica). An important and understudied text is Eustratios of Nicaea’s (early 12th c.) commentary on Posterior Analytics 2.

Page Manager: Andreas Ott|Last update: 10/28/2016
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