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John Philoponus (/fɨˈlɒpənəs/; Ancient Greek: Ἰ !""#$ ὁ %&'()*"*$; Ara+ic: ,aḥy- al./aḥ01; 234 5 6748 also kno0n as John the Grammarian or John of Ale9andria, 0as a :hristian andAristotelian commentator and the author of a considera+le num+er of philosophical treatises and theolo;ical 0orks< A ri;orous, sometimes polemical 0riter and an ori;inal thinker 0ho 0as contro=ersial in his o0n time, John Philoponus +roke from the Aristotelian./eoplatonic tradition, >uestionin; methodolo;y and e=entually leadin; to empiricism in the natural sciences< ?e 0as posthumously condemned as a heretic +y the @rthodo9 :hurch in AB4.BC +ecause of 0hat 0as percei=ed of as a tritheistic interpretation of the Drinity< ?is 0orks 0ere 0idely printed in Eatin translations in Furope from the C6th century on0ards< ?is criti>ue of Aristotle in the Physics commentary 0as a maGor influence on Gio=anni Pico della Hirandola and Galileo Galilei, 0ho cited Philoponus su+stantially in his 0orks<ICJ
IhideJ • • o o • • o o • • • •
C Eife K Writin;s K<C Philosophical :ommentaries K<K Dheolo;ical Dreaties L ?istorio;raphical :ontri+ution 2 Mi+lio;raphy 2<C Works 2<K Dranslations 6 Nee also A Oeferences 7 Further readin; B F9ternal links
Possi+ly +orn into a :hristian family, nothin; is kno0n of his early life< Philoponus studied at the school of Ale9andria and +e;an pu+lishin; from a+out 6C4< ?e 0as a pupil and sometimeamanuensis to the /eoplatonic philosopher Ammonius ?ermiae, 0ho had studied at Athens under Proclus<IKJ
an attack of the :hristian doctrine of :reation< Dhe intellectual +attle a.enuine e9periments<I2J Dhe style of his commentaries and his conclusions made Philoponus unpopular 0ith his collea. althou. o+Gect is not +ased on its 0ei.i=en +y Ammonius.y imparted in it +y the mo=er.ely i.aniUed state formin. and he appears to ha=e ceased his study of philosophy around 6L4. and ceases mo=ement 0hen that ener.hts.hts of Greek philosophers and Masil the Great< Qn this 0ork he transfers his theory of impetus to the motion of the planets.ress from a state of chaos to an or.ht t0o 0ei. L8 and the stars are not di=ine<I2J With these principles Philoponus 0ent after his ri=al. 0hereas Aristotle had proposed different e9planations for the motion of hea=enly +odies and for earthly proGectiles< Dhus PhiloponusP theolo.ht +ased hea=ily on three premises: C8 Dhe uni=erse is a product of one sin. in his commentaries and criti>ues of AristotlePs On the Soul andPhysics< Qn the latter 0ork Philoponus +ecame one of the earliest thinkers to reGect AristotlePs dynamics and propose the Rtheory of impetusP: i<e< an o+Gect mo=es and continues to mo=e +ecause of an ener.niUed in the history of science as the first attempt at a unified theory of dynamics< Another of his maGor theolo.ue that all material o+Gects 0ere +rou.y instead< Around 664 he 0rote a theolo. and our =ie0 may +e completely corro+orated +y actual o+ser=ation more effecti=ely than +y any sort of =er+al ar.ical 0ork On the Creation of the World as a commentary on the Mi+lePs story of creation usin. a theory 0hich formed the +asis of pa.htful theory can +e found the first step to0ards the concept of inertia in modern physics.M8< Around 66L Philoponus .y< I2J ?e ar.s indicate that he used the same didactic methods of reasonin.ht ILJ Qn 6K3 Philoponus 0rote his criti>ue Against Proclus in 0hich he systematically defeats e=ery ar.le God.ument put for0ard for the eternity of the 0orld. +y >uestionin. the insi.s are +ased on lectures .ht< I2J ?e also held that God created all matter 0ith its physical properties and 0ith natural la0s that 0ould allo0 matter to pro. +ut . that modern science uses and that he performed . de=otin.nored at the time +ecause he 0as too radical in his reGection of Aristotle< Mut this I=ie0 of AristotleJ is completely erroneous.ues and fello0 philosophers.PhiloponusP early 0ritin. AristotleTsT =ie0 of dynamics and cosmolo. K8 the hea=ens and the earth ha=e the same physical properties.radually he esta+lished his o0n independent thinkin. +ody is in=ersely proportional to its 0ei. decade< ?e introduced a ne0 period of scientific thou. Nimplicius of :ilicia. +y God ( Arbiter.ued that motion can occur in a =oid and that the =elocity of a fallin.hts.ument< For if you let fall from the same hei.ainst eternalism +ecame one of PhiloponusP maGor preoccupations and dominated se=eral of his pu+lications (some no0 lost8 o=er the follo0in.y is e9hausted< Qn this erroneous +ut insi.h PhiloponusP theory 0as lar.ical 0ork is reco. himself to theolo.ical concerns 0as to ar. the present uni=erse< I2J What remains of his 0ritin. 6KA.ht into +ein. one many times hea=ier than the other you 0ill see that the ratio of the times re>uired for the motion does not depend IsolelyJ on the 0ei. +ut that the difference in time is =ery small< <<< SJohn PhiloponusT refutation of the Aristotelian claim that the elapsed time for a fallin.
and many of his 0orks continued to perse=ere and +e studied +y the Ara+s< Nome of his 0orks continued to circulate in Furope in Greek or Eatin =ersions.ous to the union of the soul and +ody in human +ein. consistin. matter and dynamics< On the $ternity of the World against Proclus (De aeternitate mundi contra Proclum8ICAJ On the $ternity of the World against Aristotle (De aeternitate mundi contra Aristotelem8IC7J A refutation of AristotleTs doctrines of the fifth element and the eternity of motion and time. accordin.y< • • • • • • • • • On words with different meanings in virtue of a difference of accent (De vocabulis quae diversum significatum exhibent secundum differentiam accentus 8I6J Commentary on Aristotle's On !eneration and Corru"tion IAJ Commentary on Aristotle's De Anima#I7J Commentary on Aristotle's Categories#IBJ Commentary on Aristotle's Prior Analytics#I3J Commentary on Aristotle's Posterior Analytics#IC4J Commentary on Aristotle's PhysicsICCJICKJICLJIC2JIC6J PhiloponusT most important commentary. +ut in his o0n time and after0ards he 0as translated into Nyriac and Ara+ic. John Philoponus 0as declared to ha=e held heretical =ie0s of the Drinity and 0as made anathema in AB4. chemistry. .ical.s on the Drinity around this time< After his death. and theolo. and influenced Mona=enture< Dhe theory of impetus 0as taken up +y Muridan in the C2th century< Writings John Philoponus 0rote at least 24 0orks on a 0ide array of su+Gects includin. space. physics.ical contri+utions to the :ouncil of :onstantinopleconcernin.es Aristotle on time.C< Dhis limited the spread of his ideas in the follo0in.rammar. Nyriac te9t 0ith Eatin trans< . mathematics. in 0hich he challen. :hristolo. united +ut di=ided.s and coincides 0ith the miaphysite school of thou. =oid. centuries. is analo.ht +ooks< • • • • • • Commentary on Aristotle's %eteorology#ICBJ On the Contingency of the World (De contingentia mundi8IC3JIK4J On the &se and Construction of the AstrolabeIKCJ Dhe oldest e9tant Greek treatise on the astrola+e< Commentary on 'icomachus' (ntroduction to Arithmetic IKKJ On the Creation of the World (De o"ificio mundi8IKLJ A theolo.made some theolo.y< ?is doctrine on :hristPs duality.philosophical commentary on the :reation story in the Mook of Genesis< Arbiter (Diait)t)s8IK2JIK6J A philosophical Gustification of monophysitism< /ot e9tant in Greek. to 0hich in :hrist remain t0o united su+stances. of at least ei.ht< ?e also produced 0ritin.
since the self. there is a rationalist conclusion 0hich emphasiUes a relation +et0een self and truth 0hich leads to the discussion of the nature of kno0led. Aristotle operates 0ith the idea of places. for instance. in their form and matter< Qn Physics. place and =arious kinds of chan. PhiloponusP concept of su+stance refers to the material o+Gects< :oncernin. it< @ne of .a0areness of perception is di=orced from the irrational soul<Dherefore. the third of the se=en elements criteria< Dhere are =arious interpretations of the theory of mi9ture.e is identical to its o+Gect. the discussion of space. of the acti=e intellect<IK3J @n one hand.eneous space 0ith the Aristotelian system< IKBJ Dhe ar.h in the a+stract manner.e< For e9ample.h the identification of the intellect and its o+Gect< Hore specifically. made him +e percei=ed as an inno=ati=e thinker 0ho influenced later Oenaissance scholars.ard.e there are differences.s.< Qn other 0ords.ument made +y Philoponus is that su+stances +y themsel=es re>uire some determinate >uantity for their +ein. PhiloponusT idea of perspecti=e si. Gianfranceso Pico della Hirandola and Galileo Galilei< Dhus. perception deals only 0ith material thin.• On the *rinity (De trinitate8IKAJ Dhe main source for a reconstruction of PhiloponusT trinitarian doctrine< Philosophical Commentaries Dhe commentaries of the late anti>uity and early Hiddle A.< Nimilarly to Aristotle. the idea of perception a0areness or ho0 0e are a0are that 0e are percei=in. the kno0led.es aimed to teach audience< Qn that re. and on the other. there is the acti=e intellect. PhiloponusP claim that from e=ery point in space is possi+le to dra0 identical fi.ures.ical a0areness< Althou. +ut it seems that Philoponus is rather refinin. +ut dismisses the e9istence of space< Dhe idea that came from Plato and 0as de=eloped +y Aristotle has +een e=ol=ed +y Philoponus< Philoponus attempts to com+ine the idea of homo. the repetiti=e nature of PhiloponusP commentaries demonstrates his peda.o.e< Accordin. the understandin. to this =ie0. Philoponus analyUes the doctrine of the intellect< Dhe author (Philoponus or pseudo. in this reflecti=e philosophy.and in contrast to Plato 0hose metaphysics accepted immaterial su+stances.s<IL4J Philoponus has raised the central >uestion of the scientific and philosophical AristotlePs 0ork on chemistry< Dhe 0ork called On !eneration and Corru"tion e9amines the >uestion of ho0 is the mi9ture (chemical com+ination8 possi+leV PhiloponusP contri+ution to the topic is in his ne0 definition of potential. arises throu. 0ho reGected the immaterial thin. entitled De (ntellectu.PhiloponusV8 sets the theory on the role and functionin. Philoponus is chiefly focused on the concept in >uestion< Host of PhiloponusP early philosophical 0orks stri=e to define the distinction +et0een matter.nifies the concept of space as immaterial three. AristotlePs approach than reGectin.ue that in kinds of chan.dimensional medium in 0hich o+Gects are located<IKBJ Qn the third +ook of De Anima. the commentary Against Aristotle on the $ternity of the World represents a standardiUed description of Aristotelian natural philosophy< IK7J Moth Aristotle and Philoponus ar. e9tension.
[ZQQ.ical 0ork is Arbiter< Dhe 0ork 0as 0ritten shortly +efore the Necond :ouncil of :onstantinople of 66L<ILLJ Qt +ecame famous in re. We ?aas. Part QQQ Merlin: :al=ary. Philoponus and his contemporaries.ard to its doctrine on resurrection< Nimilarly to ideas presented in Physics. and other architectural masters< ibliography Wor!s • @n 0ords 0ith different meanin.ht into +ein. C34C< :ommentary on /icomachusT Qntroduction to Arithmetic. :AG [Z. Merlin: Oeimer.hted +y Eeon Mattista Al+erti. in opposition to :halcedonian authors 0ho stro=e to reach a middle . particularly the one hi. Merlin: Oeimer. ed< H< Wallies.ical Xopus ma. :ommentaria in Aristotelem Graeca (hencefor0ard :AG8 [QZ K. CB37< :ommentary on AristotleTs R:ate. CBA7< .round< Influence on Later History Writing PhiloponusP =ie0 of space as homo. Merlin: Oeimer. ed< E<W< Waly. :AG [QQQ C. :AG [ZQ.interpreters of PhilophonusP 0ork on the theory of mi9ture.yP.hli. C343< :ommentary on AristotleTs RPhysicsP.s8 0ill +e e=entually +rou. of Aristotle< ?o0e=er. :AG [QQQ K. ed< H< ?ayduck.eneity is influenced +y the ?ellenic teachin.numY stands in the line 0ith Nt< :yril of Ale9andria and Ne=erus of Antioch<IL2J Philoponus asserted the understandin.uided the Oenaissance theory of perspecti=e. ed< ?< Zitelli. Merlin: Oeimer. ed< A< Musse. ed< H< Wallies.el. CBB7VBB< :ommentary on AristotleTs RHeteorolo. Nimplicius of :ilicia and Ntrato de=eloped this concept further<IKBJ Dhis concept . CBA2/A6. Philoponus in the 0ork titled Arbiter states that our corrupted +odies (material thin. of :hrist as a di=ine and a human. C346< :ommentary on AristotleTs RPosterior AnalyticsP. Merlin: Oeimer. :AG [QZ C. ed< ?< Zitelli.s in =irtue of a difference of accent (We =oca+ulis >uae di=ersum si. American Philosophical Nociety Hemoirs C6C. implies that Xno element can possess a >uality essential to it e9cept to a superlati=e e9tentY<ILCJILKJ Theological Treaties PhiloponusP maGor :hristolo. (matter and form8 +y God< IL2J Historiographical Contribution Relation to Contemporaries John PhiloponusP :hristolo. :AG [QQQ L. CB37< :ommentary on AristotleTs RWe AnimaP ed< H< ?ayduck. Philadelphia: American Philosophical Nociety.nificatum e9hi+ent secundum differentiam accentus8. CB3B< :ommentary on AristotleTs RPrior AnalyticsP. Merlin: Oeimer.oriesP. Part Q/QQ Wesel: A< Ma. Merlin: Oeimer. C3BL< • • • • • • • • :ommentary on AristotleTs R@n Generation and :orruptionP. ed< O< ?oche.
retrie=ed CK January K4CL 6< Jump up# Fd< E<W< Waly. ed< W< Oeichardt.A • /ote the influence of PhiloponusT statement on Galileo (CALB8 *wo 'ew Sciences ^ Jump up to:a b c d e Wa=id :< Eind+er. (eds< C36B8 A Source 8oo9 in !ree9 Science p<KK4.vol .: Deu+ner. Meirut: Dypo. not e9tant. 0ith se=eral chan.es< :am+rid. pp< CC5.istorians.2BKLC.o Press p<L46QNM/ 4. Eondon: Wuck0orth. CB37< Ar+iter (Wiait\t\s te9t 0ith Eatin trans< A< Nanda.KKA.raphia :atholica PP<Noc<Jesu<. C3L4< Translations • • • • @n AristotleTs Physics K. fra. C3B7< Hore translations are listed here "ee also • MyUantine science References C< Jump up# M< Hitro=ic: Eeon Matista Al+erti and the ?omo. Eondon: Wuck0orth..in *he +ournal of the Society of Architectural . C332< :orollaries on Place and Zoid. trans< A<O< Eacey.2BKLL.33 85C5 to A5D5 <0=3 ]ni=ersity of :hica. ed< ?< Oa+e. CB33. C33L< @n AristotleTs Physics L./. EeipUi. (C6 Harch C3B48. Philadelphia: American Philosophical Nociety C3BL .eligious.o Press. %iddle Ages. QNM/ 37B. Eondon: Wuck0orth. (C33K8 *he 8eginnings of Western Science: *he $uro"ean Scientific *radition in Philoso"hical.4. HA: ?ar=ard ]ni=ersity Press.ainst Aristotle on the Fternity of the World. @puscula monophysitica Qoannis Philoponi.ainst Proclus (We aeternitate mundi contra Proclum8. Science in the 4.and (nstitutional Context. repr< ?ildesheim: @lms.4.'o 0123304-"502060/745 K< L< Jump up# :hisholm C3CC< Jump up# Horris O< :ohen and Q<F< Wra+kin. trans< W< Furley.: M<G< Deu+ner.enity of Npace. C33C< A. trans< H< Fd0ards.ainst Aristotle (We aeternitate mundi contra Aristotelem8.KKA. C3B2< @n the Fternity of the World a. American Philoso"hical Society %emoirs C6C. EeipUi. ]ni=ersity of :hica.ments reconstr< and trans< :< Wild+er. as referenced +y Wa=id :< Eind+er. Eondon: Wuck0orth.• • • • @n the Fternity of the World a. @n the :reation of the World (We opificio mundi8.e.
On Aristotle's Physics Eondon Wuck0orth C33L Jump up# W< Furley Philo"onus. C3B2< Jump up# :< Wild+er.Against Aristotle on the $ternity of the World Eondon: Wuck0orth. EeipUi.On Aristotle's Physics Eondon Wuck0orth C332 Jump up# P< Eettinck Philo"onus. An Arabic summary of a lost wor9 of +ohn Philo"onus.: M<G< Deu+ner CB33 repr< ?ildesheim: @lms. C34C< Jump up# N< Pines. Philo"onus.A< 7< B< 3< C4< CC< CK< CL< C2< C6< CA< C7< CB< C3< Jump up# Fd< ?< Zitelli Commentaria in Aristotelem !raeca [QZ Merlin Oeimer.[ZQQ Merlin Oeimer CBB7 Jump up# A<O< Eacey Philo"onus On Aristotle's Physics Eondon Wuck0orth C33L Jump up# H< Fd0ards Philo"onus.Commentaria in Aristotelem !raeca [QQQ Merlin Oeimer. C3B7< Jump up# Fd< H< ?ayduckCommentaria in Aristotelem !raeca [QZ Merlin Oeimer.Corollaries on Place and >oid Eondon Wuck0orth C33C Jump up# Fd< ?< Oa+e. CB37 Jump up# Fd< H< ?ayduck.Commentaria in Aristotelem !raeca [Z Merlin Oeimer CB37 Jump up# Fd< A< Musse.Commentaria in Aristotelem !raeca [QQQ Merlin Oeimer C346 Jump up# Fd< H< WalliesCommentaria in Aristotelem !raeca [QQQ Merlin Oeimer C343 Jump up# Fd< ?< Zitelli Commentaria in Aristotelem !raeca [ZQ. CB3B Jump up# Fd< H< Wallies.(srael Oriental Studies 2 <7?2 "g /236=2@ .