Simplicius: On Aristotle On the Heavens 1.1-4

Author: Simplicius,

Publisher: A&C Black

ISBN: 178093906X

Category: Philosophy

Page: 240

View: 1755

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In chapter 1 of On the Heavens Aristotle defines body, and then notoriously ruptures dynamics by introducing a fifth element, beyond Plato's four, to explain the rotation of the heavens, which, like nearly all Greeks, Aristotle took to be real, not apparent. Even a member of his school, Xenarchus, we are told, rejected his fifth element. The Neoplatonist Simplicius seeks to harmonise Plato and Aristotle. Plato, he says, thought that the heavens were composed of all four elements but with the purest kind of fire, namely light, predominating. That Plato would not mind this being called a fifth element is shown by his associating with the heavens the fifth of the five convex regular solids recognised by geometry. Simplicius follows Aristotle's view that one of the lower elements, fire, also rotates, as shown by the behaviour of comets. But such motion, though natural for the fifth elements, is super-natural for fire. Simplicius reveals that the Aristotelian Alexander of Aphrodisias recognised the need to supplement Aristotle and account for the annual approach and retreat of planets by means of Ptolemy's epicycles or eccentrics. Aristotle's philosopher-god is turned by Simplicius, following his teacher Ammonius, into a creator-god, like Plato's. But the creation is beginningless, as shown by the argument that, if you try to imagine a time when it began, you cannot answer the question, 'Why not sooner?' In explaining the creation, Simplicius follows the Neoplatonist expansion of Aristotle's four 'causes' to six. The final result gives us a cosmology very considerably removed from Aristotle's.
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Simplicius: On Aristotle On the Heavens 1.5-9

Author: Simplicius,

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 147250111X

Category: Philosophy

Page: 192

View: 2364

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Aristotle argues in On the Heavens 1.5-7 that there can be no infinitely large body, and in 1.8-9 that there cannot be more than one physical world. As a corollary in 1.9, he infers that there is no place, vacuum or time beyond the outermost stars. As one argument in favour of a single world, he argues that his four elements: earth, air, fire and water, have only one natural destination apiece. Moreover they accelerate as they approach it and acceleration cannot be unlimited. However, the Neoplatonist Simplicius, who wrote the commentary in the sixth century AD (here translated into English), tells us that this whole world view was to be rejected by Strato, the third head of Aristotle's school. At the same time, he tells us the different theories of acceleration in Greek philosophy.
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Simplicius: On Aristotle On the Heavens 3.1-7

Author: Simplicius,

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 1472501616

Category: Philosophy

Page: 192

View: 1474

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The subject of Aristotle's On the Heavens, Books 3-4, is the four elements of earth, air, fire and water, which exist below the heavens. Book 3, in chapters 1 to 7, frequently criticizes the Presocratic philosophers. Because of this, Simplicius' commentary is one of our main sources of quotations of the Presocratics. Ian Mueller's translation of this commentary gains added importance by enabling us to see the context which guided Simplicius' selection of Presocratic texts to quote. Simplicius also criticizes the lost commentary of the leading Aristotelian commentator, Alexander, and thereby gives us important information about that work. The English translation in this volume is accompanied by a detailed introduction, extensive commentary notes and a bibliography.
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Simplicius: On Aristotle On the Heavens 3.7-4.6

Author: Simplicius,

Publisher: A&C Black

ISBN: 1472501632

Category: Philosophy

Page: 224

View: 8174

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Commenting on the end of Aristotle's On the Heavens Book 3, Simplicius examines Aristotle's criticisms of Plato's theory of elemental chemistry in the Timaeus. Plato makes the characteristics of the four elements depend on the shapes of component corpuscles and ultimately on the arrangement of the triangles which compose them. Simplicius preserves and criticizes the contributions made to the debate in lost works by two other major commentators, Alexander the Aristotelian, and Proclus the Platonist. In Book 4, Simplicius identifies fifteen objections by Aristotle to Plato's views on weight in the four elements. He finishes Book 4 by elaborating Aristotle's criticisms of Democritus' theory of weight in the atoms, including Democritus' suggestions about the influence of atomic shape on certain atomic motions. This volume includes an English translation of Simplicius' commentary, a detailed introduction, extensive commentary notes and a bibliography.
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Simplicius: On Aristotle On the Heavens 2.1-9

Author: Simplicius,

Publisher: A&C Black

ISBN: 1472501136

Category: Philosophy

Page: 256

View: 6669

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Aristotle believed that the outermost stars are carried round us on a transparent sphere. There are directions in the universe and a preferred direction of rotation. The sun moon and planets are carried on different revolving spheres. The spheres and celestial bodies are composed of an everlasting fifth element, which has none of the ordinary contrary properties like heat and cold which could destroy it, but only the facility for uniform rotation. But this creates problems as to how the heavenly bodies create light, and, in the case of the sun, heat. The value of Simplicius' commentary on On the Heavens 2,1-9 lies both in its preservation of the lost comments of Alexander and in Simplicius' controversy with him. The two of them discuss not only the problem mentioned, but also whether soul and nature move the spheres as two distinct forces or as one. Alexander appears to have simplified Aristotle's system of 55 spheres down to seven, and some hints may be gleaned as to whether, simplifying further, he thinks there are seven ultimate movers, or only one.
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Simplicius: On Aristotle On the Heavens 2.10-14

Author: Simplicius,

Publisher: A&C Black

ISBN: 1472501152

Category: Philosophy

Page: 256

View: 2316

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Aristotle believed that the outermost stars are carried round us on a transparent sphere. There are directions in the universe and a preferred direction of rotation. The sun, moon and planets are carried on different revolving spheres. The spheres and celestial bodies are composed of an everlasting fifth element, which has none of the ordinary contrary properties like heat and cold which could destroy it, but only the facility for uniform rotation. But this creates problems as to how the heavenly bodies create light, and, in the case of the sun, heat. The topics covered in this part of Simplicius' commentary are: the speeds and distances of the stars; that the stars are spherical; why the sun and moon have fewer motions than the other five planets; why the sphere of the fixed stars contains so many stars whereas the other heavenly spheres contain no more than one (Simplicius has a long excursus on planetary theory in his commentary on this chapter); discussion of people's views on the position, motion or rest, shape, and size of the earth; that the earth is a relatively small sphere at rest in the centre of the cosmos.
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Simplicius: On Aristotle On the Heavens 1.3-4

Author: Simplicius,

Publisher: A&C Black

ISBN: 1472501705

Category: Philosophy

Page: 232

View: 8216

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This is the first English translation of Simplicius' responses to Philoponus' Against Aristotle on the Eternity of the World. The commentary is published in two volumes: Ian Mueller's previous book in the series, Simplicius: On Aristotle On the Heavens 1.2-3, and this book on 1.3-4. Philoponus, the Christian, had argued that Aristotle's arguments do not succeed. For all they show to the contrary, Christianity may be right that the heavens were brought into existence by the only divine being and one moment in time, and will cease to exist at some future moment. Simplicius upholds the pagan view that the heavens are eternal and divine, and argues that their eternity is shown by their astronomical movements coupled with certain principles of Aristotle. The English translation in this volume is accompanied by a detailed introduction, extensive commentary notes and a bibliography.
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Simplicius: On Aristotle On the Heavens 1.2-3

Author: Simplicius,

Publisher: A&C Black

ISBN: 1472501667

Category: Philosophy

Page: 208

View: 4516

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One of the arguments in Aristotles On the Heavens propounds that the world neither came to be nor will perish. This volume contains the pagan Neoplatonist Simplicius of Cilicias commentary on the first part of this this important work. The commentary is notable and unusual because Simplicius includes in his discussion lengthy representations of the Christian John Philoponus criticisms of Aristotle along with his own, frequently sarcastic, responses. This is the first complete translation into a modern language of Simplicius commentary, and is accompanied by a detailed introduction, extensive explanatory notes and a bibliography.
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Painting the Heavens

Art and Science in the Age of Galileo

Author: Eileen Reeves

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9780691009766

Category: Science

Page: 310

View: 5191

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The remarkable astronomical discoveries made by Galileo with the new telescope in 1609-10 led to his famous disputes with philosophers and religious authorities, most of whom found their doctrines threatened by his evidence for Copernicus's heliocentric universe. In this book, Eileen Reeves brings an art historical perspective to this story as she explores the impact of Galileo's heavenly observations on painters of the early seventeenth century. Many seventeenth-century painters turned to astronomical pastimes and to the depiction of new discoveries in their work, yet some of these findings imposed controversial changes in their use of religious iconography. For example, Galileo's discovery of the moon's rough topography and the reasons behind its "secondary light" meant rethinking the imagery surrounding the Virgin Mary's Immaculate Conception, which had long been represented in paintings by the appearance of a smooth, incandescent moon. By examining a group of paintings by early modern artists all interested in Galileo's evidence for a Copernican system, Reeves not only traces the influence of science on painting in terms of optics and content, but also reveals the painters in a conflict between artistic depiction and dogmatic representation. Reeves offers a close analysis of seven works by Lodovico Cigoli, Peter Paul Rubens, Francisco Pacheco, and Diego Velázquez. She places these artists at the center of the astronomical debate, showing that both before and after the invention of the telescope, the proper evaluation of phenomena such as moon spots and the aurora borealis was commonly considered the province of the painter. Because these scientific hypotheses were complicated by their connection to Catholic doctrine, Reeves examines how the relationship between science and art, and their mutual production of knowledge and authority, must themselves be seen in a broader context of theological and political struggle.
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