By Christoph Helmig

Types and ideas is the 1st finished examine of the relevant position of ideas and inspiration acquisition within the Platonic culture. It units up a stimulating discussion among Plato s innatist procedure and Aristotle s even more empirical reaction. the first goal is to investigate and check the innovations with which Platonists answered to Aristotle s (and Alexander of Aphrodisias ) rival thought. The monograph culminates in a cautious reconstruction of the flowery try undertaken by way of the Neoplatonist Proclus (6th century advert) to plot a scientific Platonic concept of thought acquisition

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This argument is reasonable if we consider that Plato (and Aristotle) defined knowledge according to its objects. 63 However, for later Platonists, Forms (innate knowledge) were taken to be the basis of all our cognitive processes. 65 62 63 64 65 At least as far as the discursive processes of the soul are concerned. In this study, I shall not be concerned with the various problems regarding Neoplatonic theories of intellect (nous). This is the thesis of Scott (1995). See below ch. VI on the crucial role of doxa in Proclus’ epistemology.

See above ch. 2 [A-7]. In what follows I shall discuss, alongside Syrianus and Proclus, Alcinous, Plotinus, Porphyry, Hermias of Alexandria. 34 Concepts – (Ancient) Problems and Solutions ground of this criticism stands the conviction that we can only acquire reliable concepts if we possess innate knowledge. It has sometimes been suggested that the criticism of abstractionism only concerns abstraction proper (aphairesis), whereas collection is not affected by it. However, this does not seem to be quite right.

3–4. On induction in Aristotle, see below ch. 3. See de Libera (1999), 224ff. Different models of concept acquisition in antiquity 31 differ slightly in that the Greek word for induction (epagein) suggests that particulars are adduced,75 while in collection they are assembled. Nevertheless with verbs like episunagein, which was employed for the process of collection,76 both induction and collection seem almost to coincide. This is warranted by the fact that later authors (such as Themistius) use language of collection in their reading of Aristotelian induction (An.

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