Body and Soul in Philoponus

The Monist 69 (3):370-382 (1986)
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For a true Platonist the nature of the soul is, in a sense, unproblematic. So too is its status. It is an immaterial entity, with all the attributes that that entails, and it is independent of any body with which it might, from time to time, be associated. And yet this extreme dualism must be modified in some way or other, if any account is to be given of the life and activities of a man, or any other living thing, at least some of which require a body for their exercise. The problems that produced are notorious. The purpose of this paper is to explore how some of them were formulated by one Platonist, John Philoponus of Alexandria, and some of the ways in which he attempted to solve them.



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