Aristotle’s Topics in the Greek Neoplatonic Commentaries on the Categories

Peitho 5 (1):91-118 (2014)
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This paper lists and examines the explicit references to Aristotle’s Topics in the Greek Neoplatonic commentaries on the Categories. The references to the Topics by Porphyry, Dexippus, Ammonius, Simplicius, Olympiodorus, Philoponus and David are listed according the usual prolegomena to Aristotle’s works. In particular, the paper reconstructs David ’s original thesis about the proponents of the title Pre-Topics for the Categories and compares Ammonius’, Simplicius’ and Olympiodorus’ doxographies about the postpraedicamenta. Moreover, the study identifies two general trends. The first one is that all the commentators after Proclus share the same general view about: the authenticity of the Topics, Aristotle’s writing style in them, the part of philosophy to which they belong, their purpose, their usefulness and their place in the reading order. The second one is that whereas Porphyry, Dexippus and Simplicius use the Topics as an aid to understanding the Categories, Ammonius, Olympiodorus and David do not.



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Chiara Militello
Università degli Studi di Catania

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