Philoponus and the Development of his Philosophical Thoughts
: Philosophical thoughts in ancient Iran
eternity of the world
Philoponus, the neo-Platonic Alexandrian philosopher of later periods, had become so knowledgeable in most sciences of his period that some gave him the nickname of all-knower (‘allamah). However, this was not the only distinctive feature of this thinker of Alexandrian school. His philosophical thoughts underwent such massive fluctuations that some have praised his courage in criticizing and rejecting the views of his predecessors at the level of a hero and considered him as the forerunner of critical thinking, while some others have introduced him as a coward and greedy thinker who, for fear of his life and love of material things, yielded to the coercions of the Christian-Roman government and gave up his own philosophical achievements. The present paper aims to unveil the secret character of this philosopher with reference to the invaluable works of contemporary researchers and take a step, however small, in providing a profound and correct understanding of the development of philosophical thought in the history of philosophy. One of the cases that the writers highlight in this paper is the quality of the interactions between the Alexandrian school and the powerful Christian government. During this period, the context was provided for the growth and development of a number of philosophers and commentators, such as Philoponus, who disseminated Aristotelian philosophy. However, the most important achievement of this paper is probably an investigation of Philoponus’ critical approach to the views of Aristotle and his predecessors as well as a comparative study of his most important philosophical views during two periods of his academic activities. Here, the authors focus on some of his opposing and sometimes contradictory views which created great debates in their own time and exercised particular impact on the development of philosophical thought, including Islamic philosophy, in different societies.
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