The Relationship between Platonic and Aristotelian Philosophies in Alexandrian (Ammonian) Philosophy
: Philosophical thoughts in ancient Iran
Since the first century BC, Platonic philosophy has always been in conflict with Peripatetic philosophy. Here, the main trend which tried to reconcile these two schools with each other reached its culmination in Ammonius Saccas’ philosophy. The same idea was fully realized in Porphyry’s school, following which Platonic philosophers devoted particular attention to reconciling the views of Plato and Aristotle. However, Sureyanus and Proclus did not agree with this trend and criticized Aristotle with respect to some important issues. They also maintained that some of his views were in contrast to those of Plato. According to Proclus, Aristotle had denied the world of Ideas and had failed to grasp the concept of the Divine efficient cause, thus limiting His agency to the final cause. He also maintained that Aristotle had promoted the intellect to the level of the first origin and absolute one, which was by itself an unforgivable mistake and diversion. In contrast, in the light of the efforts made by Ammonius Hermiae and his students, the Alexandrian School of Philosophy was developed. This School aimed to reconcile the philosophical Schools of Plato and Aristotle with each other following a systematic process and, finally, managed to do so in the best way possible. As one of the most prominent philosophers of this field, Simplicus, under the influence of Ammonius Hermiae, interpreted what Proclus deemed as the points of departure between the views of Aristotle and Plato in a way that they turned into their points of agreement. He did this not because of his personal preferences but due to the existing philosophical necessities.
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