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Platonism and NaturalismThe Possibility of Philosophy$
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Lloyd P. Gerson

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781501747250

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501747250.001.0001

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Aristotle the Platonist

Aristotle the Platonist

(p.197) Chapter 7 Aristotle the Platonist
Platonism and Naturalism

Lloyd P. Gerson

Cornell University Press

This chapter evaluates the contributions of Aristotle to the completion of the Platonic project. Although it is undeniably true that Aristotle dissented from many claims made by Plato, it focuses on the principles he shared with Plato, his arguments for these, and some of the illuminating things he had to say about the application of these principles. Aristotle was as opposed to Naturalism as Plato. His argument for the subject matter of the science of being qua being supports Plato's identification of the subject matter of philosophy. Ultimately, one of Aristotle's greatest contributions to the Platonic project is the concept of potency. The chapter then discusses Aristotle's introduction of what has been called the immortal or agent intellect. The immortal intellect seems to be Aristotle's version of what Plato calls “the immortal part of the soul,” that which is separable from the body and capable of knowledge. The chapter also examines Aristotle's own account of a first principle of all, the Unmoved Mover, which had an enormous effect on how later soi-disant Platonists viewed Plato himself.

Keywords:   Aristotle, Plato, Naturalism, subject matter, science of being, philosophy, potency, immortal intellect, agent intellect, Unmoved Mover

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