Plato and Aristotle In Agreement by George E. Karamanolis
Plato And Aristotle In Agreement
From the first century BC to the third century AD, George Karamanolis opens new ground in the study of later ancient philosophy by investigating the interaction of the two great schools of thought, Platonism and Aristotelianism.
He contends, contrary to popular belief, that the Platonists looked to Aristotle primarily to expound Plato’s beliefs and reconstruct Plato’s philosophy, and that they were quick to condemn Aristotle when he was judged to be at odds with Plato.
For ancient philosophers and classicists, Karamanolis provides enough of fodder for thought.
From the book
The study of aristotle’s philosophy by platonists in late antiquity
Anyone who begins to study the philosophy of late antiquity must find striking the fact that the known commentaries on Aristotle’s works after ad 300 are written exclusively by Platonists.
Two important features make this fact particularly conspicuous. The first is that the practice of writing extensive commentaries on Aristotle’s works had started, as we would expect, with the Peripatetics, and for a long time had remained their undisputed domain.
The Peripatetics had been commenting on several Aristotelian works, especially the Categories, since the days of Andronicus, Boethus, and Aristo of Alexandria in the first century bc, but their exegetical activity culminated in the second century ad with Adrastus, Herminus, Aspasius, and especially with Alexander of Aph- rodisias ( c . ad 200).
The three centuries following Alexander, however, were utterly bereft of Peripatetic commentators of any significance, 2 while many important Platonists devoted much of their time to writing commentaries on Aristotle.
Secondly, a telling indication of the Platonist preoccupation with commenting on Aristotle is the fact that the written work of several Platonists of this era (third-sixth centuries ad), such as Ammonius Hermeiou (433/45-317/26) and Simplicius (6th century), 3 consists largely of commentaries on Aristotle. What is remarkable here is not that these Platonists were engaged in writing commentaries.