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AbysmalA Critique of Cartographic Reason$
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Gunnar Olsson

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780226629308

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226629322.001.0001

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(p.43) In-Between
University of Chicago Press

John Philoponus (born around 490, dead sometime in the 570s) devoted his life to the Christianization of Hellenistic thought in general and to the mummification of Ptolemy's Almagest in particular. Already at a young age he had orchestrated a massive assault on Aristotle's physics and cosmology. The most remarkable aspect of this man and his revolutionary philosophy is that it grew out of the conviction that the universe is the single creation of a single God. Philoponus rejected the prevalent belief in the world's eternity and accepted instead the proposition that heaven and earth are constituted by the same physical properties and governed by the same physical laws. Closely connected with this belief in creatio ex nihilo was also Philoponus' revision of Aristotle's theory of dynamics. In line with his creationist critique of Aristotle, Philoponus got involved in debates about the definition of Jesus Christ. Throughout the debates frequent references were made to the discussion of identity and difference as it first appeared in Plato's Parmenides and then reappeared again in Plotinus' concept of hypostasis.

Keywords:   John Philoponus, Aristotle, creation, Jesus Christ, universe, Plato, Plotinus, hypostasis, Parmenides, cosmology

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