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Plato and Aristotle in Antiquity

Grant number: 11/50576-0
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: July 01, 2011 - June 30, 2013
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Philosophy - History of Philosophy
Cooperation agreement: King's College London
Principal researcher:Marco Antônio de Ávila Zingano
Grantee:Marco Antônio de Ávila Zingano
Principal researcher abroad: M. M. McCabe
Institution abroad: King's College London, England
Home Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:09/16877-3 - Greek classical philosophy: Plato, Aristotle and their influence in Antiquity, AP.TEM

Abstract

Plato and Aristotle are the most famous philosophers of Antiquity. Both philosophers agree on some central tenets about the nature of knowledge, the structure of the world, and action theory; in a word, both hold eminently realistic views resulting in strongly rationalistic approaches. Nevertheless, as it is well known, Aristotle was also a sharp critic of Plato's philosophy. For this reason the Lyceum, the school of Aristotle, saw itself in clear opposition to Platonism despite the fact that it adopted many aspects of the fundamentally rationalistic realism that was characteristic of Plato's Academy. Both philosophers also had a lasting and decisive influence on the philosophy of subsequent centuries and most of our extant Ancient commentators present themselves as followers of either Aristotelianism or Neoplatonism, until at some point an eclectic harmonization of these two philosophers took hold. The main aim of our research project is to scrutinize the central theses of both philosophers under two particular aspects which are metaphysics and ethics. In addition it will facilitate a better understanding of the way these aspects have been perceived and passed on in Antiquity, either by holding up the central tenets that delineate the boundaries of the Ancient World (as for instance Alexander of Aphrodisias in his reading of Aristotle), or through reassessment (as with Plotinus, who thinks of his philosophy as fundamentally Plato's), or outright rejection (as is the case, for instance, in Philoponus). These aspects of USP's FAPESP project provide strong links with the ongoing Ancient Commentators project at King's College London. (AU)