Divergent Reconstructions of Aristotle's Train of Thought: Robert Grosseteste on Proclus' 'Elements of Physics'

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Socrates-Athanasios Kiosoglou


The present paper discusses Grosseteste’s reception of Proclus’ Elements of Physics (EP) in his Commentary on Aristotle’s Physics VI. In the first section I examine the method with which Grosseteste reconstructs Aristotelian texts. The second section initiates a study of the way Grosseteste evaluates Proclus’ EP on the basis of this method. Thus, the third section brings out Grosseteste’s moderate criticism of Proclus’ treatment of certain Aristotelian conclusiones and assumptions. The fourth section extends this study to the conceptual relation between contiguity, continuity and succession. Finally, Grosseteste’s evaluation of Proclus’ tendency to omit, divide and merge Aristotelian conclusiones is studied in the fifth section. I conclude that Grosseteste is a careful and moderately critical reader of Proclus. He aptly grasps the dependence of the EP on Physics VI and conceives of Proclus’ EP as a forerunner of his own method of reconstructing Aristotelian texts.


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