The study of the ancient commentators has developed considerably over the past few decades, fueled by recent translations of their often daunting writings. This book offers the only concise, accessible general introduction currently available to the writings of the late ancient commentators on Aristotle and, to a lesser extent, Plato. Miira Tuominen provides a historical overview followed by a series of thematic chapters on epistemology, science and logic, physics, psychology, metaphysics, and ethics. In particular, she focuses on the writings of Alexander of Aphrodisias, Themistius, Porphyry, Proclus, Philoponus, and Simplicius. Until recently, the late ancient commentators have been understood mainly as sources of information concerning the masters upon whose works they comment. This book offers new insights into their way of doing philosophy in their own right.
Miira Tuouminen, a researcher at the Department of Philosophy, University of Helsinki, is the author of Apprehension and Argument: Ancient Theories of Starting Points for Knowledge.
“This book is . . . useful for the philosophy student and scholar who wishes to gain a basic understanding of the ancient commentary tradition and its relevance for the development of later philosophical thinking.”—Dialogue
“The ancient commentators have attracted increasing attention in the last three decades, but it is only now with the publication of Miira Tuominen's book that we have the first systematic introduction to their philosophy. The book makes accessible five centuries of philosophical thinking, identifies with crystal clarity the philosophical problems that concerned the commentators, and discusses them with historical accuracy and philosophical sophistication. It shows the significance of this period of philosophy and highlights the philosophical calibre of the commentators. It will be indispensable to all students of ancient philosophy.”—George Karamanolis, University of Crete