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Durham e-Theses
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Aristotle’s account of Speusippus’ and Xenocrates’ Metaphysical and Epistemological Theories

DE-CESARIS, GIULIA (2020) Aristotle’s account of Speusippus’ and Xenocrates’ Metaphysical and Epistemological Theories. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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This Ph.D. thesis aims at a novel reconstruction of the metaphysical and epistemological theories of the first two successors of Plato, Speusippus and Xenocrates. By advancing a new methodology for the selection and evaluation of the evidence and putting it to the test, this thesis will offer a picture of Speusippus’ and Xenocrates’ theories as grounded in the privileged testimony of Aristotle.
The Early Academy has always been a riddle and a challenge for modern scholars. Indeed, for Plato’s immediate successors, Speusippus and Xenocrates, the sources at our disposal do not often encourage the project of a coherent reconstruction of their thought. Any exegesis of them faces the following difficulty: on the one hand, the earliest preserved chronological sources approach their doctrines polemically; on the other hand, later testimonia are to be found in authors who appropriated and reshaped Early Academic doctrines in their own philosophical frameworks.
Through an in-depth analysis of Aristotelian testimonia, this thesis will show that Speusippus’ and Xenocrates’ doctrines can be better understood in the context of the Academy, and, in particular, with respect to the discussions undertaken with Aristotle. By exposing a set of problems the two philosophers target in order to defend Platonic theories from the inconsistencies detected by Aristotle, Speusippus’ and Xenocrates’ Platonic inheritance is finally revealed.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Early Academy; Speusippus; Xenocrates; Aristotle
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Classics and Ancient History, Department of
Thesis Date:2020
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:23 Jan 2020 10:40

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