Chronoi Talks: “Aristotle’s Aporiae and Two Different Conceptions of Time: Simplicius and Damascius”

December 16, 2021

3 - 4 pm (CET)

Dr. Habil. Pantelis Golitsis (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki; EC-Chronoi)

Aristotle begins his treatment of the nature of time with a series of aporiae, which according to later commentators he left unresolved. The present talk will discuss the solutions offered to those difficulties by two Platonist commentators of the 6th century AD, namely Damascius and Simplicius, and the way in which their solutions result to two different conceptions of time. Whereas Simplicius tried to resolve Aristotle’s aporiae on the existence of time by reflecting on the status of the soul, which stands midway between the intelligible and the perceptible, his master Damascius distinguished between the present time and the indivisible now, that is, the instant; he contended that, while the instant exists only in thought, the present time exists independently of the human soul both in becoming and in being. I will argue that it is through the latter, that is, present time in being, that we can understand Damascius’ novel theory of “the whole of time”, of time being all at once.

The recording of this talk will be uploaded soon, please check back for updates.