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Volume 13, 2015

La Providence dans la pensée Grecque et sa première réception Arabe

Isabelle Koch
Pages 33-61

Le destin et la providence
sur deux traités «jumeaux» d’Alexandre d’Aphrodise

Alexander’s Treatises on Fate (in Greek) and on Providence (conserved in Arabic) have many features in common, so that Jaap Mansfeld referred to them as «twins treatises». One reason of this kinship is the method used by Alexander, who takes the doxographical presentation as a skeptical dissensus in order to establish the superiority of Aristotelian thesis. But another reason, perhaps more important, is their conceptual closeness : the peripatetic definitions of providence and fate, in these two treatises, are very similar and obviously seek to address similar concerns. This proximity is so high that one could ask in which way the two concepts differ one from another. In this paper I will offer an overview of common features between the two treatises, especially Alexander’s attempts to find some textual grounds in Aristotle’s treatises for building a peripatetic theory of fate and providence consistent and strong enough to be held against the thesis developed on these topics since the Hellenistic period. Then I will propose a hypothesis on the relation between these two treatises and consequently between these two concepts.

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