Proclus on the Eternity of the World

  • Müberra Çay Ankara University
Keywords: Aristotle, Plato, Proclus, the eternity of the world, philosophy, argument


The issue of eternity is as old as the history of humanity which caused to consist of sects, schools and idea circles with various discussions in philosophy and kalam. Although the inception of the discussions originates to Aristotle, Proclus is the first for systematically explaining the issue with the help of arguments in the history of philosophy. He is a Neo-Platonic philosopher who was recognized with his work titled On the Eternity of the World. Proclus has known as the philosopher who internalized views of Plato, besides he follows Aristotle about the eternity of the world. He tried to demonstrate the issue of the eternity of the world with eighteen arguments in his mentioned work. Ishaq b. Hunayn translated into Arabic nine of these arguments, and Shahrastani summarized eight of them in his Kitab al-Milal wa an-Nihal. English translation with Greek originally as eighteen arguments has been published. The work influenced in the Islamic world, especially in the view of the eternity of the world, was internalized by al-Farabi and Avicenna seriously criticized by al-Ghazali.  Comprehending the opinions of Proclus on this issue will be suitable to understand the controversies over eternity in Kalam and Philosophy.