This research focuses on the philosophy of Alexander of Aphrodisias (c. 200 CE), who was considered the commentator and defender of Aristotle until the 17th century.
In reality Alexander redesigned Aristotelianism in order to compete with the Platonists, Stoics and Epicureans of his time. His main tools of innovation were extrapolation - he developed a coherent doctrine of fate and determinism by building on Aristotelian ingredients - and analogy - he extended a particular concept of the relation between form and matter to all levels of the cosmos as well as to the relation of body and the powers of the soul. At the same time Alexander gave his language and arguments such an authentic Aristotelian ring that modern scholars still debate whether his philosophy entails any innovation at all, or is straightforward Aristotelian philosophy. Thus Alexander stands out as a successful example of anchoring innovations in philosophy. By tracing Alexander's terminology and motives in ethics, psychology, and metaphysics this research projects aims at a new assessment of Alexander's position in the history of philosophy.