chapter  4
Demetrios Kyritses The imperial council and the tradition of consultative decision-making in Byzantium (eleventh to fourteenth centuries)
Pages 14

The history of Byzantine philosophy ends with a grand finale: the controversy over the relative merits of Plato and Aristotle, sparked by the publication in 1439 of George Gemistos Pletho's pamphlet On Aristotle's Departures from Plato. This chapter provides a preliminary outline of the history of criticism of Aristotle in Byzantium up to the fifteenth century. Byzantine attitudes to Aristotle reveal the lasting influence of two distinct, late antique intellectual traditions: Neoplatonism and Christianity. These two traditions evaluated Aristotle's philosophy from different perspectives. However, the crucial point for understanding the radicalization of Byzantine anti-Aristotelianism in the fourteenth century seems to be the recognition that the philosophical activity of the Palaiologan era was to a considerable extent fuelled and steered by the ambition to match and surpass the Latin-speaking world in wisdom. Most of the examples of Byzantine criticism of Aristotle, so far bear witness to the continuity with the ancient patristic and Platonic traditions.