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Article

Eunomius and Gregory of Nyssa on the Principle of ‘the More and the Less’ and Its Application to the Category of Substance

Scrinium: Journal of Patrology and Critical Hagiography. 2018. Vol. 14. No. 1. P. 467-475.

Gregory of Nyssa at the outset of his ‘Against Eunomius’ cites Eunomius, where the latter speaks about “greater and lesser” activities. However, discussing this quotation later in the treatise, Gregory misinterprets the words of Eunomius. He reads Eunomius as if he applied the principle of ‘the more and the less’ not to activities but to substances. Such interpretation cannot be proved on the basis of what Eunomius actually wrote. Actually, the two opponents (Gregory of Nyssa and Eunomius) used the same Aristotelian position, which prohibits the application of the principle of ‘the more and the less’ to the category of substance. This position was used by the two polemists in order to argue against each other. At the same time, Gregory developed his own philosophical system founded on the principle of ‘the more and the less’ in the course of this polemics with Eunomius.