Gregory of Nyssa’s teaching of United Man and its logical context
Gregory of Nyssa’s concept of United Man, vividly discussed in the current academic literature, will be reviewed. According to this concept, all people constitute, in a certain sense, a single person, and the word “man,” which points to the humankind in general and not to a human individual, could be properly used only in the singular but not in the plural form. It is suggested that Gregory of Nyssa’s course of thought is familiar with Wittgenstein’s line in analytic philosophy. Despite the reconstruction of the historical and philosophical background of this concept proposed by J. Zachhuber and R. Cross, it is suggested that there is no need to look for the sources of Gregory’s inspiration in either Alexander of Aphrodisias or Neoplatonic authors. Instead, I argue that, in his general treatment of these subjects, Gregory relied on the Peripatetic philosophical context, manifested, for example, in his use of the principle of “greater–lesser” and the concept of participation of individuals in their natural species. The main source of the Peripatetic ideas for Gregory was Porphyry’s /ƐĂŐŽŐĞ, which is especially evident in the concepts of “whole man” as well as the association of the individual with “divisibility” and the general with “unity”, although Gregory might also have been aware of other writings belonging to the tradition of commentaries on Aristotle’s ĂƚĞŐŽƌŝĞƐ. The present study is a part of a larger project ζ 16Ͳ18Ͳ10202, “History of the Logical and Philosophical Ideas in Byzantine Philosophy and Theology”, implemented with a financial support of the Russian Science Foundation.