Objective idealist David Anhakht or David the Invincible (6th century) was a great representative of Neo-Platonism in Armenia. His writings combine the teachings of classical Platonism with the teachings of Pythagoras and Aristotle.
In his works “Analysis of the Introduction of Porphyry” and “Definitions of Philosophy”, many questions are raised about the nature of philosophical knowledge, knowledge of the world, and the capabilities of the human kind. According to the theory of the Invincible, philosophy is the mother of wisdom. It is this science that gives rise to all other arts and sciences.
“Definitions of Philosophy”
This work by David the Invincible received great popularity. In it, he condemns relativism, skepticism, and discusses the meaning and value of philosophical thought. Interpreting the philosophical definitions of Pythagoras, Plato, and Aristotle, he came to his own philosophical concept. He believed that since everything is subject to knowledge, philosophy, which is the science of being, has the right to exist.
According to David the Invincible, there are two types of philosophy: theoretical and practical philosophy.
Theoretical philosophy is the cognitive ability of the soul which relies on practical human needs. Its goal is to comprehend everything. Theoretical philosophy is based on natural science, theology, and mathematics.
Based on the results of theoretical philosophy, practical philosophy should lead the souls of people to a virtuous life. David the Invincible believed that a person is capable of both good and evil. According to him, philosophy allows spiritual growth, self-improvement, as well as indicates how to avoid evil.
Developing the Neoplatonic concept, he considered the body “the dungeon of the soul”, its temporary refuge.
David the Invincible’s Logic
Logic is a subsection of philosophy. It is the art of proof, which is formed from deductive reasoning. David the Invincible assigned a huge role to logic within the framework of cognitive processes.
The dialectical method was included in the logic of the philosopher. This method is formed by determining, separating, analyzing, and proving elements. These categories of logic arose from the practical needs of the human kind. David the Invincible considered the existence of the common and singular world real. But the reality of the general world, in his opinion, is formed in our mind.
The theory of knowledge of David the Invincible was influenced by the gnoseology of Aristotle. According to David the Invincible, the process of learning about the world is possible with the help of feelings and rational forms. Cognition has 5 steps, according to the philosopher: sensation, opinion, imagination, sense of reason, and mind.
By the decision of UNESCO, the 1500th anniversary of the ancient Armenian philosopher was celebrated in 1980.
Read also: Armenian Philosophers of the Early Medieval Period, Medieval Armenian Philosopher Hovhannes Imastasser, Hovhannes Vorotnetsi, Grigor Tatevatsi – Prominent Armenian Scientist, Philosopher