Gaia gets to know herself : Proclus on the self-perception of the cosmos

Phronesis 54:261-85 (2009)
Abstract
Proclus’ interpretation of the Timaeus confronts the question of whether the living being that is the Platonic cosmos percieves itself. Since sense perception is a mixed blessing in the Platonic tradition, Proclus solves this problem by differentiating different gradations of perception. The cosmos has only the highest kind. This paper contrasts Proclus’ account of the world’s perception of itself with James Lovelock’s notion that the planet Earth, or Gaia, is aware of things going on within itself. This contrast illuminates several key differences between contemporary theories of perception and the neoplatonic world view. In particular, it argues that the neoplatonists had a radically different view of these matters because they assigned the property of truth not only to representations, but to objects as well.
Keywords Proclus  Gaia hypothesis  Timaeus
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