Gold & Stoljar's argument rejecting the “explanatory sufficiency” of the radical neuron doctrine depends on distinguishing it from the trivial neuron doctrine. This distinction depends on the thesis of “supervenience,” which depends on Hume's regularity theory of causation. In contrast, the radical neuron doctrine depends on a physical theory of causation, which denies the supervenience thesis. Insofar as the target article argues by drawing implications from the premise of Humean causation, whereas the radical doctrine depends on the competing premise of (...) physical causation, the resulting critique of the neuron doctrine amounts largely to begging the question of causation. (shrink)
Conventional wisdom suggests that the Platonist philosophers of Late Antiquity, from Plotinus (third century) to the sixth-century schools in Athens and Alexandria, neglected the political dimension of their Platonic heritage in their concentration on an otherworldly life. Dominic O'Meara presents a revelatory reappraisal of these thinkers, arguing that their otherworldliness involved rather than excluded political ideas, and he reconstructs for the first time a coherent political philosophy of Late Platonism.
This book is addressed to readers new to the Enneads. One of the greatest of ancient philosophers, Plotinus is attracting ever-increasing attention from those interested in ancient philosophy, late Antiquity, and the importance of this period for the Western intellectual tradition. O'Meara presents a brief outline of Plotinus's life, and of the composition of the Enneads, placing Plotinus within the intellectual context of the philosophical schools and religious movements of his time. He then discusses selected Plotinian texts in relation (...) to a number of central philosophical issues to show how Plotinus's thinking on these issues evolved, and to assess the historical importance of his philosophy. (shrink)
The Pythagorean idea that numbers are the key to understanding reality inspired philosophers in late Antiquity (4th and 5th centuries A.D.) to develop theories in physics and metaphysics based on mathematical models. This book draws on some newly discovered evidence, including fragments of Iamblichus's On Pythagoreanism, to examine these early theories and trace their influence on later Neoplatonists (particularly Proclus and Syrianus) and on medieval and early modern philosophy.
In this article, it is shown that, following the precedent set in particular by Marinus' Life of Proclus, Damascius, in his Life of Isidore, uses biography so as to illustrate philosophical progress through the Neoplatonic scale of virtues. Damascius applies this scale, however, to a wide range of figures belonging to pagan philosophical circles of the fifth century AD: they show different degrees and forms of progress in this scale and thus provide an edificatory panorama of patterns of philosophical perfection. (...) Each level of the scale of virtues is shown to be exemplified in Damascius' biographies. It is suggested that few, in Damascius' opinion, reached the highest levels of virtue and that philosophical decline is intimated in his descriptions of his contemporaries. (shrink)
The first part of this paper traces back to Plotinus a strategy applied by Augustine and Descartes whereby sceptical arguments are used to set aside sensualist forms of dogmatic philosophy, clearing the way for a dogmatism independent of sense-perception which is 'self-authenticating' and thus immune to, and even proven by, sceptical doubt. It is argued that Plotinus already uses this strategy in the opening chapters of "Enneads" V 5 and V 3. The second part of the paper argues that Plotinus' (...) account of how the ineffable One is said (we do not actually say the One, but merely express our own affections) is inspired by the structure of sceptic discourse (the sceptic does not say things as they are, but merely expresses personal affections). Finally, similarities and differences between sceptic discourse about things and Plotinian discourse about the ineffable are explored. (shrink)
This article by Johannes B. Lotz, S.J., never before translated into English, describes his contacts with Martin Heidegger. First it describes his arrival, along with Karl Rahner, S.J., to pursue doctoral studies in Freiburg im Breisgau and their first experiences with the famous professor. Lotz continues his narrative by mentioning times he met with Heidegger over the subsequent forty years up to the philosopher’s death. With Gustav Siewerth, Max Müller, Bernhard Welte, and Karl Rahner, Lotz belonged to a group of (...) Catholic thinkers influenced—some more, some less—by Martin Heidegger. In Lotz’s view some of Heidegger’s ideas were already found in Aquinas, and a philosophy of Being needed to go beyond existential analysis into religion, revelation, and cultural criticism. (shrink)