Abstract
Beginning from Plato, there exists a philosophical tradition, which interprets philosophy as preparation for death. However, for Plato the death of a philosopher does not necessarily imply death in its ordinary meaning, but rather a spiritual way of life maximally free from corporeal affections. This kind of relationship between philosophy and death was intensively discussed in late antique philosophy, Patristics, medieval Byzantine philosophy, and also in medieval Georgian literature. Based on Plato’s and Plotinus’ philosophy, Porphyry presented definitions of three kinds of death in his Sententiae : ‘death’ of a philosopher, natural death, ‘death’ of a soul. The aim of this paper is to provide a philosophical analysis of three concepts of death in the post-Porphyrian tradition, mainly in Byzantine and Georgian texts. The paper is based on the analysis of the above mentioned issues in the texts of Porphyry, Macrobius, Michael Psellos, as well as in the old Georgian versions of the works of Ammonios Hermiae, John of Damascus and John Sinaites. We also take into consideration the views on the relation between philosophy and death in the thought of the philosophers of Humanism and Renaissance, such as Georgios Gemistos Plethon, Marsilio Ficino, Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, and Michel de Montaigne, whether or not and to what extent their views on the relation between philosophy and death are different from the theories of ancient and medieval Platonists.
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Reprint years 2016
DOI 10.1075/bpjam.18.02ale
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