Porphyre sur la Providence

Chôra 13:125-147 (2015)
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Abstract

Studies the doctrine of providence of the Neoplatonic philosopher Porphyry of Tyre. Following a survey of Hellenistic theories of fate and providence, the doctrine of destiny ex hupotheseos, developed on the basis of Plato’s dialogues, is examined : according to it, our acts are free, but their consequences are necessary. As an integral part of Middle Platonic philosophy, this theory was probably transmitted to Late Antiquity by Porphyry. We then move on to examine Porphyry’s treatise On what depends on us, which contains an interpretation of Plato’s Myth of Er, and develops the doctrine of the twofold choice of lives. Nemesius and Proclus react, each in his own way, against the individualism of Porphyry’s approach. In conclusion, the theory of fate and providence in Boethius’ Consolation of Philosophy is briefly examined.

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