From Plato’s Timaeus onwards, the world or cosmos has been conceived of as a living, rational organism. Most notably in German Idealism, philosophers still talked of a ‘Weltseele’ or ‘Weltgeist’. This volume is the first collection of essays on the origin of the notion of the world soul in Antiquity and beyond. It contains 14 original contributions by specialists in the field of ancient philosophy, the Platonic tradition and the history of theology. The topics range from the ‘obscure’ Presocratic Heraclitus, (...) to Plato and his ancient readers in Middle and Neoplatonism, to the reception of the idea of a world soul in the history of natural science. A general introduction highlights the fundamental steps in the development of the Platonic notion throughout late Antiquity and early Christian philosophy. Accessible to Classicists, historians of philosophy, theologians and invaluable to specialists in ancient philosophy, the book provides an overview of the fascinating discussions surrounding a conception that had a long-lasting effect on the history of Western thought. (shrink)
The volume discusses the notion of space by focusing on the most representative exponents of the Hellenistic schools and explores the role played by spatial concepts in both coeval and later authors who, without specifically thematising these concepts, made use of them in a theoretically original way. Renowned scholars investigate the philosophical significance and bring to light the problematical character of the ancient conceptions of space.