This book is a philosophical analysis of Plotinus' views on sense-perception. It aims to show how his thoughts were both original and a development of the ideas of his predecessors, in particular those of Plato, Aristotle and the Peripatetics. Special attention is paid to Plotinus' dualism with respect to soul and body and its implications for his views on the senses. The author combines a historical approach to his subject, setting Plotinus' thought in the context of thinkers who preceded and (...) succeeded him, with a proper analysis of his ideas and, where appropriate, of those from which they derived. (shrink)
The late ancient commentators on Aristotle, most of them Platonists, have been gradually re-emerging on the philosophical and scholarly horizon during the last two or three decades. Their reappearance is not likely to cause any major transformations of the scene, but they are interesting enough in themselves to deserve careful study and they have been influential in the past to the extent that proper understanding of their work sheds light on the subsequent history of the interpretation of Aristotle. This and (...) much more is borne out by Blumenthal's excellent study. A considerable number of ancient commentaries have now appeared in English translations initiated by Richard Sorabji, and books and articles on them have begun to appear as never before. After writing some pioneering works on Plotinus's psychology, in which the relevance of Aristotle for the latter's fundamentally Platonic psychology is much in focus, Blumenthal set out in the 1970s to study the commentators and thus belongs to the pioneers in the contemporary awakening. (shrink)
It is commonly assumed that Kant is indebted to Aristotle not to Plato. In this paper we argue, however, that the following four central topics in Kantâ\texttrademarks philosophy must be recognized as having Platonic roots. 1. The idea that metaphysics is a system of synthetic apriori judgements and the idea that such judgments require pure intuition. 2. The idea that geometrical objects have a certain purposiveness. 3. The notion of dialectic. 4. The notion of ideas and their role in the (...) sphere of cognition and morality. (shrink)
Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy is a volume of original articles on all aspects of ancient philosophy. The articles may be of substantial length, and include critical notices of major books. OSAP is now published twice yearly, in both hardback and paperback.
This is an introduction to the philosophy of Plotinus, with five chapters bearing the titles "Form," "Light," "Silence," "Word," and "Love." It contains a bibliography, an index of Plotinian passages referred to, and a general index.
Plotinus was the founder of Neoplatonism, whose thought has had a profound influence on medieval philosophy, and on Western philosophy more broadly. In this engaging book, Eyjólfur K. Emilsson introduces and explains the full spectrum of Plotinus’ philosophy for those coming to his work for the first time. Beginning with a chapter-length overview of Plotinus’ life and works which also assesses the Platonic, Aristotelian and Stoic traditions that influenced him, Emilsson goes on to address key topics including: Plotinus’ originality the (...) status of souls Plotinus’ language the notion of the One or the Good Intellect, including Plotinus’ holism the physical world the soul and the body, including emotions and the self Plotinus’ ethics Plotinus’ influence and legacy. Including a chronology, glossary of terms and suggestions for further reading, _Plotinus _is an ideal introduction to this major figure in Western philosophy, and is essential reading for students of ancient philosophy and classics. (shrink)
The thesis is a philosophical and historical study of Plotinus' views on sense-perception. Chapter I contains an exposition of Plotinus' metaphysics. Chapter II deals with Plotinus' views on man and the soul in general. In Chapter III Plotinus' views on visual transmission are discussed. It is argued that his doctrine of visual transmission, which Plotinus describes in terms of sympatheia, is to be regarded as a synthesis of Platonic, Aristotelian and Stoic elements. Like other ancient philosophers Plotinus holds that sense-perception (...) involves an affection of the percipient. In Chapter IV his notion of affection in sense-perception is examined. It is argued that what Plotinus calls affections in this context are sensations, and differences between Plotinus' and certain modern views of sensations are pointed out. Plotinus has original views on the unity of the senses. In Chapter V these views, which Plotinus expresses in terms of the omnipresence of the soul as a whole in the body, are discussed and explained. It is also argued that though original Plotinus' position is to be seen as a development of views expressed by Plato and Aristotle, and in particular by Alexander of Aphrodisias. Plotinus' views on the objects of perception are a matter of debate. In Chapter VI it is argued that despite contrary appearances Plotinus consistently holds that the objects of sense-perception are external things. Chapter VI also contains an examination of Plotinus' notion of perceptions as judgements. Chapter VII deals with the notion of forms in Plotinus' theory of perception. Plotinus' view that the soul is active in perception is explained. It is suggested that in Plotinus' view the forms we are supposed to entertain when we perceive are developed from innate "unfolded forms", and that perceptual judgements are to be identified with the entertaining of forms. In the Appendix Plotinus' position on the mind-body relationship is discussed. It is argued that he rejects materialsm for interesting and original reasons. (shrink)
This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book explores, inter alia, the strategy employed by Augustine in using Plato as a pseudo-prophet against later Platonists and explores Eusebius’ reception of Porphyry’s daemonology. It examines Plotinus’ claim that matter is absolute badness and focuses on Maximus the Confessor’s doctrine of creation and asks whether one may detect any influence on Maximus from Philoponus. The book addresses Christian receptions of Platonic metaphysics (...) and also examines the philosophy of number in Augustine’s early works. It argues that the aspect of Augustine’s philosophy must be read in context with the intellectual problems that occupied him at the beginning of his career as a writer. It draws on a number of sources to investigate the development of the doctrine and the various intellectual issues it confronted, including Plato’s Timaeus, Philo of Alexandria, Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Plotinus and, finally, Athanasius. (shrink)
Platonism and Christian Thought in Late Antiquity examines the various ways in which Christian intellectuals engaged with Platonism both as a pagan competitor and as a source of philosophical material useful to the Christian faith. The chapters are united in their goal to explore transformations that took place in the reception and interaction process between Platonism and Christianity in this period. -/- The contributions in this volume explore the reception of Platonic material in Christian thought, showing that the transmission of (...) cultural content is always mediated, and ought to be studied as a transformative process by way of selection and interpretation. Some chapters also deal with various aspects of the wider discussion on how Platonic, and Hellenic, philosophy and early Christian thought related to each other, examining the differences and common ground between these traditions. -/- Platonism and Christian Thought in Late Antiquity offers an insightful and broad ranging study on the subject, which will be of interest to students of both philosophy and theology in the Late Antique period, as well as anyone working on the reception and history of Platonic thought, and the development of Christian thought. (shrink)
How should I live? How can I be happy? What is happiness, really? These are perennial questions, which in recent times have become the subject of diverse kinds of academic research. Ancient philosophers placed happiness at the centre of their thought, and we can trace the topic through nearly a millennium. While the centrality of the notion of happiness in ancient ethics is well known, this book is unique in that it focuses directly on this notion, as it appears in (...) the ancient texts. Fourteen papers by an international team of scholars map the various approaches and conceptions found from the Presocratics through Plato, Aristotle, and Hellenistic philosophy, to the Neoplatonists and Augustine in late antiquity. They address questions raised by ancient thinkers that are still of deep concern today. (shrink)