This volume deals with the appropriations, criticism and transformation of Plato’s and Aristotle’s positions about theory, practice and the contemplative life, including their epistemological and metaphysical foundations, from ...
Contrary to what is often assumed since the seminal studies of Puech, I argue that Numenius’ interest in Oriental Wisdom is part of his Platonist stance. The most important testimony is fr. 1a des Places, which shows that Plato is not only the reference‑point but also the criterion and measure to judge the truthfulness of the other philosophical traditions and religions. Numenius’ dualism therefore can be explained as an attempt to preserve the transcendence of the first principle, the typical problem (...) of Middle Platonists as opposed to Hellenistic philosophies such as Stoicism. (shrink)
Contrairement à ce qui est pris d’ordinaire pour acquis, le Commentateur Anonyme du Théétète est philosophiquement stimulant, comme le démontre la confrontation avec le Stoïcisme. Le Commentateur Anonyme déploie une stratégie subtile, ne visant pas tant à rejeter des doctrines nettement stoïciennes qu’à les incorporer dans son propre système platonicien, en présupposant que seul ce dernier peut assurer des fondements adéquats aux doctrines. Le Commentateur Anonyme peut de la sorte s’approprier le Stoïcisme et régler de manière définitive l’ancienne querelle entre (...) Stoïcisme et Platonisme. Qui plus est, le Stoïcisme n’est pas une question séparée, mais il fait partie d’une question plus large. Car la comparaison avec le Stoïcisme aide aussi le Commentateur Anonyme à défendre son interprétation unitaire de la tradition académique platonicienne. Commenter un texte n’est pas une pratique neutre, mais bien plutôt un des aspects les plus importants de la philosophie post-hellénistique. (shrink)
Aim of this paper is to show how Middle Platonist philosophers adapted Stoic epistemology to their own Platonist metaphysics. More precisely the discussion focuses on the key notion of ennoia.Middle Platonists argue against the hypothesis that conceptions have an empirical origin and claim that an ennoia is what remains of the pre-natal vision of the ideas. According to them, it is only through metaphysics that a theory of knowledge can adequately be grounded. The second part of the paper delves into (...) the limits of such a claim. The possibility of getting a proper knowledge of the ideas raises a problem, for if the ennoiai are grounded on the ideas, but the ideas are not object of a proper knowledge, we run the risk of not having a proper criterion anymore. On these grounds, we would not be able to account for the process of knowledge. (shrink)
Among Plato’s dialogues, the Timaeus was the most authoritative for Middle Platonists. But alone it does not suffice to explain some of the most important tenets defended by these philosophers. A remarkable example is the doctrine of the three Principles, which characterizes imperial Platonism, and which cannot be stated on the basis of the Timaeus alone. In my paper I show that Numenius was influenced by the Republic as well : in the metaphor of the Sun he found the Good (...) as first principle and an indication of a second principle which is further subdivided into an Intellect thinking the Ideas and a Demiurge ordering the universe. This interpretation provides him with some interesting solutions. But such an influence also raises difficulties insofar as the causal role of the first principle is concerned. (shrink)
From Socrates and Plato onwards, the Sophists were often targeted by the authoritative philosophical tradition as being mere charlatans and poor teachers. This book, translated and significantly updated from its most recent Italian version, challenges these criticisms by offering an overall interpretation of their thought, and by assessing the specific contributions of thinkers like Protagoras, Gorgias and Antiphon. A new vision of the Sophists emerges: they are protagonists and agents of fundamental change in the history of ancient philosophy, who questioned (...) the grounds of morality and politics, as well as the nature of knowledge and language. By shifting the focus from the cosmos to man, the Sophists inaugurate an alternative form of philosophy, whose importance is only now becoming clear. (shrink)
_Thinking, Knowing, Acting: Epistemology and Ethics in Plato and Ancient Platonism_ aims to offer a fresh perspective on the correlation between epistemology and ethics in Plato and the Platonic tradition from Aristotle to Plotinus, by investigating the social, juridical and theoretical premises of their philosophy.
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