George Karamanolis breaks new ground in the study of later ancient philosophy by examining the interplay of the two main schools of thought, Platonism and Aristotelianism, from the first century BC to the third century AD. Arguing against prevailing scholarly assumption, he argues that the Platonists turned to Aristotle only in order to elucidate Plato's doctrines and to reconstruct Plato's philosophy, and that they did not hesitate to criticize Aristotle when judging him to be at odds with Plato. Karamanolis (...) offers much food for thought to ancient philosophers and classicists. (shrink)
This volume contains the selected discourses of four seventeenth-century philosophers, carefully chosen to illustrate the tenets characteristic of the influential movement known as Cambridge Platonism. Fundamental to their beliefs is the statement most clearly voiced by Benjamin Whichcote, their leader by common consent, that the spiritual is not opposed to the rational, nor Grace to nature. Religion is based on reason, even in the presence of 'mystery'. Free will and Grace are not mutually exclusive. The editor's comprehensive introduction delineates the (...) main principles of the Cambridge Platonists, in the light of their heritage. It compares their attitude to contemporary thought, stressing their mistrust both of institutionalised religion and of the rising tide of materialism. The sermons are reprinted from the original texts and fully annotated with comparisons and references to a wide range of works. The editor also includes a useful list for further reading, biographical notes and a comprehensive index. (shrink)
Some characteristics of the Cambridge Platonists -- Benjamin Whichcote (1609-1683) -- John Smith (1616-1652) -- Ralph Cudworth (1617-1685) -- Nathaniel Culverwel (1618?-1651) -- Henry More (1614-1687) -- Peter Sterry (d. 1672).
Prologue.--Some characteristics of the Cambridge Platonists.--Benjamin Whichcote (1609-1683)--John Smith (1616-1652)--Ralph Cudworth (1617-1685)--Nathaniel Culverwel (1618?-1651)--Henry More (1614-1687)--Peter Sterry (d. 1672)--Epilogue.
Coleridge wrote: “Every man is born an Aristotelian or a Platonist. I do not think it possible that anyone born an Aristotelian can become a Platonist; and I am sure that no born Platonist can ever change into an Aristotelian. They are two classes of man, beside which it is next to impossible to conceive a third.”Ancient Platonists could not be counted on to accept this kind of dichotomy, and that is what Karamanolis’s book is about. It covers Antiochus (...) , Plutarch of Chaeronea, Numenius, Atticus, Ammonius Saccas, Plotinus, and Porphyry . And it does so with incredible thoroughness, making it a tough read. The book began as a dissertation; it still has something of the air of one.The longest chapter is devoted to Porphyry, whom Karamanolis claims to be the first Platonist to write commentaries on books of Aristotle, and the first to adopt the view that Aristotle simply was in agreement with Plato—the founder of a tradition in scholarship to the effect that “Plato is named as the authority in metaphysics, and Aristotle in logic” . His concluding paragraph is this: It is this understanding of philosophizing which lies behind the formation of the Pla-tonist syllabus I described in the beginning of this book. This remains the situation until the Renaissance. When Renaissance humanists revive. (shrink)
After identifying some existing explanations offered by nomic necessitarians for the alleged necessary connections between natural properties and their dispositional or nomic features, I discuss a less explored necessitarian strategy. This strategy is available to Platonists who hold that properties exist necessarily, as most do.
Some platonists truly agonize over the ontological commitments which their platonism demands of them. Peter van Inwagen, for example, confesses candidly, I am happy to admit that I am uneasy about believing in the existence of ???causally irrelevant??? objects. The fact that abstract objects, if they exist, can be neither causes or [ sic ] effects is one of the many features of abstract objects that make nominalism so attractive. I should very much like to be a nominalist, but (...) I don't see how to be one????? (shrink)
I start with a story to convey what I think is the essence of the Platonic outlook that Augustine adopts. Then I’ll show you how various Platonists put the insights that this story encapsulates to work in three different aspects of philosophy. After I’ve laid all that out, I’ll talk about how Augustine transforms this Platonic picture in the light of his Christian faith..
The cambridge platonists exemplify the fear that newtonian natural philosophy subverts the status of traditional moral and religious beliefs, Which are strongly supported by the innate idea doctrine since it justifies them independently of the senses and the material universe. Isaac barrow, Friend and teacher of newton, Also employs the doctrine approbatively to support his metaphysics as a science of basic principles that constitute the foundation of natural science. Locke's rejection of the doctrine is analyzed and it is suggested (...) that the platonist's treatment of the active role of the mind in sensation could have been developed in eighteenth century britain if locke's polemic had not been so successful. (shrink)
Discussion of the Cambridge Platonists, by Constantinos Patrides and others, is often vitiated by the mistaken contrasts drawn between those philosophers and late antique Platonists such as Plotinus. I draw attention especially to Patrides’s errors, and argue in particular that Plotinus and his immediate followers were as concerned about this world and our immediate duties to our neighbours as the Cambridge Platonists. Even the doctrine of deification is one shared by all Platonists, though it is also (...) here that genuine differences between pre-Christian and Christian exegesis can be found. All, it can be said, hope and expect to join ‘the dance of immortal love’, but Christian Platonists had a deeper sense of God’s ‘humility’ in His Word’s material and temporal manifestation. Not Olympian Zeus but the Crucified Christ was their preferred image of divine involvement, and their better guide to heaven. (shrink)
Deborah K. W. Modrak - Aristotle and Other Platonists - Journal of the History of Philosophy 44:2 Journal of the History of Philosophy 44.2 315-317 Lloyd P. Gerson. Aristotle and Other Platonists. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 2005. Pp. ix + 335. Cloth, $49.95. This book is a heroic effort to defend the thesis that the Neoplatonists' embrace of Aristotle as another Platonist is well grounded in Aristotle's own texts and not a product of Neoplatonic eclecticism. If (...) this case can be made by a comprehensive treatment of Aristotelian texts and attention to the enormous body of secondary literature on the texts discussed, Gerson is determined to make it. The introduction establishes the ancient credentials of the attribution of Platonism to Aristotle and explores the notion of harmony at the heart of Neoplatonic interpretations of Aristotle's positions. The goal of the Neoplatonic exegete of Aristotelian texts, according to Gerson, is to harmonize what Aristotle says, including his criticisms of Platonic positions, with Platonism. After setting out the central tenets of Platonism as understood by the Neoplatonic proponents of harmonization in the relatively short first chapter, Gerson goes on in the bulk of the work to examine various Aristotelian texts as interpreted by the.. (shrink)
Matthew arnold maintains in the nineteenth century the renaissance school of the cambridge platonists. for them, reason and religion are by no means at odds: reason is in fact "the candle of the lord." for matthew arnold in "literature and dogma", christianity will prevail only by being shorn of its supernaturalist elements and set on its true rational ground. ernst cassirer has shown how the cambridge platonists bridge the gap between the italian renaissance and the german humanists of (...) the "goethezeit", chiefly through shaftesbury. arnold accordingly finds in herder and goethe the corroboration of his revered countrymen glanvill, whichcote, more and smith. (shrink)
Enhanced indispensability arguments claim that Scientific Realists are committed to the existence of mathematical entities due to their reliance on Inference to the best explanation. Our central question concerns this purported parity of reasoning: do people who defend the EIA make an appropriate use of the resources of Scientific Realism to achieve platonism? We argue that just because a variety of different inferential strategies can be employed by Scientific Realists does not mean that ontological conclusions concerning which things we should (...) be Scientific Realists about are arrived at by any inferential route which eschews causes, and nor is there any direct pressure for Scientific Realists to change their inferential methods. We suggest that in order to maintain inferential parity with Scientific Realism, proponents of EIA need to give details about how and in what way the presence of mathematical entities directly contribute to explanations. (shrink)
We first discuss Michael Dummett’s philosophy of mathematics and Robert Brandom’s philosophy of language to demonstrate that inferentialism entails the falsity of Church’s Thesis and, as a consequence, the Computational Theory of Mind. This amounts to an entirely novel critique of mechanism in the philosophy of mind, one we show to have tremendous advantages over the traditional Lucas-Penrose argument.
Draft version of essay. ABSTRACT: Benjamin Whichcote developed a distinctive account of human nature centered on our moral psychology. He believed that this view of human nature, which forms the foundation of “Cambridge Platonism,” showed that the demands of reason and faith are not merely compatible but dynamically supportive of one another. I develop an interpretation of this oft-neglected and widely misunderstood account of human nature and defend its viability against a key objection.
In this article I consider what it would take to combine a certain kind of mathematical Platonism with serious presentism. I argue that a Platonist moved to accept the existence of mathematical objects on the basis of an indispensability argument faces a significant challenge if she wishes to accept presentism. This is because, on the one hand, the indispensability argument can be reformulated as a new argument for the existence of past entities and, on the other hand, if one accepts (...) the indispensability argument for mathematical objects then it is hard to resist the analogous argument for the existence of the past. (shrink)