This volume presents a survey exploring the profound influence of Socrates on the history of Western philosophy. It also discusses the life of Socrates and key philosophical doctrines associated with him.
Scepticism in the Sixth Century? Damascius' Doubts and Solutions Concerning First Principles SARA RAPPE THE Doubts and Solutions Concerning First Principles, an aporetic work of the sixth century Neoplatonist Damascius, is distinguished above all by its dialectical subtlety. Although the Doubts and Solutions belongs to the commentary tradi- tion on Plato's Parmenides, its structure and method make it in many ways unique among such exegetical works. The treatise positions itself, at least in part, as a response to Proclus' metaphysical system. (...) Thus the first principles alluded to in its title refer to a metaphysical structure consisting of five central elements, the Ineffable, the One, and the Noetic Triad, which Damascius both adumbrates in opposition to Proclus' as well as subjects to his own, internal critique. In this article, I will be asking whether or not Damascius' critique of Neoplatonic metaphysics is informed or inspired by ancient Scepticism. No doubt this question catches the reader off guard: if the last exponent of an- cient Scepticism is Sextus Empiricus, how could this sixth-century Neo- platonist Scholarch, the last officially appointed Platonic Successor, revert to a tradition that seemingly disappears for well over three centuries? ~ In what ~As is well known, Damascius modifies Proclus' own exposition of the Parmenidean hypothe- ses, positing a first principle to which he gives the title ~the Ineffable." For those interested in a.. (shrink)
Damascius was head of the Neoplatonist academy in Athens when the Emperor Justinian shut its doors forever in 529. His work, Problems and Solutions Concerning First Principles, is the last surviving independent philosophical treatise from the Late Academy. It has never before been translated into English.
Neoplatonism is a term used to designate the form of Platonic philosophy that developed in the Roman Empire from the third to the fifth century AD and that based itself on the corpus of Plato's dialogues. Sara Rappe's challenging and innovative study is the first book to analyse Neoplatonic texts themselves using contemporary philosophy of language. It covers the whole tradition of Neoplatonic writing from Plotinus through Proclus to Damascius. Addressing the strain of mysticism in these works from a fresh (...) perspective the author shows how these texts reflect actual meditational practices, methods of concentrating the mind, and other mental disciplines that informed the tradition as a whole. In providing the broadest available survey of Neoplatonic writing the book will appeal to classical philosophers, classicists, as well as students of religious studies. (shrink)
Argues that Socratess fundamental role in the dialogues is to guide us toward self-inquiry and self-knowledge. In this highly original and provocative book, Sara Ahbel-Rappe argues that the Platonic dialogues contain an esoteric Socrates who signifies a profound commitment to self-knowledge and whose appearances in the dialogues are meant to foster the practice of self-inquiry. According to Ahbel-Rappe, the elenchus, or inner examination, and the thesis that virtue is knowledge, are tools for a contemplative practice that teaches us how to (...) investigate the mind and its objects directly. In other words, the Socratic persona of the dialogues represents wisdom, which is distinct from and serves as the larger space in which Platonic knowledgeethics, epistemology, and metaphysicsis constructed. Ahbel-Rappe offers complete readings of the Apology, Charmides, Alcibiades I, Euthyphro, Lysis, Phaedrus, Theaetetus, and Parmenides, as well as parts of the Republic. Her interpretation challenges two common approaches to the figure of Socrates: the thesis that the dialogues represent an early Plato who later disavows his reliance on Socratic wisdom, and the thesis that Socratic ethics can best be expressed by the construct of eudaimonism or egoism. (shrink)
This chapter contains sections titled: Introduction: Plato in Late Antiquity Middle Platonisms Neoplatonism Late Athenian Neoplatonism The Harmony of Plato and Aristotle Al‐Farabi Redivivus: Leo Strauss Epilogue: al‐Suhrawardi's Return to Plato Note.
This far-ranging collection of essays represents a conference of the same name held at Emory University in conjunction with a meeting of the “Rethinking Plato’s Parmenides” seminar sponsored by the Society of Biblical Literature.In embracing authors as diverse as Plato himself, Epictetus, Ralph Cudworth, Yeats, and Levinas, to name a few of the Platonists identified herein, the volume clearly and deliberately stretches the meaning of this rubric to its outer limits. This review will reprise some of the articles from each (...) of the book’s sections—Ancient, Late Antique, Renaissance and Modern, and Post-modern Platonisms—in an effort to help readers gauge the argument of the book, which may or may not be endorsed by each of the individual contributors. The editors, at least in compiling this anthology, do so in the belief that Platonism might better be considered “as an inexhaustible mine of possible trajectories each of which helps us to see the richness of Platonic texts,” rather than “as a series of determinate doctrines” .Thomas Slezak opens the volume with a rehearsal of his programmatic way of reading Plato’s dialogues, involving two possibly competing claims: what Plato means by philosophy is not contained within the. (shrink)
Professor d’Hoine claims that Proclus assigns a specific ontological function to the Form of Likeness in his Commentary on the Parmenides. According to d’Hoine, for Proclus, each individual must, qua individual striving to imitate the form, present a difference; this difference or unlikeness of one member of a coordinate kind to another, the plurality of participants in a Form, is Form’s by the Form of Unlikeness. And in a similar way, the Form of Likeness then guarantees the imitation of the (...) Form by the particular. I try to show that in other passages in Proclus’ oeuvre, likeness extends to include many more relationships than the Forms instantiation as a material particular. Hence, Likeness is not confined to this specific ontological function. (shrink)