This is the first book to provide an account of the influence of Proclus, a member of the Athenian Neoplatonic School, during more than one thousand years of European history. Proclus was the most important philosopher of late antiquity, a dominant voice in Byzantine thought, the second most influential Greek philosopher in the later western Middle Ages, and a major figure in the revival of Greek philosophy in the Renaissance. Proclus was also intensively studied in the Islamic world of the (...) Middle Ages and was a major influence on the thought of medieval Georgia. The volume begins with a substantial essay by the editor summarizing the entire history of Proclus' reception. This is followed by the essays of more than a dozen of the world's leading authorities in the various specific areas covered. (shrink)
This essay attempts to provide more evidence for the notions that there actually is a Latin (as opposed to a Greek) Neoplatonic tradition in late antiquity, that this tradition includes a systematic theory of first principles, and that this tradition and theory are influential in Western Europe during the Middle Ages. The method of the essay is intended to be novel in that, instead of examining authors or works in a chronological sequence and attempting to isolate doctrines in the traditional (...) manner, it proceeds by identifying certain philosophemes (a concept borrowed from structuralist and post-structuralist thought and here signifying certain minimal units from which philosophical “systems“ can be constructed), and then studying the combination and re-combination of these philosophemes consciously and unconsciously by a selection of important medieval writers. These philosophemes occur in Augustine, De Genesi ad Litteram ; Augustine, De Trinitate ; Augustine, De Vera Religione ; Augustine, De Musica ; Macrobius, Commentarius in Somnium Scipionis ; and Boethius, De Consolatione Philosophiae . The sampling of medieval authors who use these philosophemes includes Eriugena, William of Conches, Thierry of Chartres, and Nicholas of Cusa. (shrink)
In this volume specialists of medieval music and philosophy put the medieval 'musica' into the context of ideas and institutions in which it existed. The significance of 'musica' cannot be understood from a modern point of view since 'music' does not match the medieval 'musica'.
Stephen Gersh's Being Different: More Neoplatonism after Derrida continues his earlier project ) of reading the philosophy of late antiquity in a critical encounter with Jacques Derrida's deconstruction of Platonism.
"The origins of what might be called 'the dynamic relation between metaphysics and hermeneutics' and which forms the primary subject matter of the present volume are buried in the mists of history. Nevertheless, the phenomenon is fully visible at the point where the Stoic allegorical technique that had developed during the Hellenistic era of antiquity was adopted by the Platonists. How much further back the twofold root of metaphysics and hermeneutics can be traced remains an open question, given that the (...) problem itself is of a hermeneutical and perhaps even metaphysical nature, and given that we can never escape from this circularity. The thirteen essays in this volume all in various ways to the understanding of the chosen topic. When the first essays were written, the topic itself was only partially articulated, whereas some of the later pieces were composed with a more conscious awareness of its ramifications. For this reason, it seemed best to supplement the original texts with an introduction that is more fully developed than would normally be the case with a collective volume and indeed adopts a certain meta-critical stance"--. (shrink)
This collection of essays brings together the work of leading North American and European classics and patristic scholars. By emphasizing the common Platonic heritage of pagan philosophy and Christian theology, it reveals the range and continuity of the Platonic tradition in late antiquity. Some of the papers treat specific authors, and others the evolution of particular doctrines.
The extensive influence of Plotinus, the third-century founder of 'Neoplatonism', on intellectual thought from the Renaissance to the modern era has never been systematically explored. This collection of new essays fills the gap in the scholarship, thereby casting a spotlight on a current of intellectual history that is inherently significant. The essays take the form of a series of case-studies on major figures in the history of Neoplatonism, ranging from Marsilio Ficino to Henri-Louis Bergson and moving through Italian, French, English, (...) and German philosophical traditions. They bring clarity to the terms 'Platonism' and 'Neoplatonism', which are frequently invoked by historians but often only partially understood, and provide fresh perspectives on well-known issues including the rise of 'mechanical philosophy' in the sixteenth century and the relation between philosophy and Romanticism in the nineteenth century. The volume will be important for readers interested in the history of thought in the early-modern and modern ages. (shrink)
This collection of essays delineates the history of the rather disparate intellectual tradition usually labeled as "Platonic" or "Neoplatonic". In chronological order, the book covers the most eminent philosophic schools of thought within that tradition. The most important terms of the Platonic tradition are studied together with a discussion of their semantic implications, the philosophical and theological claims associated with the terms, the sources that furnish the terms, and the intellectual traditions aligned with or opposed to them. The contributors thereby (...) provide a vivid intellectual map of the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period. Contributions are written in English or German. (shrink)
This is the third of the five volumes projected by Cambridge University Press in its new English translation of Proclus's important commentary on Plato's Timaeus. It contains a translation of about one third of the second volume of Ernst Diehl's critical edition of the Greek text covering Proclus's commentary on Plato's discussion of the world's body at Timaeus 31b–34a. The volume of translation also includes an introduction, notes, glossaries , and a general index. Baltzly's translation is the first English version (...) for approximately two hundred years—and the first based on Diehl's text—and should be compared with A.-J. Festugière's French translation on which it sometimes improves. This translation combines the virtues of being both close to the original Greek and readable in its own right, its value for the more committed scholar being enhanced by the incorporation of transliterated Greek terms into the text at strategic points.Without detracting from the overall value of this translation, a few comments or criticisms should be made. A first principle of translation to be followed in such a case is consistency of terminology. Since Proclus's Greek is rigorously technical in a way that Plato's is. (shrink)
This book consists of an introductory chapter presenting most of the historical information about Proclus’ life and works and four long chapters dealing with basic metaphysical principles, the hierarchy of being, general physical theory, and the astronomical order, respectively. The introduction collecting information about Proclus’ background and influence in the western and eastern medieval traditions and beyond is engagingly written, although one wonders whether the comments that Proclus’ annual salary as head of the Academy is $500,000 in today’s money and (...) that his influence nowadays may be felt in new age, alternative, or green concerns are likely to gain the sympathy of modern academic readers. The four main chapters are mostly well argued, providing an abundance of information useful to novice and specialist alike and some unusual insights. (shrink)
The contributors cover a wide range of philosophical writers and texts to which the label “idealism” has been or might reasonably be attached. These include Plato, the Roman Stoics, the Neoplatonism of Plotinus, Augustinian Neoplatonism, Johannes Scottus Eriugena, the Arabic _Book of Causes_, George Berkeley, Immanuel Kant, and classical German idealism. "This is a rich, subtle, thought-provoking collection on central, though neglected topics in idealism and its history, offering fresh and important insights into both familiar and less familiar major figures, (...) views, and issues. Most important, perhaps, are its presentation and assessment of non-subjective forms of idealism, as well as mind-dependence forms of idealism prior to Descartes. Contemporary philosophers have become sophisticated about various forms of realism, anti-realism and irrealism. Such discussions, among others, will benefit significantly by accepting this volume’s invitation to become more sophisticated about idealism as well. This very welcome contribution to the literature should find a broad readership." —_Kenneth R. Westphal, University of East Anglia_ "If it is true—as Hegel and his followers have claimed—that being and truth are indissociable from history, then philosophy cannot be successful if it limits itself exclusively to investigations of individual thinkers and periods. What is at stake, ultimately, is the development of Western thought as a whole. In this volume, a fine international group of scholars investigate the meaning of idealism across the ages. Without sacrificing nuance, their contributions show that a core of shared assumptions characterizes idealist philosophies. The historical dialogue which this volume advances emphasizes the relevance of ancient and medieval thinkers for the current debate, but it also challenges us to place modern representatives of idealism—such as Berkeley, Kant, and Hegel—in historical perspective." —_Philipp W. Rosemann, University of Dallas_. (shrink)
This volume deals with the relation between Derrida and Neoplatonism , presenting that relation in the form not only of the actual reading of Neoplatonism by Derrida but also of a hypothetical reading of Derrida by Neoplatonism.
Le système métaphysique du platonicien chrétien Marsile Ficin se caractérise par une ample utilisation des analogies et, plus particulièrement, de l’analogie de la lumière. Compte tenu de l’énorme éventail de ces applications, le présent article se concentre sur une question spécifique, à savoir celle de la relation entre lumière et ombre en relation avec sa notion de matière, et sur un texte spécifique : le Commentaire sur les «Ennéades» de Plotin, que Ficin a publié vers la fin de sa carrière. (...) L’article se divise en trois sections : 1) Enquête sur une gamme d’applications de l’analogie de la lumière chez Ficin ; 2) Résumé de l’interprétation de Ficin concernant la doctrine de la matière (supérieure et inférieure) de Plotin, en particulier dans Ennéades I. 8, II. 4, et III. 6 ; 3) Discussion de la manière dont Ficin applique l’analogie de la lumière et de l’ombre à la doctrine de la matière. Un thème important de l’article est la presénce d’une tension structurelle entre les notions de matière en tant que continuum et en tant que «barrière», indiquée par l’analogie de l’ombre. Ce thème est exploité par Ficin en vue de renforcer la doctrine (dérivée de certains passages de Plotin) selon laquelle Dieu exerce la causalité sans aucune médiation entre lui et ses effets. (shrink)