Neoplatonism (Ancient Philosophies)

Neoplatonism (Ancient Philosophies)

Pauliina Remes

Language: English

Pages: 256

ISBN: 0520258606

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Although Neoplatonism has long been studied, until recently many had dismissed this complex system of ideas as more mystical than philosophical. Recent research, however, has provided a new perspective on this highly influential school of thought, which flourished in the pagan world of Greece and Rome up through late antiquity. Pauliina Remes's lucid, comprehensive, and up-to-date introduction reassesses Neoplatonism's philosophical credentials, from its founding by Plotinus (204-70, C.E.) through the closure of Plato's Academy in 529. Using an accessible, thematic approach, she explores the ideas of leading Neoplatonists such as Porphyry, Iamblichus, Proclus, Simplicius, and Damascius, as well as less well-known thinkers. She situates their ideas alongside classical Platonism, Stoicism, and the neo-Pythagoreans as well as other intellectual movements of the time, including Gnosticism, Judaism, and Christianity. She also considers Neoplatonism's enduring legacy in the history of philosophical thought, providing a gateway to Neoplatonism for contemporary readers.

Copub: Acumen Publishing Limited















8, 55–6, 78, 102, 114, 135, 175 Longinus 15, 22 love (erōs) 157–60 Lysimachus 22 Maimonides 200 Marinus of Samaria 28, 29 Marius Victorinus 198 matter (hulē) viii, 6, 57–8, 82–4, 86, 94–5, 127, 135, 158, 179 Maximus the Confessor 199–200, 203, 204 memory 120, 129, 142, 145 metaphysics 35–75; see also hypostases and ethics 178 and psychology 91, 100–123, 135, 171 basic principles of 42–7 hierarchy of viii, 6, 7, 15, 16, 47–59, 65–6, 71, 72 proliferation of 21, 24, 59–75, 80, 91, 203

also wrote treatises against both Aristotle and Proclus on the topic of the eternity of the world. The theological works include a treatise On the Creation of the World as well as a not extant work On the Trinity. As the titles indicate, his interests were, on the one hand, in natural sciences, and on the other, in religious or theological issues. With Olympiodorus, Stephanus and Philoponus, the Neoplatonic school of Alexandria approaches its end. The intellectual rigour of the movement must

instrumental or contributory causes (sunaitia; 46c–d, 47e–8a, 68e–9a). What are treated as paradigms are first and foremost the Forms: the intelligible model separate from its material instantiation, which even the demiurge looks to when creating the universe. As a true Peripatetic, Philoponus denies here that nature would need such an external and higher paradigm. He disagrees with Simplicius (above) and argues that nature produces differently from the human builder, who establishes into matter

indefinitely many instants in between its own instant and the one when it ceases to exist (Arist. Ph. 4.10). The Neoplatonic tradition contains several attempted solutions to the paradoxes, utilizing, among other things, Plotinus’ division between a higher and lower time, which Proclus, Damascius and Simplicius all accept (Simpl., Corollaries on Place and Time, in his in Phys. 795,4–11; 787,30; 788,9–10, 29–32; Commentary on the Categories 355,8–14). Damascius points out, among other things,

being towards the realization and actualization of its better dimensions. The self only truly becomes itself when realizing these aspects of its nature. This self-improvement starts with self-control, curing excessive emotions and dialectical work, and concludes with self-realization as an intellect (Aubry 2004: 51; Remes 2007: esp. ch. 4). The selfhood Plotinus is primarily interested in is not an individual thing if by an individual we mean a personal self, an individual with characteristics

Download sample