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Journal of the History of Philosophy 43.4 (2005) 483-484

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Société d'études platoniciennes. Études Platoniciennes. Vol. 1, Annuaire européen d'études platoniciennes. Edited by Luc Brisson and Jean-François Pradeau. Paris: Les Belles Lettres, 2004. Pp. 348, e 35,00.

This is the first volume in what is projected to be an annual series published under the auspices of the Société d'études platoniciennes, with sponsorship in France, italy, and Spain. The introductory editorial note by Jean-François Pradeau (7) states the Society's intention for the series to publish in five languages (German, English, Spanish, French, and italian), sometimes on a particular theme or particular work, but always to contribute to the knowledge of Plato's works and the Platonic tradition. Here one can only briefly indicate the range of contents of this first volume.

There are three parts. The first, entitled "Platon," includes six articles on Plato. Anne Merker, "Corps et châtiment chez Platon" (11–50), reviews relevant sections of Gorgias, Timaeus, and Laws and argues that, in fact, the body has most significantly both a semantic and a cosmological function in Plato's view. Klaus Schöpsdau, "Richten und Strafen. Zum Strafrecht in Platons Nomoi" (51–72), offers a more general explanation of judgment and punishment in Plato and thus might more usefully have preceded Merkur's article. For Francisco Lisi, "El mito del Politico" (73–90), the myth, perhaps paradoxically, turns out to reveal Plato as a philosopher of history. Francesco Gregorio, elements pour une métacritique de l'interprétation de la République de Platon" (91–112) examines in detail the reading of Plato's text that can be extrapolated from Aristotle's criticisms of it. Among the surprises, he finds an Aristotelian irony which he considers a sure sign that Aristotle [End Page 483] read Plato well (111). Walter Leszl's long article, "Plato's Attitude to poetry and the fine arts, and the origins of aesthetics" (113–98), is, in fact, only part i of a longer discussion, the second part of which will appear in volume ii of this series (asterisked note to 199) in which he tries to replace Kristeller's view that the system of "fine arts" is a distinctively modern idea and hence absent in ancient authors. The weakness of the case as stated thus far is that Leszl fails to recognize the important distinction between concepts explicitly articulated and those which later scholars find "implied" by what ancients "must have" thought and confirmed by certain "traces" in what they write. Like Leszl's article, Francesco Bearzi's "il contesto noetico del Simposio" (199–251) is part of a much longer connected study of the four passages—Diotima's speech in the Symposium, Republic, excursus in Seventh Letter, and Phaedrus 247–50—in which intellectual intuition is treated. Despite its seemingly mysterious language, he sees the view presented as rigorously rational.

The second part, "Tradition platonicienne," contains only two articles, and thus is not in balance with part one. Francesco Fronterotta's "La genèse et la succession des réalités atemporelles. Un argument paradoxal chez Plotin (Ennéades V 1 [10] 6, 19–22)" (255–70) finds that Plotinus's argument leads to the paradoxical conclusion, reminiscent of certain conclusions in the Parmenides, that a truly atemporal reality could be neither thought nor spoken. in "La doctrine des degrés de vertus chez les néo-platoniciens. Une analyse de la Sentence 32 de Porphyre, de ses antecedents et de ses consequences" (271–86), Luc Brisson introduces the views of virtue in Plato, Aristotle, and the Stoics, before expounding the four types in Porphyry, who, he claims, first makes possible the idea of degrees of virtue, and looking briefly at some later Neoplatonic formulations.

The third part, "Notes et lectures critiques," includes a review article by Francisco Fronterrota, "L'unità del Platonismo : Alcuni studi sulla tradizione medioplatonica e neoplatonica" (289–98) and a "Bibliographie des études...


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