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From Plato to Platonism Cover

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From Plato to Platonism

by Lloyd P. Gerson

Was Plato a Platonist? While ancient disciples of Plato would have answered this question in the affirmative, modern scholars have generally denied that Plato’s own philosophy was in substantial agreement with that of the Platonists of succeeding centuries. In From Plato to Platonism, Lloyd P. Gerson argues that the ancients were correct in their assessment. He arrives at this conclusion in an especially ingenious manner, challenging fundamental assumptions about how Plato’s teachings have come to be understood. Through deft readings of the philosophical principles found in Plato's dialogues and in the Platonic tradition beginning with Aristotle, he shows that Platonism, broadly conceived, is the polar opposite of naturalism and that the history of philosophy from Plato until the seventeenth century was the history of various efforts to find the most consistent and complete version of “anti-naturalism."

Gerson contends that the philosophical position of Plato—Plato’s own Platonism, so to speak—was produced out of a matrix he calls “Ur-Platonism.” According to Gerson, Ur-Platonism is the conjunction of five “antis” that in total arrive at anti-naturalism: anti-nominalism, anti-mechanism, anti-materialism, anti-relativism, and anti-skepticism. Plato’s Platonism is an attempt to construct the most consistent and defensible positive system uniting the five “antis.” It is also the system that all later Platonists throughout Antiquity attributed to Plato when countering attacks from critics including Peripatetics, Stoics, and Sceptics. In conclusion, Gerson shows that Late Antique philosophers such as Proclus were right in regarding Plotinus as “the great exegete of the Platonic revelation."

Greek Concept of Nature, The Cover

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Greek Concept of Nature, The

In The Greek Concept of Nature, Gerard Naddaf utilizes historical, mythological, and linguistic perspectives to reconstruct the origin and evolution of the Greek concept of phusis. Usually translated as nature, phusis has been decisive both for the early history of philosophy and for its subsequent development. However, there is a considerable amount of controversy on what the earliest philosophers—Anaximander, Xenophanes, Pythagoras, Heraclitus, Parmenides, Empedocles, Anaxagoras, Leucippus, and Democritus—actually had in mind when they spoke of phusis or nature. Naddaf demonstrates that the fundamental and etymological meaning of the word refers to the whole process of birth to maturity. He argues that the use of phusis in the famous expression Peri phuseos or historia peri phuseos refers to the origin and the growth of the universe from beginning to end. Naddaf’s bold and original theory for the genesis of Greek philosophy demonstrates that archaic and mythological schemes were at the origin of the philosophical representations, but also that cosmogony, anthropogony, and politogony were never totally separated in early Greek philosophy.

Heidegger and the Greeks Cover

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Heidegger and the Greeks

Interpretive Essays

Edited by Drew A. Hyland and John Panteleimon Manoussakis

Martin Heidegger's sustained reflection on Greek thought has been increasingly recognized as a decisive feature of his own philosophical development. At the same time, this important philosophical meeting has generated considerable controversy and disagreement concerning the radical originality of Heidegger's view of the Greeks and their place in his groundbreaking thinking. In Heidegger and the Greeks, an international group of distinguished philosophers sheds light on the issues raised by Heidegger's encounter and engagement with the Greeks. The careful and nuanced essays brought together here shed light on how core philosophical concepts such as phenomenology, existentialism, hermeneutics, and ethics are understood today. For readers at all levels, this volume is an invitation to continue the important dialogue with Greek thinking that was started and stimulated by Heidegger.

Contributors are Claudia Baracchi, Walter A. Brogan, Günter Figal, Gregory Fried, Francisco J. Gonzalez, Drew A. Hyland, John Panteleimon Manoussakis, William J. Richardson, John Sallis, Dennis J. Schmidt, and Peter Warnek.

Henrici de Gandavo Summa Cover

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Henrici de Gandavo Summa

Quaestiones ordinariae art. XLVII-LII

Markus L. Führer (ed.)

Volume 30 of the Henrici de Gandavo Opera Omnia series is devoted to Henry’s Summa quaestionum ordinariarum, articles 47-52. This section of Henry’s Summa deals with the action of the (divine) will; the divine will in relation to the divine intellect; divine beatitude; passion in relation to the divine being; the differences between the divine attributes; and the order of the divine attributes. The critical edition of the text is accompanied by a detailed introduction to the manuscripts and to Henry’s sources.

Huai-nan Tzu Cover

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Huai-nan Tzu

Philosophical Synthesis in Early Han Thought

Charles Le Blanc

The present study emphasizes Chapter Six of Huai-nan Tzu in expounding the theory of kan-ying STIMULUS-RESPONSE; RESONANCE, which postulates that all things in the universe are interrelated and influence each other according to pre-set patterns.

Les dialogues platoniciens chez Plutarque Cover

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Les dialogues platoniciens chez Plutarque

Stratégies et méthodes exégétiques

Xavier Brouillette, Angelo Giavatto (eds)

The issue of Plutarch's Platonism is a crucial topic for both specialists in Plutarch and for those interested in Plato.While previous publications on this issue focus on the faithfulness of Plutarch to Platonic philosophy and how Platonic theses are presented in the Middle Platonism, this volume attempts, through a multifaceted approach, to focus on how and why Plutarch uses the words of Plato in the Moralia.

Levinas and the Ancients Cover

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Levinas and the Ancients

Edited by Brian Schroeder and Silvia Benso. Foreword by Adriaan Peperzak

The relation between the Greek and Judeo-Christian traditions is "the great problem" of Western philosophy, according to Emmanuel Levinas. In this book Brian Schroeder, Silvia Benso, and an international group of philosophers address the relationship between Levinas and the world of ancient thought. In addition to philosophy, themes touching on religion, mythology, metaphysics, ontology, epistemology, ethics, and politics are also explored. The volume as a whole provides a unified and extended discussion of how an engagement between Levinas and thinkers from the ancient tradition works to enrich understandings of both. This book opens new pathways in ancient and modern philosophical studies as it illuminates new interpretations of Levinas' ethics and his social and political philosophy.

Love Song for the Life of the Mind Cover

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Love Song for the Life of the Mind

An Essay on the Purpose of Comedy

Gene Fendt

Love Song for the Life of the Mind develops the view of comedy that, the author argues, would have been set out in Aristotle's missing second book of Poetics. As such it is both a philosophical and a historical argument about Aristotle; and the theory of comedy it elucidates is meant to be trans-historically and trans-culturally accurate.

Lucretius Cover

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Lucretius

His Continuing Influence and Contemporary Relevance

Lucretius (c. 99 BCE–c. 55 BCE) is the author of De Rerum Natura, a work which tries to explain and expound the doctrines of the earlier Greek philosopher Epicurus. The Epicurean view of the world is that it is composed entirely of atoms moving about in infinite space. The implications of this view are profound: the proper study of the world is the province of natural philosophy (science); there are no supernatural gods who created the world or who direct its course or who can reward or punish us; death is simply annihilation, and so there is no next life and no torment in an underworld. Epicurus, and then his disciple Lucretius, advocated a simple life, free from mental turmoil and anguish. The essays in this collection deal with Lucretius’s critique of religion, his critique of traditional attitudes about death, and his influences on later thinkers such as Isaac Newton and Alfred Tennyson. We see that Lucretius’s philosophy is connected to contemporary philosophy such as existentialism and that aspects of his thought work against trying to separate the sciences and the humanities. Lucretius: His Continuing Influence and Contemporary Relevance is the title of a 2009 conference on Lucretius held at St. John Fisher College, when many of the ideas in these essays were first presented.

Miroir et Savoir Cover

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Miroir et Savoir

Daniël De Smet, Meryem Sebti, Godefroid De Callatäy (eds)

Grâce à sa grande richesse, la métaphore platonicienne du miroir a été adoptée, amplifiée et élaborée dans l’Antiquité par une multitude d’auteurs, certes tous d’inspiration platonicienne, mais appartenant à la fois au paganisme et au christianisme. Lorsqu’on étudie cette métaphore dans le corpus philosophique, mystique et poétique en terre d’Islam, on constate qu’il ne s’agit pas d’une récurrence fortuite, d’un lieu commun, d’un archétype de la pensée humaine. Il s’agit au contraire de l’adoption d’un thème précis, toujours lié à un contexte platonicien malgré la pluralité des courants dans lesquels il apparaît. Les contributeurs au livre Miroir et Savoir se sont attachés à étudier les modalités selon lesquelles le thème platonicien du miroir est passé du paganisme et du christianisme à la culture arabo-musulmane, de la langue grecque et syriaque à l’arabe et au persan. Ils ont tenté de dévoiler les mécanismes de ces passages et d’en déterminer l’enjeu conceptuel. Cet ouvrage espère ainsi apporter une contribution au dossier de l’histoire de la réception du corpus philosophique grec dans le monde arabo-musulman.

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