Plato On God As Nous

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Plato on God as Nous

Plato on God as Nous
  • Author : Stephen Menn,Stephen Philip Menn
  • Publisher :
  • Release Date :1995
  • Total pages :86
  • ISBN :
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Summary : This book is the first sustained modern investigation of Plato's theology. A central thesis of the book is that Plato had a theology--not just a mythology for the ideal city, not just the theory of forms or the theory of cosmic souls, but also, irreducible to any of these, an account of God as Nous (Reason), the source of rational order both to souls and the world of bodies. The understanding of God as Reason, and of the world as governed directly or indirectly by Reason, is worked out in the dialogues of Plato's last period, the Statesman, Philebus, Timaeus, and Laws. These dialogues offer a strategy for explaining the physical world that goes beyond anything in the middle dialogues, and gives the best starting point for understanding the cosmologies and theologies of Aristotle, the Stoics, and later ancient thinkers. Menn focuses on the Timaeus as Plato's most sustained effort to provide what (according to the Phaedo) Anaxagoras had failed to deliver: an explanation of the world through Reason, showing that things are as they are because it is best, or because it best serves the order of the world as a whole. Anaxagoras was disappointed because he explained things through their material constituents, without explaining why the constituents are ordered as they are; but the theory of forms has the same defect, since itcannot explain why different parts of the universe participate in different forms according to a particular order. The Timaeus and other late dialogues attempt to supply the missing explanation of the ordering of the physical world. These dialogues do not retreat from the middle dialogue theory of forms, nor do they escape into an esoteric theory of numbers; but they add to the middle dialogues an analysis of the principles necessary to account for the existence and partial intelligibility of the sensible world--not only forms and a material substance but also Nous and souls. Although the demiurge of the Timaeus (and his counterpart the Nous of Philebus) is represented as a cause both to souls and bodies, most scholars have been reluctant to identify the demiurge as a being separate from and superior to souls, because they think that both the meaning of the Greek word nous and Plato's own statements require that Nous iseither a kind of soul (mind or rational soul) or something inseparable from souls (rational mental activity). Reexamining the linguistic evidence and the Platonic texts, Menn argues that nous can mean something separate from souls, namely the virtue of rationality or intelligence that souls participate in. Menn argues that Anaxagoras' Nous should be construed as such a virtue; then he examines what status this virtue has in the context of the Platonic theory of forms, and how itis a cause both to souls and to bodies. Soul plays a crucial role in mediating the causality of Nous and introducing rational order into the world of bodies, but neither soul in general nor the world-soul in particular can be identified with Nous. Menn stresses the pre-Socratic context for the cosmology and theology of Plato's late dialogues; he argues for the importance of Diogenes of Appolonia in particular, and he reconstructs a possible new fragment of Diogenes from the Timaeus and from the Hippocratic treatise On Breaths. In the Timaeus and other late dialogues Plato attempts to do better than his predecessors by standards implicit in Socrates' critique of Anaxagoras in the Phaedo, but what Plato offers remains consciously provisional. Aristotle argues that the Timaeus remains liable to some of the same criticisms that Socrates had leveled against Anaxagoras, and Aristotle's own cosmology and theology take up Plato's challenge to carry out Anaxagoras' promise of an explanation of the world through Nous, and attempt to improve on the Timaeus asPlato had improved on Anaxagoras. In this way the Timaeus serves as an essential starting point, not onlyfor those later ancient philosophers who took it as an authoritative statement on the world and on God but also for those who took it as a challenge to do better.

Facets of Plato's Philosophy

Facets of Plato's Philosophy
  • Author : William Henry Werkmeister
  • Publisher :
  • Release Date :1976
  • Total pages :102
  • ISBN :
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Plato's Gods

Plato's Gods
  • Author : Gerd Van Riel
  • Publisher :
  • Release Date :2016-04-22
  • Total pages :146
  • ISBN : 1317079922
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Summary : This book presents a comprehensive study into Plato's theological doctrines, offering an important re-valuation of the status of Plato's gods and the relation between metaphysics and theology according to Plato. Starting from an examination of Plato's views of religion and the relation between religion and morality, Gerd Van Riel investigates Plato's innovative ways of speaking about the gods. This theology displays a number of diverging tendencies - viewing the gods as perfect moral actors, as cosmological principles or as celestial bodies whilst remaining true to traditional anthropomorphic representations. Plato's views are shown to be unified by the emphasis on the goodness of the gods in both their cosmological and their moral functions. Van Riel shows that recent interpretations of Plato's theology are thoroughly metaphysical, starting from aristotelian patterns. A new reading of the basic texts leads to the conclusion that in Plato the gods aren't metaphysical principles but souls who transmit the metaphysical order to sensible reality. The metaphysical principles play the role of a fated order to which the gods have to comply. This book will be invaluable to readers interested in philosophical theology and intellectual history.

Timaeus

Timaeus
  • Author : Plato
  • Publisher :
  • Release Date :2020-04-18
  • Total pages :188
  • ISBN : 9781774416082
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Summary : Timaeus is one of Plato's dialogues, mostly in the form of a long monologue given by the title character Timaeus of Locri, written c. 360 BC. The work speculates on the nature of the physical world and human beings and is followed by the dialogue Critias. Participants in the dialogue include Socrates, Timaeus, Hermocrates, and Critias.

Plato: Laws 10

Plato: Laws 10
  • Author : N.A
  • Publisher :
  • Release Date :2008-02-07
  • Total pages :248
  • ISBN : 0191527564
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Summary : The Laws is Plato's last and longest dialogue. Although it has been neglected (compared to such works as the Republic and Symposium), it is beginning to receive a great deal of scholarly attention. Book 10 of the Laws contains Plato's fullest defence of the existence of the gods, and his last word on their nature, as well as a presentation and defence of laws against impiety (e.g. atheism). Plato's primary aim is to defend the idea that the gods exist and that they are good - this latter meaning that they do not neglect human beings and cannot be swayed by prayers and sacrifices to overlook injustice. As such, the Laws is an important text for anyone interested in ancient Greek religion, philosophy, and politics generally, and the later thought of Plato in particular. Robert Mayhew presents a new translation, with commentary, of Book 10 of the Laws . His primary aim in the translation is fidelity to the Greek. His commentary focuses on philosophical issues (broadly understood to include religion and politics), and deals with philological matters only when doing so serves to better explain those issues. Knowledge of Greek is not assumed, and the Greek that does appear has been transliterated. It is the first commentary in English of any kind on Laws 10 for nearly 140 years.

Thinking, Knowing, Acting: Epistemology and Ethics in Plato and Ancient Platonism

Thinking, Knowing, Acting: Epistemology and Ethics in Plato and Ancient Platonism
  • Author : Mauro Bonazzi,Angela Ulacco,Filippo Forcignanò
  • Publisher :
  • Release Date :2019-04-09
  • Total pages :340
  • ISBN : 9004398996
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Summary : Thinking, Knowing, Acting: Epistemology and Ethics in Plato and Ancient Platonism aims to offer a fresh perspective on the correlation between epistemology and ethics in Plato and the Platonic tradition from Aristotle to Plotinus, by investigating the social, juridical and theoretical premises of their philosophy.

The Demiurge in Ancient Thought

The Demiurge in Ancient Thought
  • Author : Carl Séan O'Brien
  • Publisher :
  • Release Date :2015-01-29
  • Total pages :346
  • ISBN : 110707536X
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Summary : Examines religious and 'scientific'/philosophical accounts of world-generation as represented by the figure of the Demiurge (Craftsman-god).

Classical Philosophy

Classical Philosophy
  • Author : Peter Adamson
  • Publisher :
  • Release Date :2014-06-26
  • Total pages :400
  • ISBN : 0191662046
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Summary : Classical Philosophy is the first of a series of books in which Peter Adamson aims ultimately to present a complete history of philosophy, more thoroughly but also more enjoyably than ever before. In short, lively chapters, based on the popular History of Philosophy podcast, he offers an accessible, humorous, and detailed look at the emergence of philosophy with the Presocratics, the probing questions of Socrates, and the first full flowering of philosophy with the dialogues of Plato and the treatises of Aristotle. The story is told 'without any gaps', discussing not only such major figures but also less commonly discussed topics like the Hippocratic Corpus, the Platonic Academy, and the role of women in ancient philosophy. Within the thought of Plato and Aristotle, the reader will find in-depth introductions to major works, such as the Republic and the Nicomachean Ethics, which are treated in detail that is unusual in an introduction to ancient philosophy. Adamson looks at fascinating but less frequently read Platonic dialogues like the Charmides and Cratylus, and Aristotle's ideas in zoology and poetics. This full coverage allows him to tackle ancient discussions in all areas of philosophy, including epistemology, metaphysics, philosophy of language, philosophy of science, ethics and politics. Attention is also given to the historical and literary context of classical philosophy, with exploration of how early Greek cosmology responded to the poets Homer and Hesiod, how Socrates was presented by the comic playwright Aristophanes and the historian Xenophon, and how events in Greek history may have influenced Plato's thought. This is a new kind of history which will bring philosophy to life for all readers, including those coming to the subject for the first time.

Plato's Phaedo

Plato's Phaedo
  • Author : Gabriele Cornelli,Thomas M. Robinson,Francisco Bravo
  • Publisher :
  • Release Date :2019-01-04
  • Total pages :407
  • ISBN : 3896657461
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Summary : Der Tagungsband enthält eine Auswahl von 41 Vorträgen, welche von den Wissenschaftlern der IPS am 11. Symposium Platonicum in Brasilien unter der Schirmherrschaft der University of Brasília gehalten wurden. Der Band behandelt alle wichtigen Fragen im Zusammenhang mit der Interpretation von Platons Phaidon und der Rezeption dieses zentralen Dialogs in der gesamten Antike.

Philosophical Religions from Plato to Spinoza

Philosophical Religions from Plato to Spinoza
  • Author : Carlos Fraenkel
  • Publisher :
  • Release Date :2012-11-22
  • Total pages :328
  • ISBN : 0521194571
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Summary : "For many thinkers from Antiquity until the Enlightenment, no meaningful distinction between philosophy and religion was possible. Instead, the concept of a philosophical religion was strongly influential on pagan, Jewish, Christian and Muslim philosophers alike. Carlos Fraenkel provides the first account of this concept and traces its history back to Plato, the Jewish Philo of Alexandria and the Christians Clement of Alexandria and Origen. He then follows it through the medieval period in both Islamic and Jewish forms; he closely analyses its appearance in the work of Spinoza in the early modern period; and he shows how it largely disappeared after the Enlightenment, when religion began to be increasingly regarded as a promoter of ignorance and superstition from which philosophy needed to be liberated. His rich and wide-ranging book will appeal to anyone interested in how philosophy has interacted with Jewish, Christian, and Muslim religious traditions over the centuries"--

Plato's Theology

Plato's Theology
  • Author : Friedrich Solmsen
  • Publisher :
  • Release Date :2013-05-15
  • Total pages :210
  • ISBN : 9780801466694
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Summary : Friedrich Solmsen’s book is a thorough exploration of Plato's ideas about God and religion. Solmsen focuses on Plato’s theology primarily as it is presented in Book 10 of the Laws, a work previously neglected as a source of Plato's conception of religion because of its problematic place within fifth-century discussions of new legal provisions concerning offences against the gods. The author, by way of introduction, outlines the role religion had played in the old Greek city-states, emphasizing the fact that there had been no religion of a nonpolitical character, and describes the way the old religion had been destroyed by the "Enlightenment" of the fifth century. Solmsen then traces the development of Plato's religious ideas, addressing such topics as Plato as the expurgator and reformer; his theological approach; the philosophy of movement; and the role of the Soul as the source of all movement. Plato's later religious philosophy, Solmsen shows, is marked by a more lenient attitude towards popular and poetic religion. He characterizes Plato's later thinking on religion, as disclosed in Book 10 of the Laws, as a revival of the old idea of a city religion. The content of this new Civic Religion, however, would be remodeled in accordance with Plato's own theological conceptions. Solmsen calls this attitude both archaic and Hellenistic. As to the Hellenistic element, the author points to the influence of the mystery cults and of Persian religion, the latter revealing itself most clearly in Plato's conception of the two antagonistic World-Souls. He also discusses at length such issues as Plato's ideas of a divine justice, his tendency towards monotheism, and the influence of his theology on later Greek philosophy and on Christian thought, especially Origen.

John Climacus

John Climacus
  • Author : John Chryssavgis
  • Publisher :
  • Release Date :2017-03-02
  • Total pages :272
  • ISBN : 1351925210
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Summary : John Chryssavgis explores the ascetic teaching and theology of St John Climacus, a classical and formative writer of the Christian medieval East, and the author of the seventh-century Ladder of Divine Ascent. This text proved to be the most widely used handbook of the spiritual life in the Christian East, partly because of its unique and striking symbol of the ladder that binds together the whole book. It has caught the attention of numerous readers in East and West alike through the ages and is a veritable classic of medieval spirituality, whose popularity in the East equals that of The Imitation of Christ in the West. Chryssavgis follows the development and influence of earlier desert literature, from Egypt through Palestine into Sinai, and includes a discussion of the theology of tears, the concept of unceasing prayer, as well as the monastic principles of hesychia (silence) and eros (love).

Plato's Philosophy of Science

Plato's Philosophy of Science
  • Author : Andrew Gregory
  • Publisher :
  • Release Date :2015-03-02
  • Total pages :256
  • ISBN : 147250237X
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Summary : In this illuminating book Andrew Gregory takes an original approach to Plato's philosophy of science by reassessing Plato's views on how we might investigate and explain the natural world. He demonstrates that many of the common charges against Plato - disinterest, ignorance, dismissal of observation - are unfounded, and shows instead that Plato had a series of important and cogent criticisms to make of the early atomists and other physiologoi. Plato's views on science, and on astronomy and cosmology in particular, are shown to have developed in interesting ways. Thus, the book argues, Plato can best be seen as a philosopher struggling with the foundations of scientific realism, and as someone, moreover, who has interesting epistemological, cosmological and nomological reasons for his approach. Plato's Philosophy of Science is important reading for all those with an interest in Ancient Philosophy and the History of Science.

Plato's Cosmology and its Ethical Dimensions

Plato's Cosmology and its Ethical Dimensions
  • Author : Gabriela Roxana Carone
  • Publisher :
  • Release Date :2005-10-31
  • Total pages :329
  • ISBN : 1107320739
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Summary : Although a great deal has been written on Plato's ethics, his cosmology has not received so much attention in recent times and its importance for his ethical thought has remained underexplored. By offering accounts of Timaeus, Philebus, Politicus and Laws X, the book reveals a strongly symbiotic relation between the cosmic and human sphere. It is argued that in his late period Plato presents a picture of an organic universe, endowed with structure and intrinsic value, which both urges our respect and calls for our responsible intervention. Humans are thus seen as citizens of a university that can provide a context for their flourishing even in the absence of good political institutions. The book sheds light on many intricate metaphysical issues in late Plato and brings out the close connections between his cosmology and the development of his ethics.

The Cave and the Light

The Cave and the Light
  • Author : Arthur Herman
  • Publisher :
  • Release Date :2013-10-22
  • Total pages :704
  • ISBN : 0553907832
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Summary : Arthur Herman has now written the definitive sequel to his New York Times bestseller, How the Scots Invented the Modern World, and extends the themes of the book—which sold half a million copies worldwide—back to the ancient Greeks and forward to the age of the Internet. The Cave and the Light is a magisterial account of how the two greatest thinkers of the ancient world, Plato and Aristotle, laid the foundations of Western culture—and how their rivalry shaped the essential features of our culture down to the present day. Plato came from a wealthy, connected Athenian family and lived a comfortable upper-class lifestyle until he met an odd little man named Socrates, who showed him a new world of ideas and ideals. Socrates taught Plato that a man must use reason to attain wisdom, and that the life of a lover of wisdom, a philosopher, was the pinnacle of achievement. Plato dedicated himself to living that ideal and went on to create a school, his famed Academy, to teach others the path to enlightenment through contemplation. However, the same Academy that spread Plato’s teachings also fostered his greatest rival. Born to a family of Greek physicians, Aristotle had learned early on the value of observation and hands-on experience. Rather than rely on pure contemplation, he insisted that the truest path to knowledge is through empirical discovery and exploration of the world around us. Aristotle, Plato’s most brilliant pupil, thus settled on a philosophy very different from his instructor’s and launched a rivalry with profound effects on Western culture. The two men disagreed on the fundamental purpose of the philosophy. For Plato, the image of the cave summed up man’s destined path, emerging from the darkness of material existence to the light of a higher and more spiritual truth. Aristotle thought otherwise. Instead of rising above mundane reality, he insisted, the philosopher’s job is to explain how the real world works, and how we can find our place in it. Aristotle set up a school in Athens to rival Plato’s Academy: the Lyceum. The competition that ensued between the two schools, and between Plato and Aristotle, set the world on an intellectual adventure that lasted through the Middle Ages and Renaissance and that still continues today. From Martin Luther (who named Aristotle the third great enemy of true religion, after the devil and the Pope) to Karl Marx (whose utopian views rival Plato’s), heroes and villains of history have been inspired and incensed by these two master philosophers—but never outside their influence. Accessible, riveting, and eloquently written, The Cave and the Light provides a stunning new perspective on the Western world, certain to open eyes and stir debate. Praise for The Cave and the Light “A sweeping intellectual history viewed through two ancient Greek lenses . . . breezy and enthusiastic but resting on a sturdy rock of research.”—Kirkus Reviews “Examining mathematics, politics, theology, and architecture, the book demonstrates the continuing relevance of the ancient world.”—Publishers Weekly “A fabulous way to understand over two millennia of history, all in one book.”—Library Journal “Entertaining and often illuminating.”—The Wall Street Journal

Models of God and Alternative Ultimate Realities

Models of God and Alternative Ultimate Realities
  • Author : Jeanine Diller,Asa Kasher
  • Publisher :
  • Release Date :2013-06-13
  • Total pages :1041
  • ISBN : 9400752199
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Summary : The envisioned volume is a collection of recent essays about the philosophical exploration, critique and comparison of (a) the major philosophical models of God, gods and other ultimate realities implicit in the world’s philosophical schools and religions, and of (b) the ideas of such models and doing such modeling per se. The aim is to identify exactly what a model of ultimate reality is; create a comprehensive and accessible collection of extant models; and determine how best, philosophically, to model ultimate reality, if possible and desirable.

The Cambridge Companion to Ancient Ethics

The Cambridge Companion to Ancient Ethics
  • Author : Christopher Bobonich
  • Publisher :
  • Release Date :2017-07-31
  • Total pages :360
  • ISBN : 1107053919
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Summary : The field of ancient Greek ethics is increasingly emerging as a major branch of philosophical enquiry, and students and scholars of ancient philosophy will find this Companion to be a rich and invaluable guide to the themes and movements which characterised the discipline from the Pre-Socratics to the Neo-Platonists. Several chapters are dedicated to the central figures of Plato and Aristotle, and others explore the ethical thought of the Stoics, the Epicureans, the Skeptics, and Plotinus. Further chapters examine important themes that cut across these schools, including virtue and happiness, friendship, elitism, impartiality, and the relationship between ancient eudaimonism and modern morality. Written by leading scholars and drawing on cutting-edge research to illuminate the questions of ancient ethics, the book will provide students and specialists with an indispensable critical overview of the full range of ancient Greek ethics.

Descartes and Augustine

Descartes and Augustine
  • Author : Stephen Menn,Stephen Philip Menn
  • Publisher :
  • Release Date :2002-01-28
  • Total pages :415
  • ISBN : 9780521012843
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Summary : This book is the first systematic study of Descartes' relation to Augustine. It offers a complete re-evaluation of Descartes' philosophy, and of the philosophical ideas in Augustine that were Descartes' starting point. Descartes and Augustine will engage the attention of historians of medieval, neo-Platonic, and early modern philosophy. That Descartes was indebted to Augustine is not in itself a fresh discovery. What distinguishes Stephen Menn's book is his detailed demonstration that the key to the Meditations is Descartes' use of Augustine's method for establishing a knowledge of God and the soul independent of any theory of the physical world. This method gives Descartes an independent starting point for reconstructing the system of the sciences. Where the scholastics had tried to show that Augustine's metaphysics of God and the soul is compatible with an Aristotelian physics of matter and form, Descartes argues that they are not compatible, and that Augustinian metaphysics provides the foundation for an anti-Aristotelian mechanistic physics. Menn gives a detailed analysis of the Meditations, showing how the novel form of Descartes' argument arises from the challenge of presenting Augustine's metaphysics in a way that makes it suitable for its new foundational task. Descartes and Augustine includes a complete reading of the Meditations, a historical and philosophical introduction to Augustine's thought and to Plotinian neo-Platonism, and a discussion of the contemporary context of Descartes' earlier and later philosophical projects.

Laws

Laws
  • Author : Plato,Aeterna Press
  • Publisher :
  • Release Date :2015-09-01
  • Total pages :329
  • ISBN :
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Summary : THE genuineness of the Laws is sufficiently proved (1) by more than twenty citations of them in the writings of Aristotle, who was residing at Athens during the last twenty years of the life of Plato, and who, having left it after his death (B. C. 347), returned thither twelve years later (B. C. 335); (2) by the allusion of Isocrates—writing 346 B. C., a year after the death of Plato, and probably not more than three or four years after the composition of the Laws—who speaks of the Laws and Republics written by philosophers (??? ??? ????????); (3) by the reference (Athen. 226 A) of the comic poet Alexis, a younger contemporary of Plato (fl. B. C. 356–306), to the enactment about prices, which occurs in Laws xi. 917 B foll., viz. that the same goods should not be offered at two prices on the same day; (4) by the unanimous voice of later antiquity and the absence of any suspicion among ancient writers worth speaking of to the contrary: for it is not said of Philippus of Opus that he composed any part of the Laws, but only that he copied them out of the waxen tablets, and was thought by some to have written the Epinomis (Diog. Laert. iii. 25). Aeterna Press

“The” Six Books of Proclus

“The” Six Books of Proclus
  • Author : Proclus
  • Publisher :
  • Release Date :1816
  • Total pages :329
  • ISBN :
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Summary :