Plato On God As Nous Download Ebook PDF Epub Online

Author : Stephen Menn
Stephen Philip Menn
Publisher : Journal on the History of Phil
Release : 1995
Page : 86
Category : Philosophy
ISBN 13 :
Description :


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.


Author : Gerd Van Riel
Publisher : Routledge
Release : 2016-04-22
Page : 146
Category : Religion
ISBN 13 : 1317079922
Description :


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.


Author : Plato
Aeterna Press
Publisher : Aeterna Press
Release : 2015-09-01
Page : 96
Category : Religion
ISBN 13 :
Description :


OF all the writings of Plato the Timaeus is the most obscure and repulsive to the modern reader, and has nevertheless had the greatest influence over the ancient and mediaeval world. The obscurity arises in the infancy of physical science, out of the confusion of theological, mathematical, and physiological notions, out of the desire to conceive the whole of nature without any adequate knowledge of the parts, and from a greater perception of similarities which lie on the surface than of differences which are hidden from view. Aeterna Press


Author : Robert M. Wallace
Publisher : Bloomsbury Publishing
Release : 2019-12-26
Page : 280
Category : Philosophy
ISBN 13 : 1350082872
Description :


Few twenty-first century academics take seriously mysticism's claim that we have direct knowledge of a higher or more “inner” reality or God. But Philosophical Mysticism argues that such leading philosophers of earlier epochs as Plato, G. W. F. Hegel, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and Alfred North Whitehead were, in fact, all philosophical mystics. This book discusses major versions of philosophical mysticism beginning with Plato. It shows how the framework of mysticism's higher or more inner reality allows nature, freedom, science, ethics, the arts, and a rational religion-in-the-making to work together rather than conflicting with one another. This is how philosophical mysticism understands the relationships of fact to value, rationality to ethics, and the rest. And this is why Plato's notion of ascent or turning inward to a higher or more inner reality has strongly attracted such major figures in philosophy, religion, and literature as Aristotle, Plotinus, St Augustine, Dante Alighieri, Immanuel Kant, Hegel, William Wordsworth, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Emily Dickinson, Whitehead, and Wittgenstein. Wallace's Philosophical Mysticism brings this central strand of western philosophy and culture into focus in a way unique in recent scholarship.


Author : Stephen Menn
Stephen Philip Menn
Publisher : Cambridge University Press
Release : 2002-01-28
Page : 415
Category : Philosophy
ISBN 13 : 9780521012843
Description :


This book is a systematic study of Descartes' relation to Augustine. It offers a complete reevaluation of Descartes' thought and as such will be of major importance to all historians of medieval, neo-Platonic, or early modern philosophy. Stephen Menn demonstrates that Descartes uses Augustine's central ideas as a point of departure for a critique of medieval Aristotelian physics, which he replaces with a new, mechanistic anti-Aristotelian physics. Special features of the book include a reading of the Meditations, a comprehensive historical and philosophical introduction to Augustine's thought, a detailed account of Plotinus, and a contextualization of Descartes' mature philosophical project which explores both the framework within which it evolved and the early writings, to show how the collapse of the early project drove Descartes to the writings of Augustine.


Author : Christopher Shields
Publisher : Oxford University Press
Release : 2012-08-16
Page : 710
Category : History
ISBN 13 : 0195187482
Description :


This book reflects the lively international character of Aristotelian studies, drawing contributors from Europe, North America, and Asia. It also reflects the broad range of activity Aristotelian studies comprise today, informed by cutting-edge philological research and focusing as its core activity on textual exegesis and philosophical criticism.


Author : Rosemary Desjardins
Publisher : BRILL
Release : 2003-12-01
Page :
Category : History
ISBN 13 : 9047412362
Description :


This book is an original interpretation of the idea of the Good that is based on the interplay between words (logoi) and dramatic action (erga) in Plato’s dialogues Philebus, The Republic, Phaedrus, Euthyphro, and the Apology.


Author : Richard D. Mohr
Publisher : Parmenides Publishing
Release : 2005-12-01
Page : 304
Category : Philosophy
ISBN 13 : 1930972482
Description :


This book is a collection of dovetailing essays which together interpret and assess the chief arguments and texts which make up Plato's cosmology. Arguments in the Timaeus, Sophist, Statesman, Philebus, and Laws X are analyzed with an eye to problems which affect the wider understanding of Plato's metaphysics, theology, epistemology, psychology, and physics. New interpretations are given to Plato's views on the role and characteristics of his craftsman God, the nature and status of Forms, the nature of time and eternity, the status and nature of space and the phenomenal realm, and the nature of and relations between reason, souls, bodies, and motion.


Author : Beatriz Bossi
Thomas M. Robinson
Publisher : Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG
Release : 2018-11-19
Page : 367
Category : Literary Criticism
ISBN 13 : 3110605546
Description :


This volume tackles both the apparent lack of unity and the perplexing philosophical content of the Statesman as it explores, in what is now Plato's second account, subsequent to that of the Republic, of what would constitute the best society, the role and nature of the statesman in it; the art of governance of it; the role and nature of its laws; the role and status of its female citizens; and how the virtues are interwoven within it, along with many other topics, including (in a major Myth) that of the origins of the universe and of humankind. Coming as they do from often widely differing hermeneutical traditions, the authors in the volume offer responses to substantive and intriguing questions that the dialogue raises which are frequently divergent, but by that very token of much value in any attempt to interpret a complex and multifaceted work.


Author : Sandra Peterson
Publisher : Cambridge University Press
Release : 2011-03-10
Page :
Category : Philosophy
ISBN 13 : 1139497979
Description :


In Plato's Apology, Socrates says he spent his life examining and questioning people on how best to live, while avowing that he himself knows nothing important. Elsewhere, however, for example in Plato's Republic, Plato's Socrates presents radical and grandiose theses. In this book Sandra Peterson offers a hypothesis which explains the puzzle of Socrates' two contrasting manners. She argues that the apparently confident doctrinal Socrates is in fact conducting the first step of an examination: by eliciting his interlocutors' reactions, his apparently doctrinal lectures reveal what his interlocutors believe is the best way to live. She tests her hypothesis by close reading of passages in the Theaetetus, Republic and Phaedo. Her provocative conclusion, that there is a single Socrates whose conception and practice of philosophy remain the same throughout the dialogues, will be of interest to a wide range of readers in ancient philosophy and classics.


Author : Miklós Vassányi
Enikő Sepsi
Publisher : Springer
Release : 2017-01-19
Page : 274
Category : Philosophy
ISBN 13 : 3319450697
Description :


This volume examines mystical experiences as portrayed in various ways by “authors” such as philosophers, mystics, psychoanalysts, writers, and peasant women. These “mystical authors” have, throughout the ages, attempted to convey the unsayable through writings, paintings, or oral stories. The immediate experience of God is the primary source and ultimate goal of these mystical expressions. This experience is essentially ineffable, yet all mystical authors, either consciously or unconsciously, feel an urge to convey what they have undergone in the moments of rapture. At the same time they are in the role of intermediaries: the goal of their self-expression – either written, painted or oral – is to make others somehow understand or feel what they have experienced, and to lead others toward the spiritual goal of human life. This volume studies the mystical experiences and the way they have been described or portrayed in West-European culture, from Antiquity to the present, from an interdisciplinary perspective, and approaches the concept of “immediate experience” in various ways.


Author : Jeanine Diller
Asa Kasher
Publisher : Springer Science & Business Media
Release : 2013-06-13
Page : 1041
Category : Philosophy
ISBN 13 : 9400752199
Description :


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.


Author : Gabriela Roxana Carone
Publisher : Cambridge University Press
Release : 2005-10-31
Page :
Category : Philosophy
ISBN 13 : 1107320739
Description :


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.


Author : Gail Fine
Publisher : Oxford University Press, USA
Release : 2019
Page : 752
Category : Philosophy
ISBN 13 : 0190639733
Description :


Plato is the best known, and continues to be the most widely studied, of all the ancient Greek philosophers. The updated and original essays in the second edition of the Oxford Handbook of Plato provide in-depth discussions of a variety of topics and dialogues, all serving several functions at once: they survey the current academic landscape; express and develop the authors' own views; and situate those views within a range of alternatives. The result is a useful state-of-the-art reference to the man many consider the most important philosophical thinker in history. This second edition of the Oxford Handbook of Plato differs in two main ways from the first edition. First, six leading scholars of ancient philosophy have contributed entirely new chapters: Hugh Benson on the Apology, Crito, and Euthyphro; James Warren on the Protagoras and Gorgias; Lindsay Judson on the Meno; Luca Castagnoli on the Phaedo; Susan Sauvé Meyer on the Laws; and David Sedley on Plato's theology. This new edition therefore covers both dialogues and topics in more depth than the first edition did. Secondly, most of the original chapters have been revised and updated, some in small, others in large, ways.


Author : Friedrich Solmsen
Publisher :
Release : 2013-05-15
Page : 210
Category : God
ISBN 13 : 9780801466694
Description :


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.


Author : W. David Beck
Publisher : InterVarsity Press
Release : 2021-03-09
Page : 328
Category : Religion
ISBN 13 : 0830853014
Description :


Does God exist? In one incisive volume, philosopher W. David Beck offers a narrative of pre-Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Christian, and Islamic arguments for God's existence. In this history of answers to an essential question, readers will encounter both classical and contemporary arguments, including cosmological, teleological, moral, and ontological arguments.


Author : Thomas Kjeller Johansen
Publisher : Cambridge University Press
Release : 2004-07-01
Page :
Category : Philosophy
ISBN 13 : 1107320119
Description :


Plato's dialogue the Timaeus-Critias presents two connected accounts, that of the story of Atlantis and its defeat by ancient Athens and that of the creation of the cosmos by a divine craftsman. This book offers a unified reading of the dialogue. It tackles a wide range of interpretative and philosophical issues. Topics discussed include the function of the famous Atlantis story, the notion of cosmology as 'myth' and as 'likely', and the role of God in Platonic cosmology. Other areas commented upon are Plato's concepts of 'necessity' and 'teleology', the nature of the 'receptacle', the relationship between the soul and the body, the use of perception in cosmology, and the work's peculiar monologue form. The unifying theme is teleology: Plato's attempt to show the cosmos to be organised for the good. A central lesson which emerges is that the Timaeus is closer to Aristotle's physics than previously thought.


Author : Franco Trabattoni
Publisher : Leuven University Press
Release : 2016-03-21
Page : 336
Category : Philosophy
ISBN 13 : 9462700591
Description :


An Innovating approach to Plato’s philosophy Through a careful survey of several significant Platonic texts, mainly focussing on the nature of knowledge, Essays on Plato’s Epistemology offers the reader a fresh and promising approach to Plato’s philosophy as a whole. From the very earliest reception of Plato’s philosophy, there has been a conflict between a dogmatic and a sceptical interpretation of his work and thought. Moreover, the two sides are often associated, respectively, with a metaphysical and an anti-metaphysical approach. This book, continuing a line of thought that is nowadays strongly present in the secondary literature – and also followed by the author in over thirty years of research –, maintains that a third way of thinking is required. Against the widespread view that an anti-dogmatic philosophy must go together with an anti-metaphysical stance, Trabattoni shows that for Plato, on the contrary, a sober and reasonable assessment of both the powers and limits of human reason relies on a proper metaphysical outlook.


Author : Kevin Corrigan
John Douglas Turner
Publisher : BRILL
Release : 2007
Page : 278
Category : Philosophy
ISBN 13 : 9004158413
Description :


By questioning the modern categories of Plato and Platonism, this book offers new ways of reading the Platonic dialogues and the many traditions that resonate in them from Antiquity to Post-Modernity.


Author : Eli Diamond
Publisher : Northwestern University Press
Release : 2015-05-31
Page : 284
Category : Philosophy
ISBN 13 : 081013070X
Description :


In Mortal Imitations of Divine Life, Diamond offers an interpretation of De Anima, which explains how and why Aristotle places souls in a hierarchy of value. Aristotle’s central intention in De Anima is to discover the nature and essence of soul—the principle of living beings. He does so by identifying the common structures underlying every living activity, whether it be eating, perceiving, thinking, or moving through space. As Diamond demonstrates through close readings of De Anima, the nature of the soul is most clearly seen in its divine life, while the embodied soul’s other activities are progressively clear approximations of this principle. This interpretation shows how Aristotle’s psychology and biology cannot be properly understood apart from his theological conception of God as life, and offers a new explanation of De Anima’s unity of purpose and structure.