Neoplatonism and the Philosophy of Nature

Neoplatonism and the Philosophy of Nature

By: James Wilberding (editor), Christoph Horn (editor)Hardback

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Description

Despite Platonism's unquestioned claim to being one of the most influential movements in the history of philosophy, for a long time the conventional wisdom was that Platonists of late antiquity, or Neoplatonists, were so focused on otherworldly metaphysics that they simply neglected any serious study of the sensible world, which after all is 'merely' an image of the intelligible world. Only recently has this conventional wisdom begun to be dispelled. In fact, it is precisely because these thinkers did see the sensible world as an image of the intelligible world that they devoted so much time and energy to understanding its inner workings. Thus we find Neoplatonists writing on embryology, physiology, meteorology, and astronomy, among other subjects. Neoplatonism and the Philosophy of Nature collects essays by leading international scholars in the field which shed new light on how the Neoplatonists sought to understand and explain nature and natural phenomena. It is thematically divided into two parts, with the first part-The General Metaphysics of Nature-directed at the explication of central Neoplatonic metaphysical doctrines and their relation to the natural world, and the second part-Platonic Approaches to Individual Sciences-showing how these same doctrines play out in individual natural sciences such as elemental physics, geography, and biology. Together these essays show that a serious examination of Neoplatonic natural philosophy has far-reaching consequences for our general understanding of the metaphysics of Platonism as well as for our evaluation of their place in the history of science.

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About Author

James Wilberding is Professor in Ancient and Medieval Philosophy at the Ruhr University in Bochum, Germany. His publications include Plotinus' Cosmology (OUP, 2006), Philoponus: On the Eternity of the World Books 12-18 (Cornell and Duckworth, 2006), and Porphyry: To Gaurus on How Embryos are Ensouled and On What Is in Our Power (Cornell and Duckworth, 2011). Christoph Horn is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Bonn, Germany. He works on various aspects of ancient philosophy (Plato, Aristotle, Plotinus, Augustine) as well as modern moral and political thought. His monographs include Plotin uber Sein, Zahl und Einheit (Teubner, 1995); Augustinus (Beck, 1995); Antike Lebenskunst (Beck, 1998); and Politische Philosophie (Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 2003); and he has edited numerous volumes including Augustinus. De civitate dei (Akademie Verlag, 1997); (with Ch. Rapp) Worterbuch der antiken Philosophie (Beck, 2002); (with A. Neschke) Politischer Aristotelismus. Die Rezeption der aristotelischen, Politik' von der Antike bis zum 19. Jahrhundert (Metzler 2008); (with J. Muller and J. Soder) Platon-Handbuch. Leben-Werk-Wirkung (Metzler, 2009); and (with G. Lohrer) Grunde und Zwecke-Texte zur aktuellen Handlungstheorie (Suhrkamp, 2010).

Contents

PART I: THE GENERAL METAPHYSICS OF NATURE; PART II: PLATONIC APPROACHES TO INDIVIDUAL SCIENCES

Product Details

  • publication date: 05/04/2012
  • ISBN13: 9780199693719
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 272
  • ID: 9780199693719
  • weight: 556
  • ISBN10: 0199693714

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