This study focuses on the ancient commentaries on Plato’s Phaedo by Olympiodorus and Damascius and aims to present the relevance of their challenging and valuable readings of the dialogue to Neoplatonic ethics.
Translated for the first time into English, this volume in the Ancient Commentators on Aristotle series contains works of two Christian philosophers from Gaza, Aeneas of Gaza and Zacharias of Mytilene.
The three ancient philosophical introductions translated in this volume flesh out our picture of what it would have been like to sit in a first-year Philosophy course in ancient Alexandria. Ammonius (AD 445-517/26) set up a new teaching programme in Alexandria with up to six introductions to the philosophy curriculum, which made it far more accessible, and encouraged its spread from Greek to other cultures. This volume's three introductory texts include one by his student Olympiodorus and one each by Olympiodorus' (...) students Elias and David. Elias' Introductions to Philosophy starts with six definitions of Philosophy, to which David adds replies to the sceptical question whether there is such a thing as Philosophy. Olympiodorus' text translated here is an Introduction to Logic, which is just one of the three introductions he wrote himself. (shrink)
In Plotinus’s universe, Intellect is the first “product” of the One. Yet why and how precisely is Intellect “produced”? What characteristics distinguish it, and its particular way of knowing, from its higher cause? Questions such as these will lead one deep into the metaphysics and epistemology of the Enneads, where the operative principles that underlie particular passages often need to be teased out carefully. Indispensable requirements for this task are attention to philological and historical detail, and a general sensitivity to (...) the problems Plotinus is facing. Emilsson combines both admirably.In the introduction, Emilsson sets out his baseline approach: Plotinus’s Intellect can be understood in terms of an “ideal knower,” i.e., “something that knows and understands what there may be to know and understand in as full a sense as one could possibly postulate” . As will become clear from chapters 3 and 4, it is self-knowledge in particular that lies at the heart of Plotinus’s view of the conditions that an ideal knower must fulfill. (shrink)