6056RE: [neoplatonism] City-Soul analogy
- Oct 8, 2013
I'm sure the analogy is used, and Plato himself seems to conclude that the main use of the story is to build such a city in our own souls, but if the Platonists thought the Republic was MORE about the individual soul than about politics, it was probably because they had no real scope for founding an actual city - though Plotinus apparently wanted to, and persuaded Gallienus to underwrite the project (which didn't in fact happen).
Philo, incidentally, says that ‘If we mistakenly trust our private reasonings we shall construct and build the city of the mind that destroys the truth’ (Legum Allegoriarum 3.228f: Philo of Alexandria: the Contemplative Life, The Giants, and Selections, tr. D.Winston (SPCK: London 1981), p.151). I'm not sure what the moral of that is!
Stephen ClarkFrom: email@example.com [firstname.lastname@example.org] on behalf of John Uebersax [john.uebersax@...]
Sent: 07 October 2013 15:49
Subject: Re: [neoplatonism] City-Soul analogy
> remarkably little ancient evidence on this, despite the fact that I hold it to be true
Thanks, John. I find this scarcity of evidence a little puzzling.
In case anyone hasn't seen it, Norbert Blössner's chapter ('The City-Soul Analogy') in the Cambridge Companion to Plato's Republic argues for a psychological reading with unusual clarity and thoroughness.
Sara – Thanks. I'll look more closely at what Julia Annas says there.
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