6057Re: [neoplatonism] City-Soul analogy
- Oct 8, 2013Well, one reading that Proclus does defend, but I don't know if he thinks this is the primary meaning of the Republic, is one according to which the city described in the dialogue is neither an internal psychic reality, nor some human political reality, but the political organization of the cosmos itself as a perfectly well ordered city, with the gods taking the role of philosopher kings, daimons the role of guardians and human beings the role of the third class.On Tue, Oct 8, 2013 at 3:10 PM, Clark, Stephen <srlclark@...> wrote:
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: firstname.lastname@example.org [email@example.com] 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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