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  • Marco Bormann
    Aug 22 3:23 AM
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      I have a question on Damascius and I wanted to share an insight I got so far from reading his Principles.

      First the question: Does anyone know of some kind of schema that has been established to get an overview of the topics he treats in in Principles? I admit that I have some trouble setting it in relation to for instance Proklos divison of Intellectual/Intellectual-Intellect/Intellect disvison. After reading more than half of it, I still have the feeling I am still in the middle of the Intellectual.   

      The insight I wanted to share is a major difference between the way Damasicus understands a triad and the triads in Hegel's Dialectic. Maybe this difference holds also for other neoplatonist thinkers. It became clear to me, when Damascius talks about the automotive that has to be placed between the immobile and the heteromobile. For him, in every triad there seems to exist a downward movement such that the third element is on an ontolocial scale less perfect than the predecesors. In an Hegelian dialectic this would be seen quite different, the third therm would as synthesis have to include the others. The automotive would of course be such a synthesis of immobile and heteromotive. He would not see it as a downward movement but rather as the Synthesis picking up the negative opposite and putting it on a higher level. Maybe that's why in neoplatonic thought the beginning, the one is always seen as the most perfect, while from a Hegelian point of view the last elements are the most precious, such as the absolute idea in the logic or the human spirit in the triad of idea, nature and spirit.

      Thanks for your help,
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