Re: [neoplatonism] Re: Christian Platonists and Neoplatonists - Part 2 (Middle Ages)
- Malcolm Schosha wrote:
> Further, when it comes to someone like Marsilio Ficino, who translated and commented on Plotinus, Iamblichus, Proclus, and Hermias, it seems hard to avoid calling him a bona fide Neoplatonist. Terms like Neo-neoplatonist seem a bit muchThis suggests an even simpler solution - just call people what they
called themselves (and what they were universally called by their
contemporaries and by everyone until quite recently): Platonists. If
both Porphyry and Ficino can be Neoplatonists - why can't they simply be
It is clear that the "neo" prefix was first introduced (1) as a blatant
anachronism, and (2) with a very un-scholarly value judgment attached to
it. Why not just be done with it?
- --- In email@example.com, "Lloyd P. Gerson"
> Try A.F. Busching, Grundriss einer Geschichte der Philosophie, Band
> (Berlin, 1774).Busching then would precede Schleiermacher by about 30 years. I
> Quoting John Uebersax <john.uebersax@...>:
> > Christoph,
> > Christoph Helmig wrote:
> >> Some time ago someone told me that the term
> >> "Neoplatonism" was actually coined by Thomas Taylor, the Platonist.
> >> Does anyone know more about this, since I haven't found any passage
> >> that could confirm this claim?
assumed, perhaps wrongly, that when Schleiermacher - as a result of
doing his translations of Plato, I think - attempted to separate out
the Plato of the dialogues from all else "Platonic", he was also
responsible for the introduction of the term "Neoplatonism". But I have
not read anything of Schleiermacher in his own words, merely reports of
him in modern scholarship.
As we have discussed before, though not recently, it also much depends
on what you mean by "Platonism". If you discard the Unwritten
Doctrines, then Neoplatonism is much different. If you don't - and
personally I don't see how you can discard them at all - then
Neoplatonism is much more a development of his original ideas than
My question lately is more about how the realm of the Intellect,
starting in Plotinus, gained such prominence in Neoplatonism. It seems
to me there is less in Plato to justify this than some other major
features. Granted the Ideas are not of the sensible world, but where is
the major focus on Mind itself in Plato, to the degree it is already in
Plotinus, granted a hypostasis of its own? Not really in the Timaeus,
is it? The Demiurge there isn't really that intellectual, is it? Lots
more there about soul and souls, right? Certainly nothing I know of
about Intellect in the Unwritten Doctrines, unless of course there was
something just not included in the later reports.
It's Anaxagoras who comes to mind (excuse the expression) more readily
than Plato in this regard, isn't it? Yet I don't recall every reading
any mention of Anaxagoras as an influence on Neoplatonic thought. Which
may of course just be another Bildungsloch on my part. I would as usual
be happily corrected if wrong.