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Neoplatonism book reviews

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  • Adamson, Peter
    Dear Dennis, At the risk of self-promotion maybe I should point out that I do an annual Book Notes in the journal Phronesis, which covers books on
    Message 1 of 11 , Oct 27, 2009
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      Dear Dennis,

      At the risk of self-promotion maybe I should point out that I do an annual "Book Notes" in the journal Phronesis, which covers books on Neoplatonism. Usually I review between 15 and 20 books per year and before me Anne Sheppard was doing it. I can usually only allot about one paragraph to each book so they are not really proper reviews. But Phronesis seems to get most of the interesting books on Neoplatonism, so reading through these Notes through the last few years would at least give you an idea of what is recently available; and I do evaluate the books as well as summarizing their content. Mostly the Notes cover Greek Neoplatonism but I occasionally get volumes on the Latin or Arabic tradition and have included these too.

      Best,
      Peter Adamson

      peter.adamson@...

      Philosophy Dept.
      King's College London
      Strand
      London WC2R 2LS
      UK
      ________________________________________

      Absolutely, thanks, and I have indeed read them all, in this issue and the past ones, and it's a great service to have so many Platonist experts now reviewing publications in the field for a journal with a Platonist focus, and convenient to have them altogether in one journal, rather then having to search through BMCR et al hoping something has been reviewed. I mentioned those two reviews here mostly out of personal interest in their particular subject matter, and to raise to the group if anyone wanted to discuss them some of the issues brought up by Baltussen about Simplicius and his audience.

      Dennis Clark
    • leslie greenhill
      Did Neoplatonism only exist in the past or are there a few people around now who actively continue and develop the tradition?   Les P.O. Box 314 Mentone,
      Message 2 of 11 , Oct 27, 2009
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        Did Neoplatonism only exist in the past or are there a few people around now who actively continue and develop the tradition?
         
        Les

        P.O. Box 314
        Mentone, Victoria 3194 Australia
        Email: neoplatonist2000@...

        --- On Tue, 27/10/09, Adamson, Peter <peter.adamson@...> wrote:


        From: Adamson, Peter <peter.adamson@...>
        Subject: [neoplatonism] Neoplatonism book reviews
        To: "neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com" <neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com>
        Received: Tuesday, 27 October, 2009, 7:49 PM


         



        Dear Dennis,

        At the risk of self-promotion maybe I should point out that I do an annual "Book Notes" in the journal Phronesis, which covers books on Neoplatonism. Usually I review between 15 and 20 books per year and before me Anne Sheppard was doing it. I can usually only allot about one paragraph to each book so they are not really proper reviews. But Phronesis seems to get most of the interesting books on Neoplatonism, so reading through these Notes through the last few years would at least give you an idea of what is recently available; and I do evaluate the books as well as summarizing their content. Mostly the Notes cover Greek Neoplatonism but I occasionally get volumes on the Latin or Arabic tradition and have included these too.

        Best,
        Peter Adamson

        peter.adamson@ kcl.ac.uk

        Philosophy Dept.
        King's College London
        Strand
        London WC2R 2LS
        UK
        ____________ _________ _________ _________ _

        Absolutely, thanks, and I have indeed read them all, in this issue and the past ones, and it's a great service to have so many Platonist experts now reviewing publications in the field for a journal with a Platonist focus, and convenient to have them altogether in one journal, rather then having to search through BMCR et al hoping something has been reviewed. I mentioned those two reviews here mostly out of personal interest in their particular subject matter, and to raise to the group if anyone wanted to discuss them some of the issues brought up by Baltussen about Simplicius and his audience.

        Dennis Clark















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      • Bruce MacLennan
        Hi Les, ... Yes, there are some of us who pursue it in our own (perhaps divergent) ways. Hugieia! Bruce MacLennan [Non-text portions of this message have been
        Message 3 of 11 , Oct 27, 2009
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          Hi Les,

          On Oct 27, 2009, at 5:54 AM, leslie greenhill wrote:

          > Did Neoplatonism only exist in the past or are there a few people
          > around now who actively continue and develop the tradition?

          Yes, there are some of us who pursue it in our own (perhaps divergent)
          ways.

          Hugieia!
          Bruce MacLennan

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • leslie greenhill
          Good to hear.  Thanks for responding.  I am sending you a document under separate cover. Les P.O. Box 314 Mentone, Victoria 3194 Australia Email:
          Message 4 of 11 , Oct 27, 2009
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            Good to hear.  Thanks for responding.  I am sending you a document under separate cover.
            Les

            P.O. Box 314
            Mentone, Victoria 3194 Australia
            Email: neoplatonist2000@...

            --- On Wed, 28/10/09, Bruce MacLennan <mclennan@...> wrote:


            From: Bruce MacLennan <mclennan@...>
            Subject: Re: [neoplatonism] Neoplatonism book reviews
            To: neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com
            Received: Wednesday, 28 October, 2009, 12:55 PM


             



            Hi Les,

            On Oct 27, 2009, at 5:54 AM, leslie greenhill wrote:

            > Did Neoplatonism only exist in the past or are there a few people
            > around now who actively continue and develop the tradition?

            Yes, there are some of us who pursue it in our own (perhaps divergent)
            ways.

            Hugieia!
            Bruce MacLennan

            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

















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          • vaeringjar
            ... There are two volumes in the SUNY Neoplatonism series of essays on Neoplatonism and Contemporary Thought. I have these myself but haven t had the chance to
            Message 5 of 11 , Oct 28, 2009
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              --- In neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com, leslie greenhill <neoplatonist2000@...> wrote:
              >
              > Good to hear.  Thanks for responding.  I am sending you a document under separate cover.
              > Les
              >
              > P.O. Box 314
              > Mentone, Victoria 3194 Australia
              > Email: neoplatonist2000@...
              >
              > --- On Wed, 28/10/09, Bruce MacLennan <mclennan@...> wrote:
              >
              >
              > From: Bruce MacLennan <mclennan@...>
              > Subject: Re: [neoplatonism] Neoplatonism book reviews
              > To: neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com
              > Received: Wednesday, 28 October, 2009, 12:55 PM
              >
              >
              > Hi Les,
              >
              > On Oct 27, 2009, at 5:54 AM, leslie greenhill wrote:
              >
              > > Did Neoplatonism only exist in the past or are there a few people
              > > around now who actively continue and develop the tradition?
              >
              > Yes, there are some of us who pursue it in our own (perhaps divergent)
              > ways.
              >
              > Hugieia!
              > Bruce MacLennan
              >

              There are two volumes in the SUNY Neoplatonism series of essays on Neoplatonism and Contemporary Thought. I have these myself but haven't had the chance to read them, so I am not sure they would be helpful. At any rate, here's a link to one of the volumes at Amazon.com:

              http://www.amazon.com/Neoplatonism-Contemporary-Thought-Studies-Ancient/dp/0791452786

              One thought just occurred to me, as I was looking at that page and Amazon of course now pops up with all sorts of suggested related books whenever you are looking at something for sale there. A book about Plotinus came up, which appears a popularizing but serious work, and I noticed all the positive reviews it got, all of them apparently from non-academics. One in fact is a doctor in a small town in Oregon.

              This set me to wondering just how popular Neoplatonism is out there in the world, outside of academia. I was just bemoaning here the lack of academic presence here on the West Coast of America and Canada, and then I see a doctor at least apparently quite engaged in his own study in a small town in Oregon I have never even heard of.

              But it's an odd thing, I have never in all these years of interest had a verbal, face to face conversation with anyone about this subject - so thank heavens for this site!

              Dennis Clark
            • vaeringjar
              ... Sorry, I missed seeing your note here - thanks, I will definitely take a look at the recent volumes of Phronesis next chance I get, as obviously I wasn t
              Message 6 of 11 , Oct 29, 2009
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                --- In neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com, "Adamson, Peter" <peter.adamson@...> wrote:
                >
                > Dear Dennis,
                >
                > At the risk of self-promotion maybe I should point out that I do an annual "Book Notes" in the journal Phronesis, which covers books on Neoplatonism. Usually I review between 15 and 20 books per year and before me Anne Sheppard was doing it. I can usually only allot about one paragraph to each book so they are not really proper reviews. But Phronesis seems to get most of the interesting books on Neoplatonism, so reading through these Notes through the last few years would at least give you an idea of what is recently available; and I do evaluate the books as well as summarizing their content. Mostly the Notes cover Greek Neoplatonism but I occasionally get volumes on the Latin or Arabic tradition and have included these too.
                >
                > Best,
                > Peter Adamson
                >
                > peter.adamson@...
                >
                > Philosophy Dept.
                > King's College London
                > Strand
                > London WC2R 2LS
                > UK
                > ________________________________________


                Sorry, I missed seeing your note here - thanks, I will definitely take a look at the recent volumes of Phronesis next chance I get, as obviously I wasn't aware of your work there when I made the earlier comments! My oversight, mea culpa.

                Dennis Clark
                Tapping his keyboard apparently only to change feet in his mouth these days...
              • Michael Paris
                Indeed there are, few as we may be. In sufficient numbers, apparently, to keep books of Brian Hines, Pierre Hadot, John Deck, et. al. in print. There s nothing
                Message 7 of 11 , Oct 31, 2009
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                  Indeed there are, few as we may be. In sufficient numbers, apparently,
                  to keep books of Brian Hines, Pierre Hadot, John Deck, et. al. in print.

                  There's nothing quite like Neoplatonism. My first encounter was like an
                  electric shock.



                  Best wishes,

                  Michael Paris


                  Bruce MacLennan wrote:

                  Hi Les,

                  On Oct 27, 2009, at 5:54 AM, leslie greenhill wrote:

                  > Did Neoplatonism only exist in the past or are there a few people
                  > around now who actively continue and develop the tradition?

                  Yes, there are some of us who pursue it in our own (perhaps divergent)
                  ways.

                  Hugieia!
                  Bruce MacLennan
                • John Uebersax
                  A while back I tried to compile a list of Platonists in the Italian Renaissance, beginning with Marsilio Ficino s Florentine circle. It didn t take long
                  Message 8 of 11 , Nov 1, 2009
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                    A while back I tried to compile a list of Platonists in the Italian Renaissance, beginning with Marsilio Ficino's Florentine circle. It didn't take long before the list expanded to an unmanageable level. There were Platonists all over the place, beyond counting. And this was probably true in other historical periods as well. We know about the famous figures. But they were just the tip of the iceberg. We like to think it's the famous figures who define the history of philosophy. That's one view. An alternative is that it's the zeitgeist that evolves, and that the famous figures are markers, indicators of the zeitgeist -- or maybe catalysts -- but not the same as the zeitgeist itself. It's arguably the greater numbers of students and scholars quietly studying Platonism on their own that are the defining element.

                    John Uebersax
                  • leslie greenhill
                    John   Would you place Leonardo da Vinci in that circle?  I have made a study of his version of Vitruvian Man and certain aspects of his notebooks.  I have
                    Message 9 of 11 , Nov 1, 2009
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                      John
                       
                      Would you place Leonardo da Vinci in that circle?  I have made a study of his version of Vitruvian Man and certain aspects of his notebooks.  I have a strong view that he had Platonic and Pythagorean leanings.  And in my hometown, Melbourne, like a few new world cities, our early architecture (via Freemasonry) has been extensively influenced by Platonic and Pythagorean ideas.  A preliminary examination of one of our most significant structures suggests that key aspects of Plato's design for Atlantis has been ingeniously incorporated.  
                       
                      Les
                       
                      P.O. Box 314
                      Mentone, Victoria 3194 Australia
                      Email: neoplatonist2000@...

                      --- On Sun, 1/11/09, John Uebersax <john.uebersax@...> wrote:


                      From: John Uebersax <john.uebersax@...>
                      Subject: Re: [neoplatonism] Neoplatonism book reviews
                      To: neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com
                      Received: Sunday, 1 November, 2009, 6:03 PM


                       



                      A while back I tried to compile a list of Platonists in the Italian Renaissance, beginning with Marsilio Ficino's Florentine circle. It didn't take long before the list expanded to an unmanageable level. There were Platonists all over the place, beyond counting. And this was probably true in other historical periods as well. We know about the famous figures. But they were just the tip of the iceberg. We like to think it's the famous figures who define the history of philosophy. That's one view. An alternative is that it's the zeitgeist that evolves, and that the famous figures are markers, indicators of the zeitgeist -- or maybe catalysts -- but not the same as the zeitgeist itself. It's arguably the greater numbers of students and scholars quietly studying Platonism on their own that are the defining element.

                      John Uebersax

















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                    • John Uebersax
                      Les, I looked into possible direct connection between da Vinci and Ficino s Platonic circle, but don t recall what I concluded (though this would be an easy
                      Message 10 of 11 , Nov 2, 2009
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                        Les,

                        I looked into possible direct connection between da Vinci and Ficino's Platonic circle, but don't recall what I concluded (though this would be an easy question for anybody who had any expertise in the subject). Certainly da Vinci was not far removed, in any case; he knew Botticelli, and Lorenzo de Medici was his patron for many years (both in Ficino's circle), and owned at least one of Ficino's books.

                        Ficino was by no means the first or only Florentine intellectual stimulating interest in Plato, Pythagoras and Hermeticism, so its hard to imagine Leonardo not having ample opportunity to explore such subjects.

                        John
                      • leslie greenhill
                        Certainly.  I am especially interested in Leonardo s relationships with Donato Bramante and, in particular, with Cesar Cesariano, who also published a
                        Message 11 of 11 , Nov 2, 2009
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                          Certainly.  I am especially interested in Leonardo's relationships with Donato Bramante and, in particular, with Cesar Cesariano, who also published a version of Vitruvius's "The Ten Books on Architecture" in 1521.  If I ever get anywhere with my work, Cesariano, may well turn out to be one of the most significant Platonic/Pythagorean characters in history.  From some findings I have made, he seems to have a profound understanding of the "mysteries".
                           
                          Les

                          P.O. Box 314
                          Mentone, Victoria 3194 Australia
                          Email: neoplatonist2000@...

                          --- On Tue, 3/11/09, John Uebersax <john.uebersax@...> wrote:


                          From: John Uebersax <john.uebersax@...>
                          Subject: Re: [neoplatonism] Neoplatonism book reviews
                          To: neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com
                          Received: Tuesday, 3 November, 2009, 2:07 AM


                           



                          Les,

                          I looked into possible direct connection between da Vinci and Ficino's Platonic circle, but don't recall what I concluded (though this would be an easy question for anybody who had any expertise in the subject). Certainly da Vinci was not far removed, in any case; he knew Botticelli, and Lorenzo de Medici was his patron for many years (both in Ficino's circle), and owned at least one of Ficino's books.

                          Ficino was by no means the first or only Florentine intellectual stimulating interest in Plato, Pythagoras and Hermeticism, so its hard to imagine Leonardo not having ample opportunity to explore such subjects.

                          John















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