Re: [neoplatonism] Re: Calling all astrologers!
- Thanks for this.
The passage you reproduce is basically right, I think, but Werner Deuse,
in his Untersuchngen zum mittelplatonischen und neuplatonischen
Sellenlehre, Wiesbaden 1983, is critical of Bouché-Leclercq's
interpretation of Porph's passage, I think rightly. He points out (p.
153-54) that according to Bouché-Leclercq, the soul enters into the embryo
before birth, but this is not Porphyry's view, as shown by the Ad Gaurum.
> Hi Mike,Michael Chase
> I'm not a specialist but here's how Bouché-Leclercq's (*L'astrologie
> *, p.601-602) paraphrases your passage and the following lines of the
> "Qu'on imagine a l'Orient, a I'«Horoscope», un troupeau d'âme en appétit
> d'incarnation devant un etroit passage allernativement ouvert et fermé par
> le mouvement de Ia grande roue zodiacale, celle-ci percée d'autant de
> qu'elle compte de degres. Au moment voulu, poussee par Ia Justice, qu'on
> appelle aussi Ia Fortune, telle âme, I'âme d'un chien, par exemple, passe
> par Ie trou horoscopique, et, l'instant d'apres, une arne humaine par un
> autre trou."
> He also notes: "La même theorie est exposee par Proclus (in Anal. sacr.,
> 2, pp. 97 sqq., 137, 173 Pitra), qui voudrait voir les chefs d'Etat
> attentifs au moment de Ia *spora*, pour capter les âmes de bon aloi. Cf.
> ci-dessus, pp. 22, 2 et 508.
> Hope this is of any help and good luck! I am interested in knowing what
> make of this.
> Olivier Dufault
CNRS UPR 76
Re: [neoplatonism] City-Soul analogy
John Uebersax wrote:
what, in modern psychological terms, would the citizens of 'psychopolis' be? To call them "passions" seems inaccurate. "Complexes" might do. Perhaps good candidates would be "sub-egos" or "partial egos."
and John Dillon replied
Of course, if the Republic is really about the anatomy — and ordering — of the individual soul, as I believe it is, then the Cave Allegory really has to be about the constituents of an individual soul!
I would suggest (what John Dillon may well have meant) that the best candidates for these “constituents” would be the famous “parts of the soul” from Republic iv: the appetitive part and the ’spirited’ part. These aren’t “modern psychological terms,” but it’s not difficult to paraphrase them in modern terms: desires, pride, ‘ego,’ etc.
The soul’s “rational part” (logistikon) would correspond, of course, to the philosopher who exits the cave and returns to it with his newfound knowledge.
Something like this interpretation seems to me to be assumed throughout the Platonic tradition, but I don’t know that I could _document_ this before modern times (Hegel).
Best, Bob Wallace
More on the City-Soul analogy.
Suppose we accept that the Republic is primarily a psychological allegory, not a treatise on civil government. What then to make of the Cave Allegory?
The usual view, of course, sees the allegory's protagonist as a philosopher, who, having seen Truth, feels obliged to return to society to try to liberate others. But wouldn't it be more consistent with a psychological reading to see the other prisoners as elements of ones *own* soul, which ones 'inner philosopher' seeks to liberate or redeem?
Such an interpretation seems plausible, but I've never seen it mentioned or even hinted at. Has it any precedent in the Platonic tradition?
It's similar, incidentally, to Philo's interpretation of Moses as a saving disposition or element of the soul.
More generally, what, in modern psychological terms, would the citizens of 'psychopolis' be? To call them "passions" seems inaccurate. "Complexes" might do. Perhaps good candidates would be "sub-egos" or "partial egos."
John, I think that that is a most important insight, and I don’t actually think that I have seen it raised elsewhere. Of course, if the Republic is really about the anatomy — and orderign — of the individual soul, as I believe it is, then the Cave Allegory really has to be about the constituents of an individual soul! John
website: www.robertmwallace.com <http://www.robertmwallace.com>
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Yes, Bob. That would be my thought. Of course, Plato (that many-minded man) also has in mind Socrates’ attempts to bring his fellow-citizens to a better frame of mind, and their hostile reaction to that, but primarily the ‘re-descent into the Cave’ should relate to the concern of the now-enlightened rational part of the soul to convey that enlightenment to the two lower parts (and their resistance to that!). And I can’t say that I have seen that much discussed, oddly enough, though I may well have missed something. John