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Re: [neoplatonism] Calling all astrologers!

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  • Jean-Louis DE BIASI
    Friends, I forwarded this question to a friend (Mario) who translated the book De Mensibus by Ioannes Lydos (http://goo.gl/0fNCMc) Here is his answer: I
    Message 1 of 48 , Oct 5, 2013
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      Friends,

       

      I forwarded this question to a friend (Mario) who translated the book "De Mensibus" by Ioannes Lydos (http://goo.gl/0fNCMc)

       

      Here is his answer:

      "I would translate it:"according to the inspiration of the moment".

      παρακλισις is actually "inclination", στιγμη is point, but also point in time, i.e. moment.

      So it depends on what the soul is choosing in that time.

      It could make sense."

       

      Best Regards,

       

      Jean-Louis




      On 10/5/2013 12:23 PM, Goya wrote:
       

      Friends,

      As I try to translate the fragments of Porphyry's "On what depends on us",
      I'm seriously hindered by my ignorance of ancient astrology.

      In one passage, Porphyry writes as follows:

      Ἤδη οὖν ἡ μὲν
      ἑλομένη
      κυνὸς βίον
      ἔρχεται ἐπὶ
      τόνδε τὸν
      ὡροσκόπον· ἡ
      δὲ ἀνθρώπου
      κατὰ τὴν
      παράκλισιν
      τῆς στιγμῆς
      ἐπὶ τόνδε·

      In case the Greek doesn't come through: EdE oun hE men helomenE kunos bion
      erkhetai epi tonde ton hOroscopon. HE de anthrOpou kata tEn paraklisin tEs
      stigmEs epi tonde.

      My tentative translation: then the soul that has chosen the life of a dog
      goes toward a specific horoscope, while the soul that has chosen a human
      life goes toward this other horoscope, *kata tEn paraklisin tEs stigmEs*.

      The context: Porphyry interprets Plato's Myth of Er in the Republic in
      astrological terms. He distinguishes two choices: first, the soul chooses
      a general type of life (man/women; human/animal); these choices are
      indicated by the signs of the zodiac. Second, the soul chooses a specific
      type of life (soldier, sailor, hunting-dog or lap-dog): these are
      indicated by the constellations.

      My problem: I don't know what *kata tEn paraklisin tEs stigmEs*. means.
      The term paraklisis has a half-dozen occurrences acc. to the TLG, but LSJ
      has no entry s.v. It must derive from *paraklinO* and hence mean something
      like "deviation", but what the "deviation of a point" might mean, I have
      no idea. Any and all help greatly appreciated.

      Best, Mike

      Michael Chase
      CNRS UPR 76
      Paris-Villejuif
      France


    • John Dillon
      ... 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
      Message 48 of 48 , Aug 22, 2014
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        Re: [neoplatonism] City-Soul analogy
         
         
         
           


        Hello everyone,

        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."
        Best,
        John Uebersax

           



        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



        Robert Wallace
        website: www.robertmwallace.com <http://www.robertmwallace.com>  
        blog: http.//robertmwallace.blogspot.com <http://robertmwallace.blogspot.com>
        email: bob@...
        phone: 414-617-3914










         
           



        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
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