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Re: [neoplatonism] Digest Number 340

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  • Julien F. Villeneuve
    ... I wonder why he doesn t make the more obvious parallel, which is with Hegel (with whom, furthermore, conceptual filiation is more likely). In both cases,
    Message 1 of 7 , Jul 8 9:03 AM
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      > Message: 1
      > Date: Thu, 07 Jul 2005 22:32:05 +0100
      > From: John H Spencer <J.H.Spencer@...>
      > Subject: Re: Re: Arieti and Neoplatonism
      >
      > Greetings,
      > The book by Malin is very good in some places, though I don't think he
      > understood Plotinus very accurately (not saying that I do!), but he
      > certainly was moving in the right metaphysical direction. I am in the
      > middle of some intense writing on my thesis, so don't have time to go
      > into
      > details of my own research, but I can give a good quote from Kevin
      > Corrigan
      > from his excellent new book.
      >
      > 'Plotinus develops a kind of logic of the indeterminate in which the
      > principle of non-contradiction no longer strictly applies because no
      > principle of identity can be found in matter's indeterminacy as such.
      > Instead of making true or false statements, we have to approach the
      > puzzling character of indeterminancy by combining apparently opposite
      > statements: x both is and is not. Plotinus does not, of course,
      > anticipate
      > quantum physics, but there is a certain similarity between the two
      > insofar
      > as contemporary physics has been compelled to think and speak of
      > probabilities instead of precise scientific measurements and to recognize
      > the indeterminacy of descriptions such as wave and particle, or again,
      > velocity and position' (Corrigan, 'Reading Plotinus: A Practical
      > Introduction to Neoplatonism', 2005, p. 118.)
      >
      > Corrigan does not develop this theme but made a very accurate observation
      > of the similarity. This similarity follows the standard Copenhagen
      > interpretation but may not map on so easily with Bohm's hidden variables
      > or
      > the many-worlds interpretation...but that is a different story. Most
      > physicists, rightly or wrongly, work with some version of the Copenhagen
      > view.
      > best wishes

      I wonder why he doesn't make the more obvious parallel, which is with
      Hegel (with whom, furthermore, conceptual filiation is more likely). In
      both cases, the idea seems to go back to Plato's Sophist.

      Cordially,

      Julien
      --
      Julien Villeneuve (epistrophe(at)sent.com)
      Ph.D. Student, Philosophy, McGill University
      "It is difficult to know whether you know something or not." Aristotle, Posterior Analytics 76a26
    • John H Spencer
      ... Hi Julien, It s good that you raised Hegel. However, Corrigan s book, as the title indicates, is about Plotinus. What may not be as well-known among
      Message 2 of 7 , Jul 9 2:13 AM
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        >
        > I wonder why he doesn't make the more obvious parallel, which is with
        > Hegel (with whom, furthermore, conceptual filiation is more likely). In
        > both cases, the idea seems to go back to Plato's Sophist.
        >
        > Cordially,
        >
        > Julien
        > --
        > Julien Villeneuve (epistrophe(at)sent.com)
        > Ph.D. Student, Philosophy, McGill University
        > "It is difficult to know whether you know something or not." Aristotle,
        > Posterior Analytics 76a26





        Hi Julien,

        It's good that you raised Hegel. However, Corrigan's book, as the title
        indicates, is about Plotinus. What may not be as well-known among
        contemporary philosophers (though perhaps I am wrong) is that Hegel was
        very influenced by Neoplatonism. Neoplatonism has influenced a diverse
        range of thinkers throughout the centuries, including Hegel. I will
        present the smallest of samples: 'Leibniz and Spinoza developed entirely
        opposite views of substance on Neoplatonic principles and methods. The word
        "monad", in Leibniz's Monadology, had been a favourite of ancient Athenian
        Neoplatonism...Goethe, Schelling, Holderlin, and Hegel all admired
        Plotinus' ideas and transmitted this admiration to the British
        Idealists...' (Corrigan, 2005, p. 238).

        'Schelling and Hegel developed, each in his way, Transcendentalism and
        Dialectic. Their philosophy included the 'Philosophy of Nature',
        Naturphilosophie. Based on the Neoplatonic triadic dialectic, it proposed
        the unfolding of unity into polarity of forces and to levels of potency...'
        (Lucas Siorvanes, Proclus: Neo-Platonic Philosophy and Science, 1996, p.
        39).

        While we may be able to find interesting parallels with Hegel and quantum
        theory, these parallels are not any more obvious than those between
        Plotinus or Proclus and quantum theory, especially given the influence
        Neoplatonsim had on Hegel. If anything, the parallels are more obvious
        between the Neoplatonists and quantum theory. We certainly can bring in
        Hegel, but the founders of modern science, such as Kepler, read Proclus not
        Hegel. And Kepler's metaphysical worldview is just as relevant for the
        foundations of physics today as it was 400 years ago.
        Max Planck (the original founder of what would become the quantum theory)
        writes:

        '[Tycho de] Brahe had the same material under his hands as Kepler, and even
        better opportunities, but he remained only a researcher, because he did not
        have the same faith in the existence of the eternal laws of creation.
        Brahe remained only a researcher; but Kepler was the creator of the new
        astronomy' (Planck, Where is Science Going?, 1932, p. 216).


        Therefore, it is certainly worthwhile going back to the source of the ideas
        of the foundations of modern science, which certainly includes the
        Neoplatonists and ,as you note, Plato (and Pythagoras, and probably to
        unknown people before them!).


        best wishes
        john

        John H Spencer
        President, Interdisciplinary Forum
        <www.liverpoolidf.com>
        Department of Philosophy
        University of Liverpool

        >
        >> Message: 1
        >> Date: Thu, 07 Jul 2005 22:32:05 +0100
        >> From: John H Spencer <J.H.Spencer@...>
        >> Subject: Re: Re: Arieti and Neoplatonism
        >>
        >> Greetings,
        >> The book by Malin is very good in some places, though I don't think he
        >> understood Plotinus very accurately (not saying that I do!), but he
        >> certainly was moving in the right metaphysical direction. I am in the
        >> middle of some intense writing on my thesis, so don't have time to go
        >> into
        >> details of my own research, but I can give a good quote from Kevin
        >> Corrigan
        >> from his excellent new book.
        >>
        >> 'Plotinus develops a kind of logic of the indeterminate in which the
        >> principle of non-contradiction no longer strictly applies because no
        >> principle of identity can be found in matter's indeterminacy as such.
        >> Instead of making true or false statements, we have to approach the
        >> puzzling character of indeterminancy by combining apparently opposite
        >> statements: x both is and is not. Plotinus does not, of course,
        >> anticipate
        >> quantum physics, but there is a certain similarity between the two
        >> insofar
        >> as contemporary physics has been compelled to think and speak of
        >> probabilities instead of precise scientific measurements and to
        >> recognize the indeterminacy of descriptions such as wave and particle,
        >> or again, velocity and position' (Corrigan, 'Reading Plotinus: A
        >> Practical Introduction to Neoplatonism', 2005, p. 118.)
        >>
        >> Corrigan does not develop this theme but made a very accurate
        >> observation of the similarity. This similarity follows the standard
        >> Copenhagen interpretation but may not map on so easily with Bohm's
        >> hidden variables or
        >> the many-worlds interpretation...but that is a different story. Most
        >> physicists, rightly or wrongly, work with some version of the Copenhagen
        >> view.
        >> best wishes
        >
        >>
        >
        >
        > Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
      • Michael Chase
        ... M.C. This strikes me as unlikely or at least exaggerated. In the case of Hegel, he did have a favorable opinion of Plotinus, but his philosophy is based to
        Message 3 of 7 , Jul 9 11:35 AM
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          Le 9 juil. 05, à 02:13, John H Spencer a écrit :

          > >
          > > I wonder why he doesn't make the more obvious parallel, which is
          > with
          > > Hegel (with whom, furthermore, conceptual filiation is more
          > likely). In
          > > both cases, the idea seems to go back to Plato's Sophist.
          > >
          > > Cordially,
          > >
          > > Julien
          > > --
          > >  Julien Villeneuve (epistrophe(at)sent.com)
          > >  Ph.D. Student, Philosophy, McGill University
          > >  "It is difficult to know whether you know something or not."
          > Aristotle,
          > > Posterior Analytics 76a26
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > Hi Julien,
          >
          > It's good that you raised Hegel. However, Corrigan's book, as the
          > title
          > indicates, is about Plotinus. What may not be as well-known among
          > contemporary philosophers (though perhaps I am wrong) is that Hegel
          > was
          > very influenced by Neoplatonism. Neoplatonism has influenced a diverse
          > range of thinkers throughout the centuries, including Hegel.  I will
          > present the smallest of samples: 'Leibniz and Spinoza developed
          > entirely
          > opposite views of substance on Neoplatonic principles and methods.
          > The word
          > "monad", in Leibniz's Monadology, had been a favourite of ancient
          > Athenian
          > Neoplatonism...Goethe, Schelling, Holderlin, and Hegel all admired
          > Plotinus' ideas and transmitted this admiration to the British
          > Idealists...' (Corrigan, 2005, p. 238).

          M.C. This strikes me as unlikely or at least exaggerated. In the case
          of Hegel, he did have a favorable opinion of Plotinus, but his
          philosophy is based to a much greater extent on Proclus, whose analysis
          of the Parmenides he called “ die Spitze der neuplatonischen
          Philosophie ". When the first two modern editions of Proclus appeared
          in 1820 (Creuzer's at Frankfurt, Cousin's at Paris), both were deciated
          to Hegel. According to Creuzer (Ause dem Leben eines alten Professors,
          p. 124), Hegel cared much less for Plotinus than for Proclus


          As far as Goethe is concerned, a quick search through the 14 vols. of
          the Hamburg edition of Goethe's works reveals not a single mention of
          his name, nor is he mentioned in the Conversations with Eckermann. I
          find precisely two mentions of Plotinus in Goethe's voluminous works :
          in a letter (Briefe Bd.16-20) he cites a passage from Porphyry's Life
          of Plotinus, and in another he thanks a correspondent for sending him
          the Enneads. That's it, so far as I can tell.

          As far as Neoplatonism and quantum physics goes, the eminent Parisian
          nuclear physicist Bernard D'Espagnat ends his Traite de Physique et de
          Philosophie (Paris 2002) by reporting a dialogue with a colleague on
          which philosophy best agreed with the most recent findings of quantum
          physics : the colleague chose the philosophy of Plotinus, d'Espagnat
          chose Damascius.



          >
          >
          >
          > best wishes
          > john
          >
          > John H Spencer
          > President, Interdisciplinary Forum
          > <www.liverpoolidf.com>
          > Department of Philosophy
          > University of Liverpool
          >
          > >
          > >> Message: 1
          > >>    Date: Thu, 07 Jul 2005 22:32:05 +0100
          > >>    From: John H Spencer <J.H.Spencer@...>
          > >> Subject: Re: Re: Arieti and Neoplatonism
          > >>
          > >> Greetings,
          > >> The book by Malin is very good in some places, though I don't 
          > think he
          > >> understood Plotinus very accurately (not saying that I do!), but he
          > >> certainly was moving in the right metaphysical direction. I am in
          > the
          > >> middle of some intense writing on my thesis, so don't have time to
          > go
          > >> into
          > >> details of my own research, but I can give a good quote from Kevin
          > >> Corrigan
          > >> from his excellent new book.
          > >>
          > >> 'Plotinus develops a kind of logic of the indeterminate in which
          > the
          > >> principle of non-contradiction no longer strictly applies because
          > no
          > >> principle of identity can be found in matter's indeterminacy as
          > such.
          > >> Instead of making true or false statements, we have to approach the
          > >> puzzling character of indeterminancy by combining apparently
          > opposite
          > >> statements: x both is and is not.  Plotinus does not, of course,
          > >> anticipate
          > >> quantum physics, but there is a certain similarity between the two
          > >> insofar
          > >> as contemporary physics has been compelled to think and speak of
          > >> probabilities instead of precise scientific measurements and to
          > >> recognize  the indeterminacy of descriptions such as wave and
          > particle,
          > >> or again,  velocity and position' (Corrigan, 'Reading Plotinus: A
          > >> Practical  Introduction to Neoplatonism', 2005, p. 118.)
          > >>
          > >> Corrigan does not develop this theme but made a very accurate
          > >> observation  of the similarity. This similarity follows the
          > standard
          > >> Copenhagen  interpretation but may not map on so easily with Bohm's
          > >> hidden variables or
          > >> the many-worlds interpretation...but that is a different story.
          > Most
          > >> physicists, rightly or wrongly, work with some version of the
          > Copenhagen
          > >> view.
          > >> best wishes
          > >
          > >>
          > >
          > >
          > > Yahoo! Groups Links
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > YAHOO! GROUPS LINKS
          >
          > ▪  Visit your group "neoplatonism" on the web.
          >  
          > ▪  To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
          >  neoplatonism-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
          >  
          > ▪  Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of
          > Service.
          >
          >
          >
          Michael Chase
          (goya@...)
          CNRS UPR 76
          7, rue Guy Moquet
          Villejuif 94801
          France
        • Peter Adamson
          Hello all, ... This is a topic on which I am sorely ill-informed, but as it happens a few years back I translated into English a piece by Werner Beierwaltes,
          Message 4 of 7 , Jul 9 1:40 PM
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            Hello all,

            > > Athenian
            > > Neoplatonism...Goethe, Schelling, Holderlin, and Hegel all admired
            > > Plotinus' ideas and transmitted this admiration to the British
            > > Idealists...' (Corrigan, 2005, p. 238).
            >
            > M.C. This strikes me as unlikely or at least exaggerated. In the case
            > of Hegel, he did have a favorable opinion of Plotinus, but his
            > philosophy is based to a much greater extent on Proclus, whose analysis
            > of the Parmenides he called “ die Spitze der neuplatonischen
            > Philosophie ". When the first two modern editions of Proclus appeared
            > in 1820 (Creuzer's at Frankfurt, Cousin's at Paris), both were deciated
            > to Hegel. According to Creuzer (Ause dem Leben eines alten Professors,
            > p. 124), Hegel cared much less for Plotinus than for Proclus.

            This is a topic on which I am sorely ill-informed, but as it happens a few years
            back I translated into English a piece by Werner Beierwaltes, concerning
            Schelling's interest in and use of Plotinus. He shows that Schelling knew
            Plotinus (or at least parts of the Enneads) well and responded to them
            directly. The piece is in "Plato's Timaeus as Cultural Icon," ed. by Gretchen
            Reydams-Schils. Beierwaltes is someone who has thought a lot about the
            relationship between German idealism and Neoplatonism, so if you are interested
            in this (and can read German) his writings would be a good place to look.

            Best wishes,
            Peter Adamson

            Philosophy Dept.
            King's College London
          • Michael Chase
            ... M.C. Yes, I did not wish to deny the impact of Plotinus on Schelling. This impact seems to me important in his case, extant but relatively modest on Hegel,
            Message 5 of 7 , Jul 10 12:37 PM
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              Le 9 juil. 05, à 13:40, Peter Adamson a écrit :

              > Hello all,
              >
              > > > Athenian
              > > >  Neoplatonism...Goethe, Schelling, Holderlin, and Hegel all
              > admired
              > > >  Plotinus' ideas and transmitted this admiration to the British
              > > >  Idealists...' (Corrigan, 2005, p. 238).
              > >
              > > M.C. This strikes me as unlikely or at least exaggerated. In the
              > case
              > > of Hegel, he did have a favorable opinion of Plotinus, but his
              > > philosophy is based to a much greater extent on Proclus, whose
              > analysis
              > > of the Parmenides he called “ die Spitze der neuplatonischen
              > > Philosophie ". When the first two modern editions of Proclus
              > appeared
              > > in 1820 (Creuzer's at Frankfurt, Cousin's at Paris), both were
              > deciated
              > > to Hegel. According to Creuzer (Ause dem Leben eines alten
              > Professors,
              > > p. 124), Hegel cared much less for Plotinus than for Proclus.
              >
              > This is a topic on which I am sorely ill-informed, but as it happens
              > a few years
              > back I translated into English a piece by Werner Beierwaltes,
              > concerning
              > Schelling's interest in and use of Plotinus. He shows that Schelling
              > knew
              > Plotinus (or at least parts of the Enneads) well and responded to them
              > directly.

              M.C. Yes, I did not wish to deny the impact of Plotinus on Schelling.
              This impact seems to me important in his case, extant but relatively
              modest on Hegel, non-existent in the case of Goethe, and unlikely in
              the case of Hoelderlin (although I'm willing to be convinced of the
              contrary by solid evidence). I might add that Plotinus was especially
              influential on Novalis, as he tells us a letter to Schlegel of 1798
              (cf. E. Spenlé, Novalis; essai sur l'idéalisme romantique en Allemagne,
              Paris, Librairie Hachette & cie, 1904., 188ff.).

              > The piece is in "Plato's Timaeus as Cultural Icon," ed. by Gretchen
              > Reydams-Schils. Beierwaltes is someone who has thought a lot about the
              > relationship between German idealism and Neoplatonism, so if you are
              > interested
              > in this (and can read German) his writings would be a good place to
              > look.

              M.C. Professor Beierwaltes is indeed a wonderful scholar, and I admire
              his work immensely.

              Speaking of admirable work, Peter Adamson has recently been involved
              in the publication of at least three major works of interest to people
              on this List :

              The Arabic Plotinus : a philosophical study of the Theology of
              Aristotle, London Duckworth, 2002.

              The Cambridge Companion to Arabic Philosophy, Cambridge, CUP, 2004

              Philosophy, science and exegesis in Greek, Arabic and Latin
              commentaries / ed. by Peter Adamson, Han Baltussen and M. W. F. Stone.
              London : Institute of Classical Studies, University of London, 2004.
              2 vols. (280, 197 p.) ill. index. (Bulletin of the Institute of
              Classical Studies. Supplement ; 83). • Proceedings of a conference held
              at the Institute of Classical Studies on 27-29 June, 2002.

              The only drawback with these fundamentally important publications is
              that Philosophy, science and exegesis is (a) hard to find and (b)
              prohibitively expensive. Pity.

              Best, Mike.







              >
              > Best wishes,
              > Peter Adamson
              >
              > Philosophy Dept.
              > King's College London
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > YAHOO! GROUPS LINKS
              >
              > ▪  Visit your group "neoplatonism" on the web.
              >  
              > ▪  To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
              >  neoplatonism-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
              >  
              > ▪  Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of
              > Service.
              >
              >
              >
              Michael Chase
              (goya@...)
              CNRS UPR 76
              7, rue Guy Moquet
              Villejuif 94801
              France
            • John H Spencer
              ... generalizations which are held to replace the proper study of his system) is an unfortunate feature of the current landscape- although this complaint could
              Message 6 of 7 , Jul 11 2:09 AM
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                >> It's good that you raised Hegel. However, Corrigan's book, as the title
                >> indicates, is about Plotinus. What may not be as well-known among
                >> contemporary philosophers (though perhaps I am wrong) is that Hegel was
                >> very influenced by Neoplatonism.

                >The hastiness with which Hegel is dimissed (and/or the sweeping
                generalizations which are held to replace the proper study of his system)
                is an unfortunate feature of the current landscape- although this complaint
                could be uttered concerning many an important philosopher.


                Hi Julien, it seems as if you thought I was dismissing Hegel, or perhaps
                you were just making that comment in general. It is true that Hegel, and
                Proclus and many others are not yet given proper consideration, but be sure
                that I certainly was *not* dismissing Hegel, nor was Corrigan. I was merely
                pointing out that Corrigan's book was an introduction to *Plotinus*, and
                that Plotinus, as I explain below, had some kind of influence on Hegel.
                Corrigan's comments at the end of the book give a brief, basic indication
                to the Neoplatonic neophyte of the general influence Plotinus has had
                throughout history. It is a text meant to help students understand
                Plotinus' thought, and the chapter containing the brief quotes I mentioned
                is very short, for it is, as I said, a general indication of influence
                rather than an in depth comparative historical study.



                Hi Peter and Michael, thanks for the interesting contributions here and for
                the very helpful references.

                Re: Michael's point about Hegel, Lucas Siorvanes agrees: 'Hegel knew the
                Platonic Theology and praised Proclus above all the Neo-Platonists,
                superior to Plotinus' (Proclus: Neo-Platonic Philosophy and Science, 1996,
                p. 38-39). However, since Proclus was, among other things, building upon
                the work of predecessors such as Plotinus, he was certainly influenced by
                Plotinus, and so we can say that Plotinus also, perhaps more indirectly,
                influenced Hegel. I don't see anything wrong with that (except note my
                caveat at the end concerning the notion of *influence*).

                Regarding Plotinus' possible influence on Goethe, Siorvanes writes: 'The
                English Romantics found support in Neo-Platonism for their rejection of the
                rigid determinism and materialism that came in the wake of the Industrial
                Revolution. In this respect, they were joined by German Romantics and
                Idealists, such as Goethe (1749-1832) and Schiller (1759-1805)' (Ibid., p.
                38).
                Does this mean that Goethe read Plotinus in detail and explicitly utilized
                his philosophy? I don't know, probably he didn't, but it does not seem
                unreasonable to say that Plotinus, directly or indirectly, either had some
                influence on him or at least that Goethe found some kindred ideas in
                Plotinus. Logically speaking, just because Goethe does not often mention
                Plotinus' name it does not necessarily follow that Plotinus had no (or even
                only minimal) influence on him. Proclus does not always mention Plotinus by
                name when drawing from or criticizing one of his ideas. Perhaps a bit
                controversially, it seems to me that Descartes does not mention Plato's
                name in equal proportion to the latter's influence on the former. In any
                case, I think we would need to do serious comparative studies of the
                *ideas*, along with searching for direct references to names and further
                historical studies, to put us in a better place to judge the extent of
                influence. Certainly many of us have been deeply moved (influenced) by only
                a particular passage in some philosopher, writer or poet etc. Could the
                same not have happened to Goethe when he read (even some of) the Enneads?
                (For a different approach to Goethe, see Heisenberg's interesting essay
                'Goethe's View of Nature and the World of Science and Technology' in his
                book 'Across the Frontiers', 1974.)

                I think it is fundamentally important to know the history of ideas for
                practically innumerable reasons. By studying this area, to state just one
                simple example relevant to my own research, we discover that the Platonic
                tradition was at the foundation of the beginning of modern science, which
                is something that many contemporary philosophers seem not to know or have
                chosen to ignore. So I am the greatest fan of classics and history and my
                work is deeply indebted to those scholars--indeed I am attempting to
                propagate Neoplatonism in the sciences and in philosophy departments.
                However, as a philosopher I am far more concerned with the ideas themselves
                rather than who came up with them or who influenced who. So, a balance is
                important.

                To make this more philosophical: the very notion of being influenced or
                having an influence is, admittedly, problematic. We can be influenced by
                our *misunderstanding* of an author, or we can understand and be influenced
                by an author but then apply their ideas in ways that the author would not
                have accepted. So how do we measure (is that the right word?) the degree of
                influence? What difference is there between being influenced by someone and
                being inspired by someone? How much do we need to understand an idea to be
                influenced by it? For example, we are certainly influenced by developments
                in quantum theory--from the technology we have because of it to the popular
                books comparing it to mystical ideas etc, but how many people actually
                understand it even superficially? Finally, many of us have had the
                experience of coming up with what we thought was an original idea only to
                discover later that someone else hundreds or thousands of years ago had the
                same or similar idea. If we write our idea it may look as if we were
                influenced by the previous author concerning this particular idea when in
                fact we really were not. It is then likely that future historical scholars
                in 2000 years would falsely conclude that the later author got his idea
                from the former author.

                In my own case, I simply wish to show contemporary philosophers and
                scientists who do not know the Neoplatonists that this tradition has had an
                extensive influence (setting aside the difficulties in defining this word),
                from the sciences to theology, and this is important to do because many
                philosophy departments have neglected this tradition (and Hegel and many
                others). Fortunately, things seem to be slowly changing.

                Best wishes
                John


                John H Spencer
                President, Interdisciplinary Forum
                <www.liverpoolidf.com>
                Department of Philosophy
                University of Liverpool

                >
                > Le 9 juil. 05, à 02:13, John H Spencer a écrit :
                >
                >> >
                >> > I wonder why he doesn't make the more obvious parallel, which is
                >> with
                >> > Hegel (with whom, furthermore, conceptual filiation is more
                >> likely). In
                >> > both cases, the idea seems to go back to Plato's Sophist.
                >> >
                >> > Cordially,
                >> >
                >> > Julien
                >> > --
                >> >   Julien Villeneuve (epistrophe(at)sent.com)
                >> >   Ph.D. Student, Philosophy, McGill University
                >> >   "It is difficult to know whether you know something or not."
                >> Aristotle,
                >> > Posterior Analytics 76a26
                >>
                >>
                >>
                >>
                >>
                >> Hi Julien,
                >>
                >> It's good that you raised Hegel. However, Corrigan's book, as the
                >> title
                >> indicates, is about Plotinus. What may not be as well-known among
                >> contemporary philosophers (though perhaps I am wrong) is that Hegel
                >> was
                >> very influenced by Neoplatonism. Neoplatonism has influenced a diverse
                >> range of thinkers throughout the centuries, including Hegel.  I will
                >> present the smallest of samples: 'Leibniz and Spinoza developed
                >> entirely
                >> opposite views of substance on Neoplatonic principles and methods.
                >> The word
                >> "monad", in Leibniz's Monadology, had been a favourite of ancient
                >> Athenian
                >> Neoplatonism...Goethe, Schelling, Holderlin, and Hegel all admired
                >> Plotinus' ideas and transmitted this admiration to the British
                >> Idealists...' (Corrigan, 2005, p. 238).
                >
                > M.C. This strikes me as unlikely or at least exaggerated. In the case
                > of Hegel, he did have a favorable opinion of Plotinus, but his
                > philosophy is based to a much greater extent on Proclus, whose analysis
                > of the Parmenides he called ? die Spitze der neuplatonischen
                > Philosophie ". When the first two modern editions of Proclus appeared
                > in 1820 (Creuzer's at Frankfurt, Cousin's at Paris), both were deciated
                > to Hegel. According to Creuzer (Ause dem Leben eines alten Professors,
                > p. 124), Hegel cared much less for Plotinus than for Proclus
                >
                >
                > As far as Goethe is concerned, a quick search through the 14 vols. of
                > the Hamburg edition of Goethe's works reveals not a single mention of
                > his name, nor is he mentioned in the Conversations with Eckermann. I
                > find precisely two mentions of Plotinus in Goethe's voluminous works :
                > in a letter (Briefe Bd.16-20) he cites a passage from Porphyry's Life
                > of Plotinus, and in another he thanks a correspondent for sending him
                > the Enneads. That's it, so far as I can tell.
                >
                > As far as Neoplatonism and quantum physics goes, the eminent Parisian
                > nuclear physicist Bernard D'Espagnat ends his Traite de Physique et de
                > Philosophie (Paris 2002) by reporting a dialogue with a colleague on
                > which philosophy best agreed with the most recent findings of quantum
                > physics : the colleague chose the philosophy of Plotinus, d'Espagnat
                > chose Damascius.
                >
                >
                >
                >> This is a topic on which I am sorely ill-informed, but as it happens a
                few years
                back I translated into English a piece by Werner Beierwaltes, concerning
                Schelling's interest in and use of Plotinus. He shows that Schelling knew
                Plotinus (or at least parts of the Enneads) well and responded to them
                directly. The piece is in "Plato's Timaeus as Cultural Icon," ed. by
                Gretchen
                Reydams-Schils. Beierwaltes is someone who has thought a lot about the
                relationship between German idealism and Neoplatonism, so if you are
                interested
                in this (and can read German) his writings would be a good place to look.

                Best wishes,
                Peter Adamson

                Philosophy Dept.
                King's College London
                >>
                >>
                >> best wishes
                >> john
                >>
                >> John H Spencer
                >> President, Interdisciplinary Forum
                >> <www.liverpoolidf.com>
                >> Department of Philosophy
                >> University of Liverpool
                >>
                >> >
                >> >> Message: 1
                >> >>     Date: Thu, 07 Jul 2005 22:32:05 +0100
                >> >>     From: John H Spencer <J.H.Spencer@...>
                >> >> Subject: Re: Re: Arieti and Neoplatonism
                >> >>
                >> >> Greetings,
                >> >> The book by Malin is very good in some places, though I don't 
                >> think he
                >> >> understood Plotinus very accurately (not saying that I do!), but he
                >> >> certainly was moving in the right metaphysical direction. I am in
                >> the
                >> >> middle of some intense writing on my thesis, so don't have time to
                >> go
                >> >> into
                >> >> details of my own research, but I can give a good quote from Kevin
                >> >> Corrigan
                >> >> from his excellent new book.
                >> >>
                >> >> 'Plotinus develops a kind of logic of the indeterminate in which
                >> the
                >> >> principle of non-contradiction no longer strictly applies because
                >> no
                >> >> principle of identity can be found in matter's indeterminacy as
                >> such.
                >> >> Instead of making true or false statements, we have to approach the
                >> >> puzzling character of indeterminancy by combining apparently
                >> opposite
                >> >> statements: x both is and is not.  Plotinus does not, of course,
                >> >> anticipate
                >> >> quantum physics, but there is a certain similarity between the two
                >> >> insofar
                >> >> as contemporary physics has been compelled to think and speak of
                >> >> probabilities instead of precise scientific measurements and to
                >> >> recognize  the indeterminacy of descriptions such as wave and
                >> particle,
                >> >> or again,  velocity and position' (Corrigan, 'Reading Plotinus: A
                >> >> Practical  Introduction to Neoplatonism', 2005, p. 118.)
                >> >>
                >> >> Corrigan does not develop this theme but made a very accurate
                >> >> observation  of the similarity. This similarity follows the
                >> standard
                >> >> Copenhagen  interpretation but may not map on so easily with Bohm's
                >> >> hidden variables or
                >> >> the many-worlds interpretation...but that is a different story.
                >> Most
                >> >> physicists, rightly or wrongly, work with some version of the
                >> Copenhagen
                >> >> view.
                >> >> best wishes
                >> >
                >> >>
                >> >
                >> >
                >> > Yahoo! Groups Links
                >> >
                >> >
                >> >
                >> >
                >> >
                >> >
                >>
                >>
                >>
                >>
                >>
                >> YAHOO! GROUPS LINKS
                >>
                >> ?  Visit your group "neoplatonism" on the web.
                >>  
                >> ?  To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                >>  neoplatonism-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                >>  
                >> ?  Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of
                >> Service.
                >>
                >>
                >>
                > Michael Chase
                > (goya@...)
                > CNRS UPR 76
                > 7, rue Guy Moquet
                > Villejuif 94801
                > France
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > Yahoo! Groups Links
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
              • Peter Adamson
                Hello all, Thanks to Mike Chase for the free advertising! Regarding the last item it is indeed pretty expensive. I suspect the ICS plans mostly to sell to
                Message 7 of 7 , Jul 11 2:49 AM
                • 0 Attachment
                  Hello all,

                  Thanks to Mike Chase for the free advertising! Regarding the last item it is
                  indeed pretty expensive. I suspect the ICS plans mostly to sell to libraries.
                  However if anyone does want a copy and can't find one let me know and I can
                  have one sent to you. By the way there are 2 volumes and only the first is
                  about Greek commentaries, the second has to do with Arabic commentaries. And
                  they are for sale separately, I think.

                  Best wishes,
                  Peter A.


                  > Speaking of admirable work, Peter Adamson has recently been involved
                  > in the publication of at least three major works of interest to people
                  > on this List :
                  >
                  > The Arabic Plotinus : a philosophical study of the Theology of
                  > Aristotle, London Duckworth, 2002.
                  >
                  > The Cambridge Companion to Arabic Philosophy, Cambridge, CUP, 2004
                  >
                  > Philosophy, science and exegesis in Greek, Arabic and Latin
                  > commentaries / ed. by Peter Adamson, Han Baltussen and M. W. F. Stone.
                  > London : Institute of Classical Studies, University of London, 2004.
                  > 2 vols. (280, 197 p.) ill. index. (Bulletin of the Institute of
                  > Classical Studies. Supplement ; 83). • Proceedings of a conference held
                  > at the Institute of Classical Studies on 27-29 June, 2002.
                  >
                  > The only drawback with these fundamentally important publications is
                  > that Philosophy, science and exegesis is (a) hard to find and (b)
                  > prohibitively expensive. Pity.
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