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Re: [stoics] Re: best intro to neoplatonism

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  • Jules Evans
    Excellent - thanks very much everyone All the best Jules ________________________________ From: Dave To: stoics@yahoogroups.com Sent:
    Message 1 of 8 , Dec 1, 2011
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      Excellent - thanks very much everyone

      All the best

      Jules


      From: Dave <ptypes@...>
      To: stoics@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Tuesday, 29 November 2011, 15:49
      Subject: [stoics] Re: best intro to neoplatonism

       
      Hi Jules,

      I don't know about any introduction to Neoplatonism, much less the best one.

      But I recall that Simplicius, who wrote a commentary on the Handbook of Epictetus, is considered a Neoplatonist.

      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/stoics/message/29444

      Best wishes,
      Dave

      --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, Jules Evans <londonstoic@...> wrote:
      >
      > What would you say is the best general introduction to Neoplatonism?
      >
      >
      > thanks
      >
      > Jules
      >
      >
      >
      > ________________________________
      > From: Dave Kelly <ptypes@...>
      > To: stoics@yahoogroups.com
      > Sent: Tuesday, 29 November 2011, 1:44
      > Subject: Re: FW: [stoics] Re: Seneca, Letter 9
      >
      > Thanks Jon,
      >
      > Seneca, Letter 9, 1-3
      >
      > 1. You desire to know whether Epicurus is right when, in one of his
      > letters,[1]  he rebukes those who hold that the wise man is
      > self-sufficient and for that reason does not stand in need of
      > friendships. This is the objection raised by Epicurus against Stilbo
      > and those who believe[2] that the Supreme Good is a soul which is
      > insensible to feeling.
      >
      > 2. We are bound to meet with a double meaning if we try to express the
      > Greek term "lack of feeling" [_apatheia_] summarily, in a single word,
      > rendering it by the Latin word _impatientia_. For it may be understood
      > in the meaning the opposite to that which we wish it to have. What we
      > mean to express is, a soul which rejects any sensation of evil; but
      > people will interpret the idea as that of a soul which can endure no
      > evil. Consider, therefore, whether it is not better to say "a soul
      > that cannot be harmed," or "a soul entirely beyond the realm of
      > suffering." 3. There is this difference between ourselves and the
      > other school:[3] our ideal wise man feels his troubles, but overcomes
      > them; their wise man does not even feel them...
      >
      > No one asked for this, but I see it as my duty to bring this fine
      > essay by Michael S. Russo to the attention of the membership.
      >
      > http://students.molloy.edu/sophia/seneca/stoicism_txt.htm
      >
      > The following excerpt introduces the concluding section of the essay
      > "From Apatheia to Apathetic Rehearsal".
      >
      > "As we have seen, both Seneca and Epictetus believe that man has been
      > given the gift of reason by God, and that it is intended that he use
      > this faculty in a proper and pious way. Insofar as he does thisâ€"by
      > adapting his will to that of Godâ€"he receives the blessing of being
      > freed from the tyranny of the passions and has the possibility of
      > attaining happiness in this life and participating fully in the
      > Divine. But human beings have been given the freedom to adopt an
      > improper attitude towards externals as well. In De_Providentia, Seneca
      > has made it perfectly clear that all men have the ability to willfully
      > and rationally choose to accomodate themselves to Right Reason or not
      > to. "I am under no compulsion," argues Seneca, "I suffer nothing
      > against my will, and I am not God's slave but his follower"
      > (Providence 5.6). It is this freedom which has been given to man that
      > is the possibility for his salvation, but it is also the possibility
      > for his damnation as well. Just as the individual can choose to
      > recognize nothing as good except what is ordained by God, so too can
      > he choose to assent to pernicious judgments about external things. The
      > result of such a misuse of reason is the enslavement of reason by the
      > passions, the turmoil and misery of a life dominated by these unruly
      > impulses, and the dissolution of the divine in man. In the end, even
      > after a passion has dissipated from the soul or has been checked by
      > another opposing passion, reason, having suffered the contamination of
      > their presence, must forever be wary of the threat of their possible
      > return. The final motion of the passions, however, must always be seen
      > as a product of the assent of the soul. It is for human beings alone
      > to choose either the life of the sage, freed from all external
      > control, or the dissolute life of one who has willingly chosen his own
      > particular mode of slavery.
      >
      > "Thus man's ultimate happiness depends upon his ability to stop the
      > passions before they begin to move the soul. As we will see, this can
      > be done through the use of Stoic _apatheia_ (stopping the passions "at
      > the very frontier" of the soul) or by the more radical means of
      > apathetic rehearsal. It is to this final stage in the development of
      > an apathetic approach to beatitude that we now turn in order to see
      > how Seneca turns _apatheia_ into a method for ensuring the happy
      > life."
      >
      > Best wishes,
      > Dave
      >
      >
      > On Sun, Nov 27, 2011 at 10:15 PM, Jon Underwood <jon@...> wrote:
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > Thanks Jan, that was most helpful :)
      > >
      > > Dave, the particular letter can be read here:  http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Moral_letters_to_Lucilius/Letter_9
      > > regards,
      > >
      > > Jon
      > >
      > >>
      > >>
      > >>
      > >> ________________________________
      > >> From: stoics@yahoogroups.com [stoics@yahoogroups.com] on behalf of jan.garrett@... [jan.garrett@...]
      > >> Sent: Sunday, 27 November 2011 2:19 AM
      > >> To: stoics@yahoogroups.com
      > >> Subject: [stoics] Re: Seneca, Letter 9
      > >>
      > >>
      > >>
      > >> The Greek word at issue, cited in the second paragraph of Seneca's Latin, is apathein, whose root is -path(e)-, which connotes feeling or suffering or undergoing, to which has been attached the negative prefix a- and the infinitive form of the verb -ein. In the first paragraph of Letter IX, Seneca refers the opinion that the Supreme Good is a soul which is "insensible to feeling" (inpatiens). This has a similar structure to the Greek word, the root -pat- meaning to suffer or undergo and the negative prefix in-. The ending -ens makes the word a participle, which enables it to function as an adjective.
      > >>
      > >> Scholars of Stoic writings will be familiar with apatheia, freedom from the pathe, in which -ia is a suffix indicating a general state of things, generating an abstract noun. (We see this in many Greek words, for instance, philosophia.)
      > >>
      > >> Apatheia, according to the Stoics, is a characteristic of the Stoic sage but nobody who is not a sage! pathe is the plural of pathos, a technical term in Stoic vocabulary, i.e., those passions or emotions or feelings that are somehow identical to false judgments concerning value together with the judgment that bad or good things beyond our control have occurred to us or are just about to do so. From the classical Stoic perspective, pathe are always bad and the compound judgments on which they are based are false.
      > >>
      > >> --- In stoics@yahoogroups.com, Jon Underwood <jon@> wrote:
      > >> >
      > >> > folks,
      > >> >
      > >> > In Letter 9 of Seneca's Moral Letters, he refers to a Greek word rendered as "lack of feeling", and sometimes translated as impatientia.
      > >> >
      > >> > Could anyone help me with what that word is, and its Romanised form?
      > >> >
      > >> > thanks
      > >> >
      > >> > Jon
      > >> >
      > >> > Sent from my Windows Phone
      > >> >
      > >>
      > >
      > >
      >
      >
      > --
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