1st Edition

The Structure of Being and the Search for the Good
Essays on Ancient and Early Medieval Platonism

ISBN 9780860787655
Published December 22, 1998 by Routledge
318 Pages

USD $140.00

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

The essays in this book discuss a number of the central metaphysical and ethical themes that engaged the minds of Platonist philosophers during late Antiquity and the early Middle Ages. One particular theme is that of the structure of reality, with the associated questions of the relations between soul and body and between intelligible and sensible reality, and the existence of mathematical objects. Other topics relate to evil and beauty, political life and its purpose, the philosophical search for the absolute Good, and how one can speak about this Absolute and have union with it. Going from Plato to Eriugena, the ways in which Platonist philosophers understood and developed these themes are analysed and compared.

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction; Faut-il philosopher? Le voyage d’une question dans le monde antique; The chain of being in the light of recent work on Platonic hierarchies; Man as political animal: on the relation between Plato and Aristotle; Remarks on dualism and the definition of soul in Aristotle’s De anima; Being in Numenius and Plotinus: some points of comparison; The problem of omnipresence in Plotinus Ennead VI, 4-5: a reply; Gnosticism and the making of the world in Plotinus; Plotinus on how soul acts on body; Evil in Plotinus (Enn.I,8); Textes de Plotin sur la beauté: initiation et remarques; Le problème du discours sur l’indicible chez Plotin; The freedom of the One; A propos d’un témoignage sur l’expérience mystique de Plotin (Enn.IV 8[6], 1, 1-11); Le problème de la métaphysique dans l’antiquité tardive; La question de l’être et du non-être des objets mathématiques chez Plotin et Jamblique; Proclus’ First Prologue to Euclid: The problem of its major source; Vie politique et divinisation dans la philosophie néoplatonicienne; Aspects of political philosophy in Iamblichus; Evêques et philosophes-rois: philosophie politique néoplatonicienne chez le Pseudo-Denys; L’investigation et les investigateurs dans le De divisione naturae de Jean Scot Erigène; The concept of Natura in John Scottus Eriugena; The problem of speaking about God in John Scottus Eriugena; The metaphysical use of mathematical concepts in Eriugena; Eriugena and Aquinas on the Beatific Vision; Addenda and Corrigenda; Index.

View More


'... the essays reprinted here constitute a valuable source of insights into later ancient and early medieval philosophy.' Review of Metaphysics