Philosophy of Plotinus, Prerequisites of Neoplatonic...

Philosophy of the Dam

Prerequisites of Neoplatonic philosophical synthesis.

Neoplatonism is not only an original, albeit an almost dogmatic, version of Platonism, but also a genuine synthesis and a result of the whole history of ancient philosophy. There are at least two proofs for this.

First, Neoplatonism uses concepts, conceptual series and forms of discourse that were formed outside the framework of the Platonic Academy. First of all, this is a whole series of Aristotelian doctrines. One of the most important elements of Platonic teaching (from the time of Middle Platonism and Neopythagoreanism) is the notion of the universal "Uma," which carries in itself all the basic features of the Archetyl's Uma-Perovodvizhitel. The concepts essences, possibilities ( dunamis, dynamis) and energies are also embedded in the philosophical system of Neoplatonism, although they are interpreted differently than in Likey. Finally, the Neoplatonists accept Stagirite's argument in favor of the eternity of the world, and Plato's dialogue "Timaeus" they are regarded as allegory, in which Plato told us about the eternal activity of the demiurge, constantly creating our "sublunary" world.

Such a high interest in Aristotle's teaching was due to the fact that the Neoplatonists recognized him as a disciple of Plato, although he criticized the teacher, but on the whole shared his doctrines. It was more difficult to relate to the Stoic school, which the Neoplatonists considered "materialistic", criticizing its physics and especially anthropology. However, some Stoic doctrines nevertheless go directly or indirectly to Neoplatonism, especially those relating to cognitive mechanisms, practices of austerity and bodily interaction.

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In Neoplatonism, the elements of mystically interpreted Pythagoreanism are clearly visible; in their criticism of the misconceptions about the First Neoplatonists use the logical passages of skeptics; they also have concepts from the atomistic tradition (although in a completely different semantic context). Even Kinetic philosophy is interpreted in late Neoplatonism not as something completely opposed to academic teaching, as "practical" (ie ascetic) expression of Socratic doctrines.

The second, more convincing, proof of the synthetics of Neoplatonism is the change in attitude towards Homer and the whole ancient mytho-religious and poetic tradition. Henceforth it is treated not as a false form of the mimesis (see paragraph 5.3, on the criticism of traditional mythology in Plato), but as an enigmatic and allegorical expression of the highest truth, requiring a theological and philosophical interpretation. Plato's criticism of Homer is seen as the desire to save us from the literal (ie, profane) reading of the texts of Homer, Hesiod, Orpheus, and others.

Such a phenomenon was caused not only by the crisis of ancient civilization, which tried to "preserve" its cultural and religious "landscape". Neoplatonism developed a synthetic language for describing cultural phenomena, which allowed to interpret them as a symbolic expression of the unity and expedient nature of the universe, permeated by the actions of higher principles. The first attempts to elaborate such a language we see already in the middle Platonists and the Neo-Pythagoreans (such as Plutarch of Girona or Noumeni of Apamea), but the maximum development he receives is in neo-Platonism.

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