Platonism and Neo-Pythagoreanism, The Platonic Philosophy...

Platonism and Neopythagoreanism

Pythagoreanism as an independent philosophical school ceased to exist in the IV. BC. However, in the era of Hellenism, thinkers repeatedly returned to the Pythagorean tradition, which was often perceived as an example of the "hidden" philosophical knowledge. The word Pythagorean could mean a sage who leads an unusual way of life (such as the famous wonder-worker Apollonius of Tyana, who lived in the 1st century AD), as well as a person related to secret or divine levels of wisdom (and therefore Philo of Alexandria also receives the name of the Pythagorean ). However, the traditional Pythagorean speculations associated with the idea of ​​numbers and with the modeling of cosmogonic, cosmological and psychological concepts with the help of numerical relationships persisted in the Hellenistic period. Interest in them especially increases in the I century. BC, when Pythagoreanism is treated as the first Roman omens and scribes (for example Publius Nigidius Figul), and modern Hellenistic philosophers. An important feature of the revival of interest in Pythagoreanism in this period is a fairly free blending of it with Platonic ideas, especially drawn from the dialogues of "Timaeus" and Filsb & quot ;.

Among the Hellenistic Platonists-nspiffagoreans, there are Eudor of Alexandria (2nd half of the 1st century BC) and Moderates from Hades ( 1st century AD) . Information on the most important metaphysical The parties to their teachings have come down to us mainly in the retelling of the Neoplatonists (Pythagoras, Iamblichus, Simplicius). Therefore, we perceive the doctrine of the Neo-Pythagoreans about the first principles of being through the prism of Neoplatonic interpretation.

One way or another, the first beginnings are treated in the Neopythagoreans as follows. The highest of them is the first unit or a single , which can be referred to as the "super-heavenly god". It is followed by either dyad , which is the principle of inappropriateness and "otherwise", or else the " monad-dyad ", responsible for all the identical and different in our world . The variety of forms of existence in our world is the result of the interaction between a monad and a dyad.

Next first unit unfolds into various "levels", representing lower forms of unity, a concept that will continue to be the dominant factor in Platonism. So, second unity Moderate identifies with the intelligible, third - with soul. The combination of the Pythagorean numeric symbolism with the Platonic-Aristotelian notion of principles allows the neopythagoreans to build up cosmic hierarchies in the spirit that was once created by Speusippus. In the sphere of ethics they are under the influence of stoic asceticism, believing, in particular, that for the happiness of man, only knowledge and virtue are sufficient. Until the second century. AD we do not notice in the Middle Platonic and Neopythagorean texts any developed soteriology, or the doctrine of the salvation of the soul.

A very important transitional figure is the great ancient thinker, moralist, historian, writer Plutarch of the Chronicles (45-125) . In his Morals - works on a variety of topics, from ethical-behavioral and religious treatises to interpretations of Plato and the ancient Egyptian myth of Isis and Osiris - contains a dualistic doctrine that has had a definite influence on the subsequent century of the history of platonic schools and circles.

According to Plutarch, everything that exists is composed of two beginnings that are "encrypted Plato under the names Identical and Others. The first is a perfect, totally ordered being. It is the Good, and also the Mind, which includes all the ideal being as the content of one's own thinking (here the influence of peripatetism is evident). The second is all destructive, irrational, opposing form. Developing some of the ideas of the last books of the Platonic Laws, Plutarch believes that this second principle is always opposed to the Good. Confrontation this only covers the inner space sphere, but it is inescapable for the universe, as the presence in us of two souls - the highest, the good, and the lower, the evil - is inescapable. Battlefield the opposing principles, but Plutarch's view, is matter , which tends to the higher beginning, like the goddess Isis to her husband Osiris. The higher principle sends its Logos into matter, which is the demiurge that shapes it. However, this Logos is torn and shattered by the strength of another and irrational (like Osiris was torn apart by the servants of Seth, called Plutarch in the antique manner by Typhon). As a result, the world is governed by the cosmic soul, in which two opposite principles coexist - the sacrificial, all the Logos formulating and pointing the way of salvation, and its irrational opponent, destroying all created.

This reading of Plato's philosophy left its imprint on the nature of many works of Plutarch. Although his arguments about ethical issues do not go beyond the traditional ones - for example, how important external happiness is for happiness - the abundance of texts on the interpretation of various religious phenomena, as well as his developed demonology (a vivid example of which is the description of demons patronizing souls , in the essay "On the Demon of Socrates") and the description of the visionary experience make Plutarch predecessor of the future "spiritualistic" Platonism.

Among the Platonists of the 2nd century. AD, information about which have reached our days, stands out Noumenie from Apamea (2nd half of the 2nd century AD) . This thinker was a supporter of the concept of "eternal wisdom," which, in his opinion, manifests itself in a variety of philosophical and religious systems. Thus, according to Numenia, it was peculiar not only to the Hellenes, but also to the Hindus (Brahmins), Jews (Moses), Persians (mages and Zoroaster), Egyptians, Babylonians. Origen testifies that Numenius even interpreted certain New Testament parables. However, the main philosophical concept for Noumenia is the variant of Platonism, which was developed by Plutarch, as well as by Neopythagoreans.

Noumenie is a dualist. The Monad he corresponds to First Mind or First God , described by him as completely remote from our reality, an intractable beginning. He is opposed to matter, or Dyad, always disorderly and devoid of qualities. The interaction of the First Mind with it is possible only by mutual limitation, since it is impossible to create from it a completely perfect cosmos. The First God gives rise to the Second, which, according to Noumenia, is a collection of ideas, or an intelligible world. After him appears the Third God, who is probably interpreted by Inference and as a demiurge, and as an All-cosmic soul. The sensual world is a sphere where the souls are good and evil; it appears where the forces of the Monad and the Dyad converge.

From the point of view of Nomination, the individual soul has a divine nature and ancestry, however it is able to be tempted by the "honey of birth" and enter the body. This is a completely catastrophic decision, the consequences of which are suffering and evil, which are now accompanying its existence. It seems that Numenius believed that one following the Platonic system of virtues is not enough to get rid of suffering. He wrote a lot about mysteries (although the vast majority of his texts came to us only in fragments), about ascetic practices, without which it is impossible to initiate mystery and cognition. It can be argued that Numenius of Apamea is already clearly implant soteriological problems in platonic metaphysics. It becomes even more important than the solution of questions about the nature of being or about the boundaries of knowledge, which were put forward on the first plane in the Ancient and in the Skeptical Academy.

The Platonic Philosophy Tutorial

In the I-II centuries. there is a significant number of comments on Plato's dialogues and summary treatises that set forth the teachings of Plato.

The creation of these texts involved not only professional philosophers and educators, mainly Romans - Guy, North, Calvius Taurus, and writers (for example, the famous Roman writer Apuleius of Madaurus). Most of these interpretations are known to us only thanks to the late-antique doxography. However, we have reached an essay called "The Textbook of Platonic Philosophy," the creation of which relates to the period we are studying. Scientists argue about who was its author: some Alkina , which appears in the manuscript, or Albin , a scientist , who lived in the middle - 2 nd half of the II century. BC

Modern scientists did not reach consensus on the question of which school the textbook author belonged to. It is entirely possible that he was inclined towards peripateticism, as evidenced by the Aristotelian interpretation of some specific problems presented in the "Tutorial". The most powerful influence of peripateticism is manifested in the doctrine of the highest principle, which declares Um, thinking everything and containing ideas - eternal examples of things. The mind fulfills the functions of the supreme God, and the highest good, and the supreme law governing all beings, and the demiurge. Accepting the logic of Aristotle's reasoning, the author of the textbook believes that God constantly "crafts" the world and that the Cosmos exists forever.

Matter is treated in the Tutorial also in the peripatetic spirit - as a substrate that does not have its own attributes, as a potential body of the universe.

The mind, according to the "Tutorial", constantly creates a Soul governing the corporeal world. Private souls exercise the function of the life of the world. Unlike most other Platonists of the time, the author of the "Textbook" He views the soul not in terms of opposing the higher and lower parts, but in a more traditional way. He recalls the three components of the soul - mind, lust and noble affect - and sees in their struggle the essence of the existence of individuality.

In the author's views of the Tutorial about knowledge, we see a mixture of Platonic, peripatetic and even stoic ideas. Although the Tutorial puts on the first place dialectics, it turns out to be connected both with syllogistics of Aristotle, and with the Hellenistic theme of "general concepts".

The totality of the doctrines presented in the "Tutorial" is both eclectic and not very original. However, this text shows us how the Platonic philosophy was perceived in the educated circles of that time and which version of the "scientific picture of the world" was extended during the period when the Christian theoretical thought was born.

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