Damascius' Problems and Solutions Concerning First by Sara Ahbel-Rappe

By Sara Ahbel-Rappe

Damascius was once head of the Neoplatonist academy in Athens while the Emperor Justinian close its doorways endlessly in 529. His paintings, Problems and ideas pertaining to First Principles, is the final surviving self sufficient philosophical treatise from the overdue Academy. Its survey of Neoplatonist metaphysics, dialogue of transcendence, and compendium of past due old theologies, make it distinctive between all extant works of past due vintage philosophy. It hasn't ever sooner than been translated into English.

The difficulties and Solutions shows a thorough?going critique of Proclean metaphysics, beginning with the primary that every one that exists proceeds from a unmarried reason, continuing to critique the Proclean triadic view of procession and throwback, and seriously undermining the prestige of highbrow reversion in developing being because the intelligible item. Damascius investigates the inner contradictions lurking in the idea of descent as a complete, exhibiting that similarity of reason and influence is vitiated when it comes to processions the place one order (e.g. mind) supplies upward thrust to a completely diversified order (e.g. soul).

Neoplatonism as a speculative metaphysics posits the single because the unique or extopic explanans for plurality, conceived as speedy, current at hand, and consequently requiring rationalization. Damascius shifts the viewpoint of his metaphysics: he struggles to create a metaphysical discourse that comprises, insofar as language is enough, the last word precept of fact. in any case, how coherent is a metaphysical process that bases itself at the Ineffable as a primary precept? rather than developing an target ontology, Damascius writes ever conscious of the restrictions of dialectic, and of the pitfalls and snares inherent within the very constitution of metaphysical discourse.

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Paragraph 12). This connection with Orphic literature is paralleled by the use of Orphic categories in the ranking of the Parmenidean hypotheses, both in the Problems and Solutions and in Commentary on the Parmenides. Its significance here is that the Orphic myth and, in particular, the celebration of Dionysus as source of creation and as bestower of liberation shows the Neoplatonists meditating on the status of multiplicity. Dionysus allows the Neoplatonists to understand multiplicity not just as an inferior station to the One in the strictly nondual metaphysical tradition of the Parmenides, but as the play of generosity, abundance, and goodness, all of which are aspects of the One under its nature as the Good.

PH 102) This entry in the PH suggests that there were private holdings, or, in Alison Franz’s translation of the crucial diadochica, endowment funds that were regularly INTRODUCTION TO THE LIFE AND PHILOSOPHY OF DAMASCIUS 7 bequeathed to the professors of the school from generation to generation. One very strong argument against the reopening of the school in Athens, after the Persian chapter, is a citation from Olympiodorus that speaks clearly of the “theft” or “confiscation” of these properties by the time he wrote his Commentary on the Alcibiades, ca.

There is, however, one other passage in Agathias relevant to the entire Persian episode, according to which in the year 532 Chosroes concluded a “Pact of Eternal Peace” with Justinian. 31). 19 What happened to Damascius and his retinue when they left the Persian court, if indeed they ever arrived? At one time, the view that the Athenian School resumed, after some abatement under a formal prohibition but a practical lenience, generally prevailed among historians of late antiquity. More recently, I.

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