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Platonist Philosophy 80 BC to AD 250
An Introduction and Collection of Sources in Translation


  • Date Published: December 2017
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521838580

£ 142.00

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About the Authors
  • 'Middle' Platonism has some claim to be the single most influential philosophical movement of the last two thousand years, as the common background to 'Neoplatonism' and the early development of Christian theology. This book breaks with the tradition of considering it primarily in terms of its sources, instead putting its contemporary philosophical engagements front and centre to reconstruct its philosophical motivations and activity across the full range of its interests. The volume explores the ideas at the heart of Platonist philosophy in this period and includes a comprehensive selection of primary sources, a significant number of which appear in English translation for the first time, along with dedicated guides to the questions that have been, and might be, asked about the movement. The result is a tool intended to help bring the study of Middle Platonism into mainstream discussions of ancient philosophy.

    • Provides a comprehensive collection of source-texts in English translation, which makes many of them accessible for the first time to a wide range of students and scholars
    • Covers the full range of philosophical interests and debates of 'Middle' Platonism, making the case for its philosophical importance
    • Sections of notes and further reading help the reader navigate the complexities of previous scholarship
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Boys-Stones handles with painstaking precision and philosophical acumen an incredible amount of complex and controversial issues, without ever losing sight of the project as a whole. The result is an exciting and novel book.' Sara Magrin, Bryn Mawr Classical Review

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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2017
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521838580
    • length: 662 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 160 x 33 mm
    • weight: 1.17kg
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: studying middle platonism
    1. Plato's authority and the history of philosophy
    2. Making sense of the dialogues
    Part I. Cosmology:
    3. Causal principles for a non-materialist cosmology
    4. The debate over matter and the problem of evil
    5. Paradigm-forms
    6. The creator god
    7. Theories of creation
    8. World soul and nature
    9. Individual souls and their faculties
    10. Living beings: gods, daimons, humans, animals, plants
    11. Providence
    12. Fate
    Part II. Dialectic:
    13. Epistemology
    14. Logic
    15. Aristotle's Categories: ontology and linguistics
    16. The hierarchy of sciences
    Part III. Ethics:
    17. The goal of virtue and the ideal life
    18. Ethical virtue and the management of the passions
    19. Politics
    20. The system of the Chaldaean Oracles
    Catalogue of platonists
    Index of sources and references
    Index to notes and further reading.

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    Platonist Philosophy 80 BC to AD 250

    George Boys-Stones

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  • Author

    George Boys-Stones, Durham University
    George Boys-Stones is Professor of Ancient Philosophy at Durham University and has published widely on Middle Platonism among other topics. He is co-editor of The Platonic Art of Philosophy (Cambridge, 2013) and author of Post-Hellenistic Philosophy (2001), which laid the groundwork for this volume.

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