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8/04/2018 12:06 am  #51

Re: ​Who are your three biggest philosophical influences?

Brian wrote:

Hypatia wrote:

The one problem with Platonism compared to Aristotelianism is it can get a bit too otherworldly--I remember Pierre Hadot having that complaint about Plotinus, that it was like visiting a foreign realm divorced from everyday life. Which I can sympathize with, so I like paying attention to the Thomists because I need a good dose of common sense philosophy every so often. Otherwise the apophaticism and eliminative idealism creep in. Or worse.

Interestingly, Plotinus didn't seem to have that problem if we are to believe Porphyry. He adopted orphans and stressed the (chronological) priority of the civic virtues over the intellectual/purificatory virtues. Definitely strange how the emblematic anti-worldly, head in the stars, Platonist was rather practical.

Oh, yes. It's the dark side that you see with Porphyry himself, given the suicidal ideation, but Plotinus seems to have been a different situation entirely.

I also wonder how much of a difference something like the Academy would have made--to be a non-religious Platonist in this day and age can involve a lot of whiplash if your community is entirely secularly oriented, and a less idealistically inclined philosophical theism would probably fit better. Being a virtue ethicist in a sea of consequentialists is jarring enough.


8/04/2018 4:28 am  #52

Re: ​Who are your three biggest philosophical influences?

The Platonic understanding of the symbol - material things as symbols of higher realities - can do something to bridge the gap between this world and the otherworldly. Nature, art, rituals, and social relationships can be understood as icons.


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