Alcinous: The Handbook of Platonism

Clarendon Press, 28 d’oct. 1993 - 270 pàgines
John Dillon presents an English translation of Alcinous' Handbook of Platonism, accompanied by an introduction and a philosophical commentary which reveal the intellectual background to the ideas in the work. The Handbook purports to be an introduction to the doctrines of Plato, but in fact gives us an excellent survey of Platonist thought in the second century AD. - ;Clarendon Later Ancient Philosophers This series, which is modelled on the familiar Clarendon Aristotle and Clarendon Plato Series, is designed to encourage philosophers and students of philosophy to explore the fertile terrain of later ancient philosophy. The texts range in date from the first century BC to the fifth century AD, and they cover all the parts and all the schools of philosophy. Each volume contains a substantial introduction, an English translation, and a critical commentary on the philosophical claims and arguments of the text. The accurate and faithful translations are highly readable and accompanied by notes on textual problems that affect the philosophical interpretation. No knowledge of Greek or Latin is assumed. The Handbook of Platonism, or Didaskalikos, attributed to Alcinous (long identified with the Middle Platonist Albinus, but on inadequate grounds), is a central text of later Platonism. In Byzantine times, in the Italian Renaissance, and even up to 1800, it was regarded as an ideal introduction to Plato's thought. In fact it is far from being this, but it is an excellent source for our understanding of Platonism in the second century AD. Neglected after a more accurate view of Plato's thought established itself in the nineteenth century, the Handbook is only now coming to be properly appreciated for what it is. It presents a survey of Platonist doctrine, divided into the topics of Logic, Physics, and Ethics, and pervaded with Aristotelian and Stoic doctrines, all of which are claimed for Plato. John Dillon presents an English translation of this work, accompanied by an introduction and a philosophical commentary in which he disentangles the various strands of influence on the text, elucidates the complex scholastic tradition that lies behind it, and thus reveals the sources and subsequent influence of the ideas expounded. -

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