Proclus Neo-Platonic Philosophy and Science
- Binding: Hardcover
- Publisher: Yale Univ Pr
- Publish date: 12/01/1996
Proclus, head of the Philosophy School at Athens for fifty years, was one of the leading philosophical figures in Late Antiquity. Lucas Siorvanes here introduces Proclus to English-language readers, discussing his metaphysics and theory of knowledge and focusing in particular on his Neo-Platonism.
Proclus lived in the turbulent fifth century A.D., a time of struggles among Christians, Jews, and pagans, the invasion of Attila the Hun, the fall of the Western Roman Empire, and the rise of the Eastern Roman Empire in Byzantium. While Late Antiquity has been regarded as a time of superstition and forbiddingly complex philosophies, recent scholarship has shown it to be full of cultural and intellectual vigor. During Proclus's tenure as head of the Philosophy School, he systematized Neo-Platonism as the summit of ancient Greek thought, brought it to its peak of influence, and became responsible for the form in which it was transmitted to the Byzantine, Western European, and Islamic civilizations.
Siorvanes's extensive original research presents Proclus as much more than just a metaphysician. He surveys all of Proclus's philosophical interests -- including religion, physics, astronomy, mathematics, and poetry -- revealing the philosopher's central concern with the problems of being and knowledge and relating the ideas of Proclus to those of such other major thinkers as Plato, Aristotle, and Ptolemy. To help the newcomer, Siorvanes supplies more than zoo quotations from Proclus's works. He also traces the impact of Proclus's Neo-Platonism across cultures, religions, and centuries, in such diverse areas as Christian and Islamic theologies, Renaissance art, Kepler's astronomy, Romanticpoetry, Emerson's thought, modern philosophy and science, and current popular phrases.