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Series: Ancient Philosophies
Author(s): Pauliina Remes  
ISBN: 1844651258
ISBN-13: 9781844651252
Publication Date: 30/09/2008
Pages: 256 (216 x 138mm)
Format: Paperback
Published Price: £16.99
Discount Price: £13.59
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Although Neoplatonism has long been studied, until recently many had dismissed its complex system of ideas as more mystical than philosophical. Fresh research, however, has provided a new perspective on this highly influential school of thought, which flourished in the pagan world of Greece and Rome through late antiquity. Pauliina Remes’s lucid, comprehensive, and up-to-date introduction reassesses Neoplatonism’s philosophical credentials, from its founding by Plotinus (204–70 CE) through the closure of the Academy in Athens in 529. She explores the teachings of the leading Neoplatonists such as Plotinus, Porphyry, Iamblichus, Proclus, Simplicius and Damascius, with an emphasis on their shared assumptions about metaphysics, epistemology, philosophical psychology, philosophy of self, as well as ethics and politics. She pursues major developments and differences within the doctrines of the school and situates the movement alongside other intellectual movements of antiquity including classical Platonism, Aristotelianism, Stoicism, Gnosticism and Christianity. She also considers Neoplatonism’s enduring legacy in the history of philosophical thought, providing a gateway to its ideas for contemporary readers.


"Remes' book benefits extensively from recent work on Plotinus and other Neoplatonic authors, and offers a readable and accurate introduction to the topic. It is a welcome resource and I would certainly recommend that anyone teaching a course on Neoplatonic thought give this book to their students to read."  – Peter Adamson, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

"An excellent introduction to Neoplatonism that can be of much use to students seeking to become acquainted with the subject. It is written in a clear and engaging style, and it provides a useful starting point for discussion in a classroom." – Mouseion: Journal of the Classical Association of Canada

"This book excels as an introductory text. It is a nice corrective to older surveys of late ancient philosophy, which tend to present Neoplatonism as decadent, 'spiritualized', and concerned more with theurgic magic than philosophy. Remes does a fine job introducing the metaphysics, but her focus in the book's middle chapters on anthropology, psychology, and ethics really set this book apart. It is these areas that are receiving attention in recent research (including Remes' own work), and this book situates students within the most current and promising trends in the field. This innovative approach and attention to the most current research does not come at the expense of a solid introduction to the basics of the tradition. It would work well as a graduate or advanced undergraduate course text." – Bryn Mawr Classical Review 

“A concise, thematically oriented introduction. Attuned to the originality of Plotinus and Proclus, among others, Remes also treats them as inseparable from the ancient Greek philosophical tradition they were concerned to preserve and defend.” – Lloyd P. Gerson, University of Toronto

Pauliina Remes is Lecturer in Philosophy at Uppsala University, Sweden and Docent in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Helsinki, Finland.

1. Introduction
2. The first principles and the metaphysical hierarchy
3. Nature and the sensible universe
4. Human being and the self
5. Epistemology and philosophical psychology
6. Ethics and politics
7. The Neoplatonic legacy
Glossary of terms
Guide to further reading

Also available in Hardback (184465124x), priced 50.00

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