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Proclus: Neo-Platonic Philosophy and Science

by Lucas Siorvanes

Buy the book: Lucas Siorvanes. Proclus: Neo-Platonic Philosophy and Science

Release Date: June, 1997

Edition: Hardcover

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Buy the book: Lucas Siorvanes. Proclus: Neo-Platonic Philosophy and Science


The End of a School

This is the only general introduction to Proclus that I have found on this important systematic thinker of the late Athenian School of Neoplatonic Philosophy.

The title's inclusion of 'Science' is a theme carried through the work in an emphasis of Proclus' contribution and presentation of Natural Philosophy: following one link on an internet search for 'Proclus' leads to the Mathematics Department in St Andrews University!

There are some slight disappointments with the book connected with this.

Proclus and the late Athenian School contrast greatly with Plotinus' ideas regarding rational/irrational in Theology and there is no section dealing with this specifically.

What there is on Theurgy - again an important theme in this branch of Neoplatonism - is rather sketchy.

Some of Proclus' most interesting works are not cited at all. De malorum subsistentia, for instance, deals with the nature of evil and has some important discussions on why matter is not the cause of evil (quite a different message from the common 'received' view of Neoplatonism).

The style is also quite difficult to read at times and contrasts with one or two excellent works displaying a revived interest in post-Iamblichean Neoplatonism.

Siorvanes has definitely 'got inside' Proclus but leaves this reader with the taste of contemporary Philsophy: more to do with Science and less with Theology. This may be the author's outlook but I am not certain Proclus would agree.

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