2011. október 10.

Pauliina Remes - szeminárium

The Ancient Philosophy Program of the Philosophy Doctoral School at Eötvös University announces a seminar held by

Pauliina Remes (Uppsala /Helsinki):

Neoplatonist Ethical Orders of Priority: Plotinus and Simplicius on Action

The seminar explores the views of two Neoplatonic philosophers concerning action and summum bonum. Plotinus advocates theoretical activity as higher than practical action both in terms of explanatory hierarchy and as a goal of human existence. Commenting on Epictetus, Simplicius makes a radical move and raises action in the world as prior in one particular sense of priority, an ethical sense of priority. How these Neoplatonists accomplish this within one and the same philosophical school of thought with certain shared key commitments is interesting in itself, and provides us two different ways of combining Platonic and Aristotelian insights. Against some recent interpretations it will further be argued that even Plotinus posits central value for deliberative reasoning, even though it happens on a lower plane than contemplation. Both Plotinus and Simplicius hold that the two are integrally and that contemplative activities promote virtue in action.

The seminar will deal with different bits of Plotinus, but particularly On Nature and Contemplation (III.8); and Simplicius' Commentary on the Handbook, around 130-136.

Some background reading:

Andrew Smith: 'Action and Contemplation in Plotinus', in Andrew Smith (ed.) The Philosopher and Society in Late Antiquity. Essays in Honour of Peter Brown, Swansea: The Classical Press of Wales, 2005, 65-72.

Christine J. Thomas: 'Plato', Timothy O'Connor & Constantine Sandis (eds.) A Companion to the Philosophy of Action, Malden, USA & Oxford: Wiley Blackwell, 2010, 429-438.

James Wilberding: 'Automatic Action in Plotinus', Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 34 (2008), 373-407.

The sessions take place on 17 October, from 16:00 to 19:00 (Eötvös University, Faculty of Humanities, Institute of Philosophy, Director’s Office, 1088 Budapest, Múzeum krt. 4/I, 1st floor, room 122) and on 18 October, from 10:00 to 13:00 (location to be specified in due course).

Further information about the seminar: László Bene (Eötvös University, Department of Ancient and Medieval Philosophy), E-mail: benel@elte.hu

Pauliina Remes has worked on ancient philosophy, particularly on the Platonic tradition. She has published a book on Plotinus’ philosophy of the self (Plotinus on Self. The Philosophy of the 'We'. Cambridge University Press, 2007), a comprehensive acccount of ancient pagan Neoplatonism (Neoplatonism. Acumen Publishing, 2008), and numerous articles on ancient theory of action, ethics and philosophy of mind. She has co-edited two collections of essays (Pauliina Remes - Sara Heinämaa - Vili Lähteenmäki: Consciousness: From Perception to Reflection in the History of Philosophy. Springer, 2007; Pauliina Remes - Juha Sihvola (eds.): Ancient Philosophy of the Self. Springer, 2008).

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