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101. Chôra: Volume > 15/16
Anca Vasiliu Note liminaire: Quelques réflexions en guise d’introduction
102. Chôra: Volume > 15/16
Mario Vegetti To siôpoumenon agathon
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La discussione sull’idea del buono (to agathon) occupa uno spazio marginale nel libro VI della Repubblica, ma comporta un eccezionale impegno teorico : di qui la vastita della letteratura esegetica che contrasta con la brevita del testo platonico. Il problema cruciale e questo : in Repubblica VI 504a‑509c to agathon non e piu solo un principio di valorizzazione e un criterio di valutazione di cose e condotte – com’e consueto in Platone – ma assume il ruolo di principio ontologico ed epistemologico. Questa posizione ha spesso suggerito interpretazioni di tipo “teologico” dell’idea del buono (identificata a volte con l’Uno neoplatonico, altre con il Demiurgo del Timeo). Quello che si puo affermare sulla base del testo, e che Platone ha conferito in queste pagine della Repubblica un primato al vertice etico del triangolo i cui altri vertici sono quello ontologico e quello epistemologico ; l’intento e quello di offrire una fondazione etica assoluta (antiprotagorea), mediante la connessione della sfera del valore con quelle dell’essere e della verita (quindi anche in ambito politico una giustificazione ultimativa al diritto dei filosofi a governare).L’unificazione delle dimensioni etica, ontologica ed epistemologica sarebbe parsa teoricamente insostenibile ad Aristotele, cui si deve una critica devastante alla teoria platonica del buono.
103. Chôra: Volume > 15/16
Rafael Ferber Le Bien de Platon et le problème de la transcendance du Principe. Encore une fois l’ἐπέκεινα τῆς οὐσίας de Platon
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The article again treats the question of whether ≪the Idea of the Good is a Reality in the Universe, or beyond it. Is it immanent or transcendent ?≫ (Rufus Jones, 1863‑1948). Plato scholars such as Matthias Baltes (1940‑2003) and Luc Brisson have defended the thesis that Plato’s Idea of the Good is, on the one hand, beyond being (epekeina tes ousias) in dignity and power, but, on the other, is nevertheless not transcendent over being. The article delivers first (I) the most important arguments for the thesis of Baltes and Brisson. Then (II), it gives two counterarguments against the thesis. Third (III), it concludes with some general questions concerning the deflationist interpretation of Plato’s Republic 509b9‑10, and defends again the transcendence of the Idea of the Good.
104. Chôra: Volume > 15/16
Suzanne Husson Autarcie du Bien et dépendance de l’être?: De la République au Sophiste
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Self‑sufficiency of the Good and dependency of Being ? From Republic to Sophist. Even thought Parmenides doesn’t use αὐτάρκης and any noun derived from this root, the Being is conceived by him as self‑sufficient (v. 8,33). Plato, for its part, never uses this term concerning the intelligible reality ; however, in the Sophist, he allusively challenges Parmenides self‑sufficiency of Being and outlines an ontology that is conflicting with it. On the other hand self‑sufficiency is explicitly ascribed by Plato to the human good (Philebus, 20d, 67a), to the divine world (Timaeus, 33d), and also to the virtuous man (Republic, 387d). This paper aims to demonstrate that these facets (theological or anthropological) of self‑sufficiency are consistent with the supremacy of the idea of the Good in the Republic, which can be understood as a structural kind of self‑sufficiency.
105. Chôra: Volume > 15/16
Mauro Bonazzi Le Bien selon Numénius et la République de Platon
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Among Plato’s dialogues, the Timaeus was the most authoritative for Middle Platonists. But alone it does not suffice to explain some of the most important tenets defended by these philosophers. A remarkable example is the doctrine of the three Principles (God, Ideas, matter), which characterizes imperial Platonism, and which cannot be stated on the basis of the Timaeus alone. In my paper I show that Numenius was influenced by the Republic as well : in the metaphor of the Sun he found the Good as first principle and an indication of a second principle which is further subdivided into an Intellect thinking the Ideas and a Demiurge ordering the universe. This interpretation provides him with some interesting solutions. But such an influence also raises difficulties insofar as the causal role of the first principle is concerned.
106. Chôra: Volume > 15/16
Ricardo Salles Bonté, rationalité et impuissance chez le démiurge Stoïcien
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Why does the Stoic demiurge cause the conflagration ? In this paper, I revisit some issues addressed in Salles 2005 and argue that the conflagration is the result of an incapacity in the demiurge for creating an everlasting and uninterrupted cosmic order. Also, I bring out in more detail (a) the parallel between the Stoics and Plato at Tim. 75a‑c (section 1), (b) why cosmic order is the ultimate end pursued by the demiurge (section 2), (c) what is the physical mechanism that leads up to the conflagration (section 3), and (d) why the conflagration is contrary to the cosmic order (sections 1 and 4).
107. Chôra: Volume > 15/16
Fabienne Jourdan Sur le Bien de Numénius. Sur le Bien de Platon: L’enseignement oral de Platon comme occasion de rechercher son pythagorisme dans ses écrits
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Mauro Bonazzi has shown how Numenius based his theology on his interpretation of Plato’s Timaios and Politeia. However, by giving the title On the Good (Περὶ τἀγαθοῦ) to his own dialogue, Numenius inserts it in the line of the teaching that, according to the tradition, Plato would have orally given on this topic. After focusing briefly on this teaching and its problems, the paper examines how Numenius appropriated it, as it reached him. It will appear that Numenius conceives of the oral tradition as the Pythagorean core of Plato’s teaching, a core that, according to him, its transmitters did not understand properly, and that he claims to find himself in a good interpretation of that which he has direct access to : the writings of the Master.
108. Chôra: Volume > 15/16
Luc Brisson Sur le Bien de Platon: Métamorphose d’une anecdote
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The anecdote recounted by Aristoxenus, who claims to be reporting Aristotle’s words, has been used by several interpreters to maintain the existence of a doctrine of the Good reserved for the members of the Academy, and transmitted orally, after the model of Pythagorean teaching. Yet a close analysis of these few lines shows that this interpretation has no basis : instead, what is at issue is a reading, for a broad audience, of a text corresponding to a doctrine of the good that can be found in the Republic and the Laws.
109. Chôra: Volume > 15/16
Pierre Destrée La contemplation du Beau et la pratique du bien: Pour une lecture éthique du discours de Diotime dans le Banquet de Platon
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This paper focuses on the conclusion of Diotima’s speech : “Do you not reflect that it is there alone, when he sees the Beautiful […] that he will give birth not to mere images of virtue but to true virtue, because it is not an image that he is grasping but the truth. And when he has given birth to and nurtured true virtue it is possible for him to be loved by the gods and to become, if any human can, immortal himself ” (212a). It is not clear what exactly Diotima takes “true virtue” to be. Many interpreters (esp. F. Sheffield) argue that that virtue amounts to the exercise of the intellect, the moral, or political virtues being only “secondary” (as Aristotle would famously say) in the eudaimonia. Opposing this in fact Aristotelian reading, I contend that “true virtue” amounts to the moral‑cum‑political virtues once enlightened by the contemplation of the Form of Beauty. My main arguments come from a close reading of some passages of Alcibiades’s speech which should be read as a diptych to Diotima’s.
110. Chôra: Volume > 15/16
Giulia Sissa Le Peuple philosophe: Le souci du bien dans la République de Platon et chez les Athéniens
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Une premisse majeure met en place les arguments les plus normatifs de la Republique : les caracteres des hommes sont la cause des caracteres des cites. Le gouvernement de Kallipolis est le meilleur de tous, explique Socrate, pour une raison tres simple : c’est le gouvernement des meilleurs (aristokratia). Dans une demokratia, en revanche, n’importe qui peut revetir un role de pouvoir par tirage au sort, et n’importe qui peut dire n’importe quoi. Tandis que les meilleurs des Gardiens se soucient du bien politique au superlatif, le peuple n’en a cure. Il foule aux pieds l’idee meme qu’il faudrait choisir et eduquer les magistrats. Le Peuple ne saurait être philosophe. Et pourtant, à Athènes, la parole politique et le langage à l’oeuvre dans l’administration de la cite (serments, decrets, eloges) montrent une quete acharnee du mieux possible. Le temoignage epigraphique nous devoile une citee pavee de bonnes intentions, engagee dans un perfectionnisme democratique que Platon refuse de reconnaitre.
111. Chôra: Volume > 15/16
Enrico Berti Bien en soi ou bien humain?: Aristote et Platon
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Aristotle criticizes the Idea of Good admitted by Plato because it is not a human, i.e. a practicable, good. But Aristotle himself admits, besides the human good, i.e. happiness, a supreme impracticable good, which coincides with the unmoved mover. And Plato himself, in his Philebus, speaks of a human good as the mixed life, which depends for its measure on the Idea of Good. This means that Aristotle does not criticize Plato because he identifies the supreme principle with the Good, a Good which cannot be attained by men, but because Plato conceives this supreme Good as the One, i.e. a formal cause, not as an efficient cause of the cosmic order. For Aristotle the supreme good, i.e. the divinity, is not the end of human actions, but he is the object, among the other first causes, of the wisdom, which is the true end of the wise man.
112. Chôra: Volume > 15/16
Valérie Cordonier Traduction, translittération, réinterprétation: la kalokagathia chez Albert le Grand
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In the significant body of existing research on the notion of kalokagathia – an ideal of the accomplished man who combines physical beauty with social status and moral goodness –, the focus has so far been on the history of the formation of the terms that denoted this quality (καλὸς καὶ ἀγαθός, καλoσκἀγαθός, καλοκἀγαθία) in ancient Greece, on their usage during the classical period and – to a lesser extent – on the changes in their meaning during the Hellenistic period. Our history of this concept therefore lacks a mediaeval chapter. I propose to address this gap by analysing how Albert Magnus understood the Latin terms corresponding to kalokagathia in the Aristotelian texts of practical philosophy made accessible by Latin translators at the time (Nicomachean Ethics, Magna Moralia, Politics and Eudemian Ethics). I also offer a reflection on the factors that determine how a text is understood within the contingency space left open between its translation and its interpretation by the reader.
113. Chôra: Volume > 15/16
Charlotte Murgier Aristote critique de Platon sur le bien pratique
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This paper aims at investigating Aristotle’s criticism of Plato on the practical good. It confronts the practical functions attributed to the Idea of the good in Plato’s Republic to Aristotle’s objections against this Idea in the Ethics, objections that point out its practical inefficiency. Then I turn to Aristotle’s own elaboration of the practical good, showing how indebted it is to the treatment of the human good in the Philebus. This leads to assess how and how far Aristotle distances himself from Plato’s views on the practical good.
114. Chôra: Volume > 15/16
Francesca Alesse La notion du bien chez Aristote, Métaphysique VII 6. Quelques remarques
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The question I deal with is Aristotle’s treatment of agathon in Metaphysics VII 6, as compared to the treatment of the same notion in famous passages from Ethics (EE 1217b26 ff. ; EN 1096a19 ff.) and Topics (107a5 ff.). In these latter agathon is considered as homonymous in that it assumes as many meanings as the categories, whereas in Metaphysics VII 6 (1031a29‑b14) Aristotle employes the example of agathon in order to examine the relationship between every reality in itself and its essence. In this context Aristotle uses the notion of “good in itself ”, as an example of ἕκαστον which should be identical to its essence : as a consequence of such an identity, “good in itself ” shoud be a synonymous notion and have a univocal definition. Is the treatment of agathon in Metaphysics VII 6 opposed to what Aristotle claims in Ethics and Topics ? In my opinion, what is to be pointed out is not a contradiction, but a difference in perspective, which has rarely been emphasised. My aim is to analyse the possible reasons for this difference in perspective.
115. Chôra: Volume > 15/16
Sylvain Delcomminette Platon et Aristote sur le bien en soi
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In this paper, I examine Plato’s and Aristotle’s contrasted treatment of the “Good itself ” and its relation to the human good. Contrary to a common view, Aristotle does not attack the very concept of a Good itself, but rather Plato’s interpretation of it as the Idea of the Good. One of his central criticisms is that such an Idea would have no practical use. By an analysis of the Philebus, I try to show why and how this Idea does have such a use in Plato, but in a way which could not satisfy his pupil, because for Aristotle, the Good itself must be an ultimate end which must have a direct efficiency on the whole world, without any need of the mediation of knowledge. In the Metaphysics, Aristotle shows that such an end can be identified with a purely active intelligence, which he names God. Although this Good itself is absolutely necessary and thus cannot be a “practical good” in Aristotle’s terms, its contemplation by human intelligence (i.e. what Aristotle calls sophia) can be, because it is for its part contingent. I conclude in assessing the main consequences of Plato’s and Aristotle’s different views of the Good itself on their philosophy as a whole.
116. Chôra: Volume > 15/16
Fabienne Baghdassarian Principe du bien et principe du mal chez Aristote
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This paper deals with Aristotle’s criticism of a metaphysical principle of evil. On several occasions in the Metaphysics, Aristotle notes that some of his predecessors, e.g. Empedocles and Plato at least, have been forced to admit the existence of a principle of evil, for the very same reasons that led them to define the good as a principle. Needless to say Aristotle too admits that the good belongs to the range of principles, but he obviously does not think he is committed to the same position concerning evil. This article tries to determine why it can legitimately be so, i.e. on which grounds Aristotle’s conception of the good as a principle can save him from having to make room for its contrary too among the principles. In the first part of this paper, I define the two main logical rules which, according to Aristotle, led Empedocles and Plato to admit the evil among the principles : the rule of homogeneity between a principle and its effect, and the rule of contrary principles. In the two following parts, I study how Aristotle manages to avoid the undesirable consequences of these logical rules : first, by providing a definition of an absolutely first principle which has no contrary ; second, by providing a new definition of the relation of contrariety itself, thanks to which the hypothesis of a principle of evil turns to be both useless and contradictory.
117. Chôra: Volume > 15/16
Izabela Jurasz Ce que les Gnostiques ont fait du Principe du Bien. Le cas de Basilide
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The article examines the metamorphosis of the Platonic Principle of Good in the doctrine of Basilides, the 2nd century Christian gnostic. The Basilidian doctrine represents a radical form of dualism, in which the universe ‑ physical and metaphysical ‑ is born from an encounter between Light (good) and Darkness (evil). In his effort to liberate the Light from all contact with Darkness, Basilide refers to several different mediators (eye, mirror, gleam, desire). Analysing the Basilidian myth in the light of the Platonic writings brings out the paradoxes inherent in any attempts to construct a dualistic metaphysics within the Platonic context.
118. Chôra: Volume > 15/16
Laurent Lavaud Y a‑t‑il, selon Plotin, une energeia du Bien ?
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Is there an energeia of the Good according to Plotinus ? The aim of this paper is to shed light on the tension between two conflicting perspectives concerning the Good in the philosophy of Plotinus. According to the first perspective, Plotinus claims that the the first principle completely transcends the energeia, which is strictly limited to the Intellect. According to the second, he ascribes a kind of immanent energeia to the One. I will examine the two series of texts in which these two perspectives are present and advance two hypotheses to explain the divergence between these two viewpoints.Firstly, the meaning of the term energeia is not unequivocal, depending on whether it is strictly limited to the intelligible realm or ascribed to the One. Secondly, the competition between two models of causality in the Enneads can explain why Plotinus has two divergent views on the relation between the Good and the energeia. According to the first model, the Good ≪doesn’t have in itself what it gives≫. In line with this principle, Plotinus claims that the Good stands epekeina energeias. The second model of causality is inherited from the peripatetic school. According to it, the cause already contains eminently in itself that which it gives. This model of causality helps explain the ascription of energeia to the Good and the so‑called ≪double‑energeia theory≫.
119. Chôra: Volume > 15/16
Jean‑Claude Picot Penser le Bien et le Mal avec Empédocle
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A ready answer to the question of Empedocles’ thinking about Good and Evil is to be found in Aristotle, who provides us with this simple rule of thumb : Good is associated with Love, and Evil with Hate. Fundamentally obvious as that rule may be (it makes us think in particular of Love’s masterpiece in the cosmic cycle, the Sphairos), we need to go beyond Aristotle’s words. This article investigates several topics : fire, the sun, water, the hoard of divine thought, reincarnation, Empedoclean ethics, and, finally, the Blessed Ones. Complexity rules our quest to determine what belongs to the Good and what belongs to the Bad. There are times when Love takes advantage of Hate’s ability to cause separation. The sun, manifestation par excellence of fire, is loaded with ambivalence in Empedocles – even though the high value placed almost universally on light is a commonplace in Greek thought. Empedocles is torn between his sense of wonder at the works of Aphrodite and his pessimism on recognizing the infernal cycle in which mortals are involved.
120. Chôra: Volume > 15/16
Rossella Saetta Cottone Le soleil comme reflet et la question de la connaissance dans la pensée d’Empédocle: aux origines d’une image
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Questo articolo argomenta in favore della tesi di una collaborazione tra sensi e ragione nella gnoseologia di Empedocle. Il primo difensore di questa tesi, Sesto Empirico, distingueva nel pensiero empedocleo due forme di ragione (λόγος), una umana e l’altra divina. Viene sostenuta qui l’identificazione della ragione divina menzionata da Sesto con il dio protagonista del fr. 134DK, a cui il suo citatore, Ammonio, attribuisce il nome di Apollo. L’analisi proposta cerca di mostrare in particolare 1) che il dio menzionato nel fr. 134 e il sole della comologia empedoclea conosciuto grazie alla testimonianza di Aezio (A56) ; 2) che la costituzione fisica di questo dio solare, immagine luminosa proiettata sulla volta dell’etere, ne fa una figura velata della conoscenza, come relazione necessaria di esperienze sensibili e di contenuti intellettivi. La tradizione pitagorica che identificava il sole con Apollo troverebbe un prolungamento nella divinizzazione empedoclea della ragione.