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61. Chôra: Volume > 13 > Issue: Supplement
François Chenet Le dualisme de l’Esprit et de la Nature du Sāṃkhya
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Sāṃkhya, which is one of the oldest systems (darśana) of Indian Philosophy, advocates an uncompromising dualism in its theoretical metaphysical teachings. There is a fundamental dualism or split at the very heart of reality, and this dualism or split is the fundamental fact of existence.According to Sāṃkhya, there are two co‑present and co‑eternal realities. The first one is the principle of pure Consciousness, the Puruṣa, which is inactive, indifferent, eternally free and Alone. Puruṣa is the soul, the self, the spirit, the subject, the knower. The other of the two co‑present and co‑eternal realities of Sāṃkhya is Nature or Prakṛti : it is the primordial and unconscious “stuff ” of the entire unmanifest and manifest world, whereas Puruṣa is the presupposition of individual consciousness. Nature or Prakṛti is the ultimate material principle and thus the substratum from which manifest, in the presence of the self (puruṣa), the gross and subtle bodies including the mental organs of all living beings. But Sāṃkhya is not a dualism of mind and body or even a dualism of subject and object.In classical Sāṃkhya the world is not derived from consciousness, nor is consciousness derived from the world. The classical Sāṃkhya refuses to understand the world simply as a product of consciousness. It refuses to see the world as an illusory projection of consciousness, and thus it rejects any idealistic monism. Similarly, it refuses to see consciousness simply as a product of the world, and thus it rejects any kind of materialism or naturalism. Thus, it steers an intermediate course or path between the Indian notion of a conscious, cosmic Self or its equivalent, which is the ground of all being, on the one hand, and the notion of a conscious self, which is only an empirical, relative construction, on the other. It maintains, rather, a fundamental dualism, the opposite poles of which function in a kind of dialectical interaction. The fact of consciousness and the fact of the world are two irreductible realities in constant interplay with one another. Though quite separate and unconnected, Spirit and Nature mutually interact to bring about the process of creation, self‑awareness and, finally, enlightenment. But Spirit or Puruṣa and Nature or Prakṛti are always only in proximity to one another, never in actual contact. This is a puzzling notion if one thinks of Puruṣa and Prakṛti as two things. Puruṣa and Prakṛti are two realities of a completely different order.Right knowledge is the knowledge of the separation of the Puruṣa from the Prakṛti. The individual soul (jīva) has to realize itself as the pure Puruṣa through discrimination between Puruṣa and Prakṛti.From a rational point of view, classical Sāṃkhya can be regarded as a bundle of contradictions. Some problems regarding its interpretation are the problem of the nature of the Sāṃkhya dualism and the problem of the connection or relationship of Puruṣa and Prakṛti. The Sāṃkhya system clings to spiritualistic pluralism and dualistic realism, but its very logic indeed impels it to embrace idealistic monism or absolutism.
62. Chôra: Volume > 13 > Issue: Supplement
Lionel Marti L’Enuma elish – une oeuvre dont la pérennité et le propos ont marqué les esprits: (réponse a N. Ziegler)
63. Chôra: Volume > 13 > Issue: Supplement
Alain Le Boulluec La monarchia dans les Homélies clémentines et l’origine du Mauvais
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As the most rigorous upholder of monotheism, the pseudo‑Clementine homilist is at strife with the Marcionite dualism. More precisely, he comes up against the Apelles’ doctrine, which is all the more dangerous as it establishes the unicity of God and reduces the demiurge of the world and author of the Law to a created power. The theory of the «false pericopes» of the Scriptures is specially directed against Apelles, in order to protect the identity between the supreme God and the Creator of the world. It seems that the conjectures about the origin of the Evil One, which attempt to avoid a new form of dualism, are also directed towards the refutation of Apelles : to the obedient demiurgical angel is opposed the providential function of the Evil One, who has to put the human beings’ piety to trial ; and against Apelles who maintains the severance between corporeal reality and God’ being, the homilist makes use of the audacious theory of the mixing of the elements to settle both the connaturality of the Evil One and of the body of God and the blamelessness of God with reference to the will of the Tempter, which is contingent.
64. Chôra: Volume > 14
Anca Vasiliu Note liminaire
65. Chôra: Volume > 14
Marilena Vlad Présentation du dossier
66. Chôra: Volume > 14
Francis Lacroix Logismos et dianoia chez Plotin
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The use of the terms λογισμός and διάνοια in the writings of Plotinus has already been discussed by H. J. Blumenthal in his book entitled Plotinus’ Psychology (1977). Blumenthal here defended the thesis that the terms were used as synonyms in the Enneads. Indeed, though some passages seem to indicate a difference between λογισμός and διάνοια, in the majority of cases Plotinus nonetheless seems to use these words interchangeably. We propose to analyze in detail the terms λογισμός and διάνοια by referring, inter alia, to Treatise 49 [V 3], 2‑3, where the terms seem indeed to be used synonymously, as well as other treatises such as Treatise 28 [IV 4], where Plotinus seems to give each word a different sense. Other scholars, namely E. K. Emilsson, think that we can establish a clear distinction between logismos and dianoia, by a thorough study of the World‑Soul, which has the dianoia, but not the logismos. After a review of Emilsson’s thesis, we will finally propose that Plotinus employs the word διάνοια when he refers to the soul’s capacity to store data for judgement, while he employs the term λογισμός to describe the process of judging this content, which may be distinguished from other processes.
67. Chôra: Volume > 14
Anca Vasiliu Penser l’Un ou la limite de la médiation selon Plotin
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Trying to reconstruct the specific definition of the noetic act from some excerpts of the fifth and seventh Treatises (Enneads, V, 9 and 4), one manages to circumscribe the operations by which Plotinus establishes in the context the unity between the intellect, the act of thinking, some form of «prime intelligibility» and the other, multiple, intelligibilities. Plotinus is striving to avoid several pitfalls in order not to endanger the unity of the noetic hypostasis and consequently to imperil the only possible way of thinking the One. At least four ways of bypassing possible impediments detectable in the context mentioned can be summarised : (i) averting the idea that the noetic act can be identified to the form and can thus be defined as «the thinking of forms» ; (ii) establishing that the precession of being as an «object of thought» is an a posteriori act of thought, and not the actual and necessary preeminence of the being on the noetic act ; (iii) debunking any temptation of considering thought as a mediation between the first and the second hypostasis ; and finally (iv) avoiding a definition of the noetic act through a sine qua non recourse to power, by establishing a specific statutary order of the noûs according to which the act and the power determine, or not, the possibility of intellection. An analysis of the texts will bring us to reconsider the so‑called theory of the two complementary acts and its Aristotelian origins, and also to recall the debates around Plotinus’ «idealism», demonstrating the appositeness and the specificities of that conception.
68. Chôra: Volume > 14
Alain Lernould La διάνοια chez Proclus: pensée et discursivité
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According to the well known Platonic distinction of different types of knowing, discursive thought (διάνοια) is second to intellect (νοῦς), and above opinion (δόξα). Intellection intelligizes the entire intelligible cosmos, all at once (ἀθρόως), in an undivided manner. Discursive thought, involving temporal thinking, articulates into plurality the indivisible character of the intellectual life. I argue in this paper that Proclus does not reduce discursive thought to discursivity. Discursive thought is thought, i.e. intellection (διά‑νοια) before being discursive (διά‑νοια), intellection of Psychic Forms, and intellection in the manner of the soul.
69. Chôra: Volume > 14
Carolle Metry-Tresson Comment l’âme peut saisir l’un: l’anagogie damascienne comme transgression de l’apophasis
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For Damascius, the last great Neoplatonist of late Antiquity, the answer to the question “how to go beyond the plurality of human thought for the purpose of really attaining the one ?” is not to be found on the side of the via negativa – which is the dynamics of a rejection of plurality –, but in a positive, unifying and integrative dialectic by which the plurality of the soul is not denied any more, but gathered, contracted and simplified in an undifferentiated unity for the purpose of really attaining the one. Setting himself apart from his predecessors due to a new conception of the ‘one’ understood as ‘all(ness)’, Damascius aims to deconstruct, and then abandon, the via apophatica, for it becomes in his eyes an illusory, unsuitable and counterproductive way in the vertiginous ascent of the soul towards its origin. Indeed, a number of passages of his masterpiece, De Principiis, reveal his radically critical decision to reject the immoderate use of negative discourse to express the one, as well as the cathartic status and the anagogical purpose generally allowed to apophatism. It is stated here that ‘negation’ is only the reflection of our own cognitive powerlessness, a dangerous illegitimate (‘bastard’) reasoning, or simply an artifice of language, even if authorized in certain circumstances. Is the one not beyond any discourse, distinction and exclusion ? Making obsolete any triumphalism of hyperapophatism, judged as unacceptable and contradictory, Damascius offers the human soul the promise of an authentic, as well as lucid anagogy towards the principle.
70. Chôra: Volume > 14
David Vachon Contemplation et théurgie: les facultés de l’âme au·dela de la pensée discursive chez Proclus
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In this article, we want to analyse the principal characteristics of three faculties of the soul in Proclus’ work : discursive thinking, contemplation and theurgic practice. We will then establish links between these faculties and the process of purification, divided into philosophical, dialectic and telestic types. We will then analyse these types of purification in relation with three metaphors exploited by Proclus : the naked soul, the flower of the intellect, and silence. The goal of this article consists in proving that dianoia (discursive thinking), even if it has to be overcome by other faculties (contemplation and theurgic practice), still operates implicitly in the process of assimilation to the One. In other words, contemplation and theurgic practice are not a substitute for rational thinking, but rather its ultimate achievement.
71. Chôra: Volume > 14
Davide Susanetti Folie, écriture et usages des mythes dans l’Hyppolite d’Euripide
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The aim of this essay is to focus the different strategies the dramaturgy of Hippolitus adopts in order to problematize the use of mythical paradigms, poetic tradition and writing when tragic characters are to deal with the force of desire. Ancient myths, handed down by poets, are quoted and exploited by the nurse in a sophistic perspective that tries to justify natural instincts by cultural tradition. This perspective is opposite to the corpus of orphic writings and the paradigm of purity linked to Hippolitus. Coping with the provocative rhetoric of the nurse and the intransigence of Hippolitus, Phaedra produces her own writing that reacts to the “knot” tied by the logoi of her interlocutors.
72. Chôra: Volume > 15/16
Anca Vasiliu Note liminaire: Quelques réflexions en guise d’introduction
73. 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.
74. 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.
75. 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.
76. 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.
77. 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).
78. 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.
79. 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.
80. 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.