Middle Platonic Ethics

Author/s Alessandro Linguiti
Publishing Year 2015 Issue 2015/2 Language Italian
Pages 21 P. 359-379 File size 115 KB
DOI 10.3280/SF2015-002005
DOI is like a bar code for intellectual property: to have more infomation click here

Below, you can see the article first page

If you want to buy this article in PDF format, you can do it, following the instructions to buy download credits

Article preview

FrancoAngeli is member of Publishers International Linking Association, Inc (PILA), a not-for-profit association which run the CrossRef service enabling links to and from online scholarly content.

Platonic philosophers of the late Hellenistic Age and early Imperial Age draw a complex and somewhat muddled picture of their moral philosophy, influenced as they are by the conflicting stances of Stoic ethics on the one hand and of Aristotelian ethics on the other. They seek to distinguish their own doctrine of the ultimate goal of life from competing telos-conceptions by framing the ideal of assimilation to God (homoiosis theoi) within a typically Platonic hierarchy of gods and divinities. As far as the contribution of external gods to happiness is concerned, these philosophers tend to minimize its importance, which brings them close to the Stoics. In their evaluation of theoretical over practical life, however, they are closer to the Peripatetics. Finally, in their doctrine of conditional Fate, though sticking to a strong notion of Providence and Fate, they strive - evidently against the Stoics - to assign a significant amount of freedom and autonomy to the human soul.

Keywords: Platonic tradition, ethics, history of ancient ethics, determinism and human freedom.

  1. - Dillon 2013: Id., The Hierarchy of Being as Framework for Platonic Ethical Theory, in Pietsch 2013a, pp. 91-98.
  2. - Donini 1982: Pierluigi Donini, Le scuole, l’anima, l’impero: la filosofia antica da Antioco a Plotino, Rosenberg & Sellier, Torino 1982.
  3. - Mannlein-Robert 2013: Irmgard Mannlein-Robert, Tugend, Flucht und Ekstase: Zur Homoiosis theoi in Kaiserzeit und Spätantike, in Pietsch 2013a, pp. 99-111.
  4. - Moreschini 2013: Claudio Moreschini, Storia del pensiero cristiano tardo-antico, Bompiani, Milano 2013.
  5. - Natali 1989: Carlo Natali, La saggezza di Aristotele, Bibliopolis, Roma-Napoli 1989.
  6. - Natali 2014: Id., La scuola peripatetica e il determinismo, in De Caro-Mori-Spinelli 2014, pp. 115-131.
  7. - O’Meara 2013: Dominic O’Meara, Preparing Platonopolis. Political Philosophy in Middle Platonism, in Pietsch 2013a, pp. 283-290.
  8. - Annas 1993: Julia Annas, The Morality of Happiness, Oxford University Press, Oxford 1993.
  9. - Annas 1999: Ead., Platonic Ethics. Old and New, Cornell University Press, London–Ithaca 1999.
  10. - Baltes (1999): Matthias Baltes, Muß die “Landkarte des Mittelplatonismus“ neu gezeichnet werden?, ≪Gottinger Gelehrten Anzeiger“, CCXLVIII (1966), pp. 91-111 (ristampato in Matthias Baltes, DIANOHMATA. Kleine Schriften zu Platon und zum Neuplatonismus, Teubner, Stuttgart-Leipzig 1999, pp. 327-350).
  11. - Baltes, Dorrie 1993: Matthias Baltes, Heinrich Dorrie, Der Platonismus in der Antike, Band 3: Der Platonismus im 2. und 3. Jahrhundert nach Christus, Frommann-Holzboog, Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt, 1993.
  12. - Bobzien 1998: Susanne Bobzien, Determinism and Freedom in Stoic Philosophy, Clarendon Press, Oxford 1988.
  13. - Bonazzi 2011: Mauro Bonazzi, Il platonismo nel secondo libro dell’Anthologium di Stobeo: il problema di Eudoro, in Gretchen Reydams-Schils (ed.), Thinking through excerpts. Studies on Stobaeus, Brepols, Turnhout 2001, pp. 441-456.
  14. - Bonazzi 2012: Id., Theoria and Praxis: On Plutarch’s Platonism, in Thomas Benatouil, Mauro Bonazzi (eds.), Theoria, praxis and the contemplative life after Plato and
  15. Aristotle, Leiden-Boston, Brill 2012, pp. 139-161.
  16. - Bonazzi 2013: Id., Il posto dell’etica nel sistema del platonismo, in Pietsch 2103a,
  17. pp. 5-33.
  18. - Bonazzi 2014: Id., Middle Platonists on Fate and Human Autonomy: a Confrontation with the Stoics, in Pierre Destree-Ricardo Salles (eds.), What is up to us? Studiens on Agency and Responsibility in Ancient Philosophy, Academia Verlag, Sankt Augustin, pp. 283-293.
  19. - Bonazzi, Chiaradonna 2012: Mauro Bonazzi, Riccardo Chiaradonna, Prima di Plotino: Le correnti filosofiche in età imperiale, in Riccardo Chiaradonna (a cura di), Filosofia tardoantica, Carocci, Roma 2012, pp. 25-46.
  20. - Boys-Stones 2007: George Boys-Stones, Middle Platonists on Fate and Human Autonomy, in Robert W. Sharples-Richard Sorabji (eds.), Greek and Roman Philosophy 100 BC-200 AD, Institute of Classical Studies University of London, London 2009, vol. II, pp. 431-447.
  21. - Chiaradonna 2009: Riccardo Chiaradonna, Plotino, Carocci, Roma 2009.
  22. - D’Ancona 2003: Plotino, La discesa dell’anima nei corpi-Plotiniana Arabica, a cura di Cristina D’Ancona et alii, Il Poligrafo, Padova 2003.
  23. - De Caro, Mori, Spinelli 2014: Mario De Caro, Massimo Mori, Emidio Spinelli (a cura di), Libero arbitrio. Storia di una controversia filosofica, Carocci, Roma 2014. - Deuse 1983: Werner Deuse, Untersuchungen zur mittelplatonischen und neuplatonischen Seelenlehre, Steiner, Wiesbaden 1983.
  24. - Dillon 1977: John Dillon, The Middle Platonists, Duckworth, London 1977.
  25. - Dillon 1993: Id., Alcinous, The Handbook of Platonism, Clarendon Press, Oxford 1993.
  26. - Dillon 2003: Id., The Heirs of Plato. A Study of the Old Academy (347-274 BC), Oxford University Press, Oxford 2003.
  27. - Donini (1988): Id., La connaissance de dieu et la hiérarchie divine chez Albinos, in Robbert Van den Broek, Tjitze Baarda, Jaap Mansfeld (eds.), Knowledge of God in the Graeco-Roman World, Brill, Leiden 1988, pp. 118-131 (rist.in Pierluigi Donini, Commentary and Tradition. Aristotelianism, Platonism, and Post-Hellenistic Philosophy, edited by M. Bonazzi, de Gruyter, Berlin 2011, pp. 423-436).
  28. - Donini 1993: Id., Il ritorno agli antichi, in Carlo Augusto Viano (a cura di), Storia della filosofia, I: L’Antichità, Laterza, Roma-Bari 1993, pp. 362-392.
  29. - Dragona-Monachou 1994: Myrto Dragona-Monachou, Divine Providence in the Philosophy of the Empire, in W. Haase (Hrsg.), Aufstieg und Niedergang der Römischen Welt, II 36.7, de Gruyter, Berlin-New York 1994, pp. 4417-4490.
  30. - Eliasson 2008: Erik Eliasson, The Notion of “That Which Depends on Us” in Plotinus and its Background, Brill, Leiden 2008.
  31. - Ferrari 2008: Franco Ferrari, Moderatismo etico e controllo delle passioni in Plutarco, in Giovanna Giardina (a cura di), Le emozioni secondo i filosofi antichi, Cuecm, Catania 2008, pp. 135-162.
  32. - Frede 2003: Dorothea Frede, Stoic Determinism, in Brad Inwood (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to the Stoics, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2003, pp. 179-205.
  33. - Giusta 1964: Michelangelo Giusta, I dossografi di etica, vol. I, Giappichelli, Torino 1964.
  34. - Graver 2012: Margaret Graver, Seneca and the Contemplatio veri. De otio and Epistulae morales, in Thomas Benatouil, Mauro Bonazzi (eds.), Theoria, praxis and the contemplative life after Plato and Aristotle, Leiden-Boston, Brill 2012, pp. 75-100.
  35. - Hahm 1990: David E. Hahm, The Ethical Doxography of Arius Didymus, in W. Haase (Hrsg.), Aufstieg und Niedergand der Römischen Welt, II 36.4, de Gruyter, Berlin-New York 1990, pp. 2935-3055.
  36. - Irwin 2012: Terence H. Irwin, Antiochus, Aristotle, and the Stoics on degrees of happiness, in Sedley 2012a, pp. 194-222.
  37. - Karfik 2013: Filip Karfik, Mittelplatonische Lehre de finibus bei Stobaios, Alkinoos und Apuleius, in Pietsch 2013a, pp. 115-129.
  38. - Kramer 1971: Hans J. Kramer, Platonismus und hellenistische Philosophie, de Gruyter, Berlin-New York 1971.
  39. - Kramer 2004: Id., Die Ältere Akademie. In H.Flashar (Hrsg.), Grundriss der Geschichte der Philosophie. Die Philosophie der Antike, Band 3: Ältere Akademie-Aristoteles-Peripatos, 2., durchgesehene und erweiterte Auflage, Schwabe, Basel 2004.
  40. - Levy 1990: Carlos Levy, Cicéron et le moyen platonisme: la problème du souverain bien selon Platon, ≪Revue des etudes latines≫, LXVIII (1990), pp. 50-65.
  41. - Levy 1992: Id., Cicero Academicus. Recherches sur les Académiques et sur la philosophie cicéronienne, Ecole Francaise de Rome, Rome 1992. - Linguiti 2000: Alessandro Linguiti, La felicità e il tempo. Plotino, “Enneadi” I 4-I 5, Introduzione, traduzione e commento, Led, Milano 2000.
  42. - Linguiti 2001: Id., La felicità dell’anima non discesa, in A. Brancacci (a cura di), Antichi e Moderni nella filosofia di età imperiale, Bibliopolis, Napoli-Roma 2001, pp. 213-236.
  43. - Linguiti 2014: Id., Choice, Self-Determination and Assimilation to God in Plotinus, in Pieter d’Hoine, Gerd Van Riel (eds.), Fate, Providence and Moral Responsibility in Ancient, Medieval and Early Modern Thought. Studies in Honour of Carlos Steel, Leuven University Press, Leuven 2014, pp. 211-223.
  44. - Moraux1984: Paul Moraux, Der Aristotelismus bei den Griechen, Band 2: Der Aristotelismus im I. und II. Jh. n. Chr., De Gruyter, Berlin 1984.
  45. - Opsomer 2014: Jan Opsomer, The Middle Platonic Doctrine of Conditional Fate, in Pieter d’Hoine, Gerd Van Riel (eds.), Fate, Providence and Moral Responsibility in Ancient, Medieval and Early Modern Thought. Studies in Honour of Carlos Steel, Leuven University Press, Leuven 2014, pp. 137-167.
  46. - Pietsch 2013a: Christian Pietsch (Hrsg.), Ethik des antiken Platonismus. Der platonische Weg zum Glück in Systematik, Entstehung und historischem Kontext, Steiner, Stuttgart 2013.
  47. - Pietsch 2013b: Id., Aitia helomenou. Menschliches Entscheiden und Handeln zwischen Freiheit und Determination im Platonismus der Kaiserzeit, in Pietsch 2013, pp. 191-218.
  48. - Salles 2005: Ricardo Salles, The Stoics on Determinism and Compatibilism, Ashgate, Burlington 2005.
  49. - Sedley 1999: David Sedley, The ideal of godlikeness, in G. Fine (ed.), Plato, vol. 2, Oxford University Press, Oxford 1999, pp. 309-328.
  50. - Sedley 2012a: Id. (ed.), The Philosophy of Antiochus, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2012.
  51. - Sedley 2012b: Id., The theoretikos bios in Alcinous, in T.Benatouil-M.Bonazzi (eds.), Theoria, Praxis and the Contemplative Life after Plato and Aristotle, Brill, Leiden 2012, pp. 163-181.
  52. - Sharples 2003: Robert W. Sharples, Threefold Providence: the History and the Background of a Doctrine, in Robert W. Sharples, Anne Sheppard (eds.), Ancient Approaches to Plato’s Timaeus, Institute of Classical Studies University of London, London 2003, pp. 107-127.
  53. - Sharples 2007: Ead., The Stoic Background to the Middle Platonist Discussion of Fate, in Mauro Bonazzi, Christoph Helmig (eds.), Platonic Stoicism-Stoic Platonism. The Dialogue between Platonism and Stoicism in Antiquity, Leuven University Press, Leuven 2007, pp. 169-188.
  54. - Sharples 2008: Id., Alexander Aphrodisiensis: De anima libri mantissa., de Gruyter, Berlin-New York 2008. - Spinelli, Verde 2014: Emidio Spinelli, Francesco Verde, Alle radici del libero arbitrio? Aporie e soluzioni nelle filsosofie ellenistiche, in De Caro, Mori, Spinelli 2014, pp. 59-98.
  55. - Szlezak 1979: Thomas A. Szlezak, Platon und Aristoteles in der Nuslehre Plotins, Schwabe, Basel-Stuttgart 1979.
  56. - Tornau 2013: Christian Tornau, «Die Tugend ist hinreichend zur Erlangung der Glückseligkeit»:Die Stoische Autarkie-Formel im kaiserzeitlichen Platonismus, in Pietsch 2013a, pp. 141-158.
  57. - Trabattoni 2012: Franco Trabattoni, Libertà, libero arbitrio e destino in Platone, in De Caro, Mori, Spinelli 2014, pp. 15-38.
  58. - Whittaker 1990: Alcinoos. Enseignement des doctrines de Platon, Introduction, texte etabli et commente par John Whittaker et traduit par Pierre Louis, Les Belles Lettres, Paris 1990.

Alessandro Linguiti, L’etica medioplatonica in "RIVISTA DI STORIA DELLA FILOSOFIA" 2/2015, pp 359-379, DOI: 10.3280/SF2015-002005