By Daniele Iozzia
When aesthetics as a self-discipline didn't exist sooner than the fashionable age, historic philosophers supply many insights approximately good looks and artwork. In past due Antiquity Plotinus faced the matter of good looks and the price of the humanities. Plotinus reflections have an immense position within the improvement of the idea that of the worth of inventive mind's eye through the Renaissance and the Romantic period, yet he additionally encouraged the creative flavor of his time. Aesthetic subject matters in Pagan and Christian Neoplatonism reconstructs the cultured philosophical perspectives of overdue Antiquity, and their relation to creative construction of the time. by means of reading the resonance of Plotinus suggestion with modern artists and with Christian thinkers, together with Gregory of Nyssa, the publication demonstrates the significance of Plotinus treatise On good looks for the advance of overdue historical aesthetics. The Cappadocian fathers curiosity in Plotinus is explored, in addition to the ensuing legacy of the pagan thinkers philosophy inside Christian notion, similar to the idea that of good looks and the narration of the contemplative adventure. Uniquely utilizing philological and philosophical perception, in addition to exploring either pagan and Christian philosophy, Aesthetic topics in Pagan and Christian Neoplatonism represents the 1st finished synthesis of aesthetic considered overdue Antiquity.
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Additional resources for Aesthetic Themes in Pagan and Christian Neoplatonism: From Plotinus to Gregory of Nyssa
If this passage is not a focal point of the treatise, nevertheless it constitutes an example, worthy of interest, of the rhetorical as well as the philosophical appeal of the treatise. In the ninth chapter of the treatise Plotinus says: Πῶς ἂν οὖν ἴδοις ψυχὴν ἀγαθὴν οἷον τὸ κάλλος ἔχει; Ἄναγε ἐπὶ σαυτὸν καὶ ἴδε· κἂν μήπω σαυτὸν ἴδῃς καλόν, οἷα ποιητὴς ἀγάλματος, ὃ δεῖ καλὸν γενέσθαι, τὸ μὲν ἀφαιρεῖ, τὸ δὲ ἀπέξεσε, τὸ δὲ λεῖον, τὸ δὲ καθαρὸν ἐποίησεν, ἕως ἔδειξε καλὸν ἐπὶ τῷ ἀγάλματι πρόσωπον, οὕτω καὶ σὺ ἀφαίρει ὅσα περιττὰ καὶ ἀπεύθυνε ὅσα σκολιά, ὅσα σκοτεινὰ καθαίρων ἐργάζου εἶναι λαμπρὰ καὶ μὴ παύσῃ τεκταίνων τὸ σὸν ἄγαλμα, ἕως ἂν ἐκλάμψειέ σοι τῆς ἀρετῆς ἡ θεοειδὴς ἀγλαία, ἕως ἂν ἴδῃς σωφροσύνην ἐν ἁγνῷ βεβῶσαν βάθρῳ.
Among the passages with metaphors or images related to artworks, Plotinus sometimes refers to the portrait of Socrates, in the obvious sense of the portrait of an individual. Despite the traditional reﬂection on the portrait of the philosopher and the philosophical value of the dycotomy between Socrates’ physiognomy and his interiority22 as theorized in Symp. 215a-b, in fact these passages focus on ontological problems. In Enn. VI 2 (43), On the genera of being II, 1, 23, Plotinus argues that it would be absurd to put under the same genus being and non-being, because it would be like uniting under the same genus Socrates and his portrait: Γελοῖον γὰρ ὑφ´ ἓν θέσθαι τὸ ὂν τῷ μὴ ὄντι, ὥσπερ ἂν εἴ τις Σωκράτη ὑπὸ τὸ αὐτὸ θεῖτο καὶ τὴν τούτου εἰκόνα.
Moreover, as it is well known, the theory of the principles developed by Plotinus also inﬂuenced, although perhaps only at the semantic level, the elaboration of the doctrine of the Trinity. In order to better understand how Gregory adopted, within his system, certain elements of Neoplatonic thought, it can also be helpful to give an overview of his philosophical background and to determine which authors and texts, in particular Neoplatonic, he actually knew. 21 One of the most controversial facts of his biography is his marriage,22 which is not without consequences with regard to his education, since it is certain that, after having held the oﬃce of reader of the church, he devoted himself to the rhetorical profession, like his father Basil the Elder.
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