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Neoplatonism is a modern term used to designate the period of Platonic philosophy beginning with the work of Plotinus and ending with the closing of the Platonic Academy by the Emperor Justinian in 529 C.E. This brand of Platonism, which is often described as ‘mystical’ or religious in nature, developed outside the mainstream of Academic Platonism. The origins of Neoplatonism can be traced back to the era of Hellenistic syncretism which spawned such movements and schools of thought as Gnosticism and the Hermetic tradition. A major factor in this syncretism, and one which had an immense influence on the development of Platonic thought, was the introduction of the Jewish Scriptures into Greek intellectual circles via the translation known as the Septuagint .
Read and watch the two philosophers on markets, morals and justice © Sophia Schorr-Kon On Wednesday night (8th May), Prospect hosted an evening of conversation between Michael Sandel and AC Grayling at the Royal Geographical Society in London.
Arguments about the Age of Reason have become stale. Can a new book transform the debate? Like all good liberal intellectuals of the last century, Saul Bellow’s Moses Herzog spent a great deal of time agonising over the legacy of the Enlightenment. Cuckolded and divorced, Herzog seeks to make sense of himself, his country, and his century by writing unsent letters to philosophers and politicians, alive and dead.
by Maria Popova What Goethe can teach us about cultivating a healthy relationship with our finances. The question of how people spend and earn money has been a cultural obsession since the dawn of economic history, but the psychology behind it is sometimes surprising and often riddled with various anxieties.
by Russell Bennetts David Mikics is a professor at the University of Houston and writes on Renaissance literature, twentieth century poetry and fiction, continental philosophy, and literary theory. His published works are on ideas which range from pathos and subjectivity in Spenser and Milton to individualism in Emerson and Nietzsche. His current book, Who Was Jacques Derrida? provides a summary and evaluation of Derrida’s career together with portraits of some of his major precursors, including Sartre, Husserl, Nietzsche, Freud, Heidegger, and J.L.
Amy Toensing/National Geographic Stock Papua New Guinea, 2009. Jodi Cobb/National Geographic Stock In Papua New Guinea, Asaro mudmen pretend to be spirits of vanquished warriors returned from the dead to haunt their enemies. The Pirahã believe that people have to endure hardships on their own.
Armageddon , Joseph Paul Pettit, 1852 From The End Times of Philosophy : The phrase “end times of philosophy” is not a new version of the “end of philosophy” or the “end of history,” themes which have become quite vulgar and nourish all hopes of revenge and powerlessness. Moreover, philosophy itself does not stop proclaiming its own death, admitting itself to be half dead and doing nothing but providing ammunition for its adversaries.
All Points Print The culture of the creative class
Crow Indians, photograph by David F. Barry, c.1878 by Jonathan Lear
She Is Not Drowning; or, Truth Leaving the Well , Édouard Debat-Ponsan, 1898 by Ian Pollock It is not uncommon that a discussion about some controversy turns to the truth or falsity of some claim, and thereupon one of the parties to the discussion questions the very nature of truth itself. Often, this is a conversational move designed to say “I am feeling embarrassed and I need to save face,” in which case you probably need to consider whether continuing the conversation is a productive move. But sometimes truth as a concept does seem to be a real point of contention, especially among those of radically post-modern disposition.
Photograph: Bettmann/Corbis "Evil" is a strong word, and a provocative one. Nowadays it tends to be reserved for acts of exceptional cruelty: the Moors murders, organised child abuse, genocide. It is not just the extreme nastiness of such acts – and their perpetrators – that makes people describe them as evil. There is something unfathomable about evil: it appears to be a deep, impenetrable darkness that resists the light of reason. To say that a murderer has killed because she or he is evil is really to point to an absence of motive.
Ian James’ new book offers a compelling account of the most recent and interesting figures that constitute the actuality and singularity of the contemporary French philosophical landscape. It is a thought-provoking exposition of the conceptual work of seven living French thinkers, extending from Jean-Luc Marion to François Laruelle via Jean-Luc Nancy, Bernard Stiegler, Catherine Malabou, Jacques Rancière and Alain Badiou. Combining philosophical acumen and critical analysis, James’ book is a confident and learned study, fascinating in its scope, rigour and clarity. Each chapter is devoted to a particular French philosopher, each time allowing the reader to evaluate the theoretical and practical originality proper to each, but also to seize the issues and measure the tensions at stake within their thought.
Areopagus from the Acropolis, Athens by Stuart Elden Michel Foucault, Leçons sur la volonté de savoir: Cours au Collège de France, 1970-1971, suivi de Le savoir d’Œdipe , edited by Daniel Defert, Paris: Gallimard/Seuil
'Karl Marx claimed that his system of political thought was predictive.' Photograph: Michael Nicholson/Corbis Attempts to present political systems as scientific are increasingly regarded as old-fashioned: the "common sense" view suggests that politics is not scientific, cannot be reduced to a set of principles such that it can be applied across cultures and societies. Yet to an extent, this "common sense" view derives from the work of Karl Popper , from that early attempt by the latter to tackle claims of Marxism's "scientific" basis.
by Maria Popova “We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us.” The quest to understand the meaning of life has haunted humanity since the dawn of existence.
`Technology brings philosophy down to earth' (Sherry Turkle) by Feb 19