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1. Chôra: Volume > 1
Cristian Gaşpar Between the City and the Desert: Theodosian Legislation and the Place of the Monks in Later Roman Society
2. Chôra: Volume > 1
Vlad Niculescu Hermeneutic Clues for a Possible Reconstruction of Origen's Exegesis of the Creation Narrative (Gn 1-3)
3. Chôra: Volume > 1
Diana Stanciu Grace and Free Will within the Ninth-Century Debate on Predestination
4. Chôra: Volume > 1
Mihail Neamtu Protology and Language in St. Gregory of Nyssa's Theology
5. Chôra: Volume > 1
Madeea Axinciuc The Distinction between Physics and Metaphysics in Maimonides's Guide of the Perplexed
6. Chôra: Volume > 11
Claudia Maggi The Plotinian Rethinking of Dyad and Numbers in Ennead VI 6
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The aim of this paper is to show how some passages in the treatise VI 6 (34) of the Enneads (On numbers) could be considered a Plotinian attempt to achieve a sort of mediation between Plato’s dialogues and the Academic models concerning the generation of numbers and ideas by the two principles of the One and the Indefinite Dyad. Through a complex exegetical contamination, Plotinus gets to identify numbers, ideas and the Dyad with the hypostasis of the Intellect, saving for the One the condition of the sole principle of every reality. This new reading modifies the ontological role played by ideal numbers : they gain an ontological priority on any other being, thanks to their being conceived as the a priori condition of the display of multiplicity. The so-called Intermediates, on the other hand (as far as they are linked to computation and quantity), have a reshaped status, as a result of the fact that calculation is unable to grasp the essence of a given reality.
7. Chôra: Volume > 11
Daniel Fărcaş Deus est intelligere et in intellectu. Sur la cohérence apophatique du système eckhartien
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L’opposition créé (creatus) / incréable (increabile) est un des couples conceptuels eckhartiens qui marquent la différence ontologique, thème dominant de la pensée du mystique allemand. L’increabile définit l’intellect, dans la mesure où celui-ci est apparenté à Dieu. Le système eckhartien paraît déchiré par la double définition de Dieu : ontologique (esse est deus) et méontologique ou noétique (deus est intelligere). Le scandale suscité par la thèse de l’incréabilité de l’intellect et par l’apparente fracture dans le système eckhartien pousse Eckhart à des réflexions sur l’intellect de ses détracteurs et, malgré tout, sur la cohérence de son propre système.
8. Chôra: Volume > 12
Andrei Cornea Aristotle and Epicurus on Sensations, Falsity, and Truth
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Epicurus claimed that „all sensations are true”, and that the false is only in the opinions. This paradoxical theory, very much criticized both by ancient and modern commentators, for it seems counterfactual, draws on Aristotle’s theory of sensations. Aristotle (as shown especially in the De anima) holds that sensations and opinions must be distinguished. As long as sensations stick to their „proper domain”, they remain trustworthy and cannot refute each other, regardless of whether they are similar or different in kind. Yet they can fail to perceive the truth, when they pass beyond their proper domain into what one can call their „improper domain” (sizes and things). At this moment sensations resemble opinions and become fallible. So, to a certain extent, the divide between sensations and opinions becomes blurred. Epicurus seems to have taken up much of this theory. Yet he submitted it to a radical simplification: now, there is no room for the „improper domain”, so that all one sensation seizes always belongs to its „proper domain”. Thus it can never be refuted neither by a similar, nor by a dissimilar sensation in kind; therefore it is always and in every circumstance trustworthy. One can add that, in reshaping Aristotle’s theory of senses by removing the „improper domain”, Epicurus purged the theory of senses of all elements that could involve uncertainty and imprecision – which is typical for his strenuous attempt to achieve calm and serenity.
9. Chôra: Volume > 12
Cristian Baumgarten Medioplatonic Aspects in Apuleius’ Metamorphoses
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Apuleius’ generation was caught in the passage from philosophic monotheism to that form of imperial henotheism whose aim was to counteract the tension between philosophy and popular religiosity. It can be affirmed that terminology, vocabulary and especially the motive of discreetness and the prudence in the use of defining syntagmatic expressions are a common fact of Medioplatonism. Author’s attitude is that of a philosopher resorting to the mystic cults, plainly aware of their value and, not the last of the things, of the worship responsibilities devolving on a deliberate attachment. The prudence characterizing the discourse on the ineffable nature of the divinity dwells rather on the meaning and requirement of Platonic mysteries, as they were translated and interpreted by Medioplatonism, in its semi-literal manner, current that Apuleius joined on a base of a certain familiarity from a stylistic and thematic point of view.
10. Chôra: Volume > 13
Silvia Fazzo, Mauro Zonta Toward a «critical translation» of Alexander of Aphrodisias’ De principiis, based on the indirect tradition of Syriac and Arabic sources
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One of the main philosophical works by Alexander of Aphrodisias, De principiis, is lost in its original Greek text, but it is preserved in three extant Medieval Semitic versions, one in Syriac and two in Arabic, which were written in the Near East between 500 and 950 AD. These versions are not totally identical and, as we have shown in 2012, they are in a rather complex textual relationship. As we will show in this article, a tentative reconstruction of the lost text should be based upon an attentive and point‑to‑point comparative analysis of some aspect of all three versions. We have tentatively called the abore way “critical translation”.
11. Chôra: Volume > 13
Giovanna R. Giardina Providence in John Philoponus’ commentary on Aristotle’s Physics
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Commentando Aristotele, Phys. II 4, 6 e 8, Filopono assume costantemente Empedocle come modello di tutta una tradizione filosofica che individua nella materia e nel caso i principi sia dell’universo sia degli enti particolari. Filopono e d’accordo con Aristotele nel ritenere assurda la posizione dei materialisti, che considerano il caso non soltanto come causa degli enti che divengono sempre o per lo piu allo stesso modo, tra i quali talvolta si verificano casi di enti che si generano contro natura, ma anche come causa dei corpi celesti, che si muovono di movimenti sempre identici e tra i quali non si osservano casi di contro natura. Ma se nella Fisica Aristotele ha opposto a questa posizione teorica la sua nozione di natura come causa finale, Filopono oppone al caso dei fisiologi materialisti la provvidenza, che egli chiama anche “provvidenza della natura” e che differenzia come natura universale e natura particolare. Pur utilizzando un concetto non aristotelico, gli argomenti di Filopono sono il frutto di un’eccellente esegesi di Aristotele, e persino l’esclusione del contro natura nell’ambito della natura universale sembra riconducibile a quanto Aristotele insegna nel De generatione animalium.
12. Chôra: Volume > 13
Emma Gannagé Al‑Kindī on the ḥaqīqa ‑ majāz Dichotomy
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L’article se penche sur l’opposition bi‑l‑majāz (par extension) vs. bi‑l‑ḥaqīqa (en verite/realite) qu’on rencontre dans plus d’un traite d’al‑Kindī. Il s’agit de determiner si l’usage qu’en fait al‑Kindī se situe sur le plan lexical, voire semantique, a savoir l’opposition ‛sens propre’ vs. ‛sens figure’ ou devrait plutot se lire sur le plan ontologique, ḥaqīqa s’appliquant alors a tout ce qui est propre a Dieu et majāz a ce qui est cree par lui et donc en derive. S’appuyant sur les conclusions de Wolfhart Heinrichs au sujet de la genese de la dichotomie ḥaqīqa ‑ majāz, l’auteure montre que l’usage qu’al‑Kindī en fait releve de l’ordre ontologique, ce en quoi il s’accorde avec les milieux mu‛tazilites contemporains du philosophe. Cette interpretation est relayee par un temoin plus tardif, a savoir le theologien et philosophe andalou Baḥya Ibn Paqūda (XIe s.) dont le traite al‑Hidāya ilā farā’iḍ al‑qulūb («Guide des devoirs du coeur») fait d’importants emprunts a la Philosophie Premiere d’al‑Kindī.
13. Chôra: Volume > 13 > Issue: Supplement
Iain Gardner Dualism in Mani and Manichaeism
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The term ‘Manichaean’ has come to be regarded as synonymous with a radical dualistic perspective, and is now utilised in all sorts of contexts such as literature and politics. Gardner examines what can be known of the actual teachings of the third‑century sage and self‑declared ‘Apostle of Jesus Christ’ known as Mani or Manichaios. His extant writings are surveyed in order to determine what he says about the nature of God and the origin of matter and evil. Particular attention is given to the terminology and symbolism applied to the idea of two eternal and opposite principles, the kingdoms of light and darkness. Gardner considers possible origins for Mani’s teachings in the Judaeo‑Christian, Gnostic and Iranian traditions ; together with the question of further developments within the community after its founder’s death.
14. Chôra: Volume > 13 > Issue: Supplement
Zlatko Pleše Dualism in the Hermetic Writings
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L’article examine la tension qui existe entre tendances monistes et dualistes dans l'ancien hermétisme et propose de considérer que les écrits hermétiques, tout en opérant dans un cadre dualiste pluriforme (ontologique, cosmologique, anthropologique), soutiennent un modele moniste de la réalité issue d’une divinité transcendante et tout‑englobante. L’imposition d’un état d’esprit dualiste est typique pour les premieres étapes de l’initiation hermétique, suivies par un dépassement progressif de toutes les dualités (Aufhebung) et l’acquisition finale d'un point de vue totalisant et noétique du monde.
15. Chôra: Volume > 13 > Issue: Supplement
Gretchen Reydams-Schils Calcidius on Matter : A Minimalist Dualism: (summary of presentation)
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Cette contribution est le résumé d’une communication sur la notion de la matiere dans le commentaire de Calcidius sur le Timée de Platon. Pour arriver a un dualisme minimal, Calcidius (a) combine des éléments d’Aristote, des Stoiciens, et de Numénius, mais (b) rejette la notion qu’il attribue aux Hébreux, certains aspects de la notion de Numénius, et d’une notion qu’il attribue a certains Platoniciens.
16. Chôra: Volume > 14
Dominic O’Meara Souls and Cities in Late Ancient Platonic Philosophy
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L’analogie établie dans la République de Platon entre l’âme (psychê) et la cité (polis) a fait l’objet d’intéressantes interprétations chez les philosophes platoniciens de l’Antiquité tardive. Cette étude présente d’abord la manière dont Plotin et ses successeurs ont conçu l’âme, prise en elle‑meme, comme membre d’une communauté intelligible unie dans la connaissance et dans une amitié transcendante. De sa patrie intelligible l’âme descend au monde corporel, pouvant perdre, dans cette descente, son rapport à sa communauté d’origine, s’aliénant en raison de sa soumission aux désirs corporels. Les platoniciens de l’antiquité tardive ont lié cette aliénation à l’émergence des régimes politiques corrompus dont Platon décrit les formes dans la République VIII et IX. Les régimes politiques corrompus correspondraient ainsi aux degrés de la corruption morale de l’âme dont ils seraient l’expression. Plotin décrit aussi une situation où l’âme domine son rapport au corporel en fonction de la connaissance dont elle bénéficie comme étant membre aussi d’une autre cité, une cité intelligible.
17. Chôra: Volume > 14
Pauliina Remes Plotinus on Starting Points of Reasoning
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Plotinus treats certain pre‑philosophical concepts as reliable or promising starting‑points for philosophical study. This article studies the way in which he, in the act of philosophizing, conceives of the passage from an unclear understanding, a kind of pre‑concept, to a better, philosophical conception. What are the sources of this passage ? What is the role of data given by sense‑perception ? In what way are innate conceptual and cognitive capacities involved ? It will be argued that the methodology suggested is a Platonic version of the Stoic appeal to common notions (koinai ennoia). Moreover, Plotinus seems to maintain several features of the empirical original. The concepts discussed are not primarily introspected or intuited, but seem to result from both experience and from innate tendencies. The bottom‑up approach of scrutinizing the combination of inquiries in the Enneads (and in a commentary of Proclus) and the methodological remarks made within these same inquiries, exposes, further, an interesting list of concepts significant for the Neoplatonic theory‑building : freedom, oneness, time and eternity, as well as good and evil.
18. Chôra: Volume > 14
David Ellis Living a Double Life: Intellect, Soul, and Language in Plotinus
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This paper examines the degree to which language can express one’s own being and the being of other things. Using Plotinus’ IV 3[27], On Difficulties about the Soul I, it argues that discursive reason both hinders and assists this endeavor. Plotinus understands the soul as the source of discursivity. His account positions the human soul between Intellect and corporeality. Similarly, discursive reason operates between thought and perception, working with images from both. On the one hand, since discursivity remains immersed in images, it hinders the possibility of conveying one’s own being and another’s being. On the other hand, since it remains connected to thought, it enables the possibility of becoming directly aware of Being and Intellect. In section one, this paper examines how souls mediate between Intellect and bodies because they are more divided versions of intellects. In section two, discursive reason’s connection to the soul’s dynamic mediation between Intellect and bodies is established. The paper draws out the implications of this connection – namely, that Plotinus does not construct a closed system. He insists that we rarely become conscious of our thoughts and tend to be only aware of the images that represent them. So, section three examines the possibility of becoming directly aware of our thoughts and whether or not language obstructs that endeavor. The paper concludes by affirming that language is ambiguous in that it impedes and advances such insights. This ambiguity inherent in language reveals and depends on the amphibious nature of our soul.
19. Chôra: Volume > 14
Andrei Timotin Langage discursif et non‑discursif chez Plotin: À propos de l’Ennéade IV, 3 [27], 18
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In Enn. IV, 3 [27], 18, Plotinus examines two related topics associated with the issue of the soul’s entry into the body, and with the theory of the undescended soul : the use of discursive reasoning, and of discursive language in the intelligible world. In this context, Plotinus explains that both the λογισμός, and the discursive language are inappropriate to the intelligible world ; they characterize the part of the soul that does not remain in the intelligible, and is oriented towards the sensible world. The present study shows that Plotinus seems nevertheless to consider, in the same context, a kind of discursive λογισμός compatible with the condition of the undescended soul. It also shows that the existence of a non‑discursive language, in relation with the Egyptian symbolic writing and with prayer, is equally considered in Enn. V, 8 [31] and V, 1 [10]. Such a solution is anticipated by Plutarch in an exegetical context related to the question how Socrates was able to communicate with his daimôn.
20. Chôra: Volume > 14
Lela Alexidze Dianoia in Ioane Petritsi’s Commentary on Proclus’ Elements of Theology
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The aim of this paper is to analyze the concept of dianoia (discursive mode of thinking) as soul’s activity, and related issues, in the twelfth century work by Ioane Petritsi : his Georgian translation of Proclus’ Elements of Theology and his Commentary on this text, including his prologue to it. The themes related to the discursive mode of cognition are also discussed in the 129th proposition of the Georgian version of the Elements (which is absent in the Greek manuscripts) and in Petritsi’s commentary on it. While analyzing the issues related to dianoia in Petritsi’s work, we focus our attention on the inter‑relationship of ontological, epistemological, linguistic and also existential aspects of this concept as they were interpreted by Petritsi in his Commentary.