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Death and Immortality in Late Neoplatonism (Ancient Mediterranean and Medieval Texts and Contexts: Studies in Platonism, Neoplatonism, and the Platonic Tradition) Hardcover – July 1, 2011

ISBN-13: 978-9004207172 ISBN-10: 9004207171
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Product Details

  • Series: Ancient Mediterranean and Medieval Texts and Contexts: Studies in Platonism, Neoplatonism, and the Platonic Tradition (Book 12)
  • Hardcover: 255 pages
  • Publisher: Brill (July 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9004207171
  • ISBN-13: 978-9004207172
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 7 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,866,382 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
As an outsider to the discipline of Philosophy, I found Gertz's writing about Neoplatonic approaches to Plato's Phaedo, and the questions of suicide, death, purification, and immortality, to be accessible, clear, and illuminating. Gertz focuses on the commentaries on the Phaedo written by two Neoplatonists in particular, Olympiodorus and Damascius, in order to explore how Neoplatonists at that time might have approached the questions of what death means for a philosopher, and whether the pure soul is immortal. Having read a translation of the Phaedo prior to this book, I found Gertz's analysis of the arguments in the Phaedo and in the Neoplatonic commentaries to be enlightening. His ability to critically deconstruct the arguments and place them, when appropriate, in the context of the authors' other writings or worldviews, helped me understand the more difficult passages in the Phaedo, and how Neoplatonists attempted to accept the immortality of the soul and resolve the difficulties that even they seem to have had with these passages. In particular, I found Gertz's chapter on Socrates' final argument for the immortality of the soul to be clear and instructive, laying out Socrates' argument, the problems with the argument that later commentators found, and how Neoplatonists dealt with these problems.

Overall I found this book to be interesting, well-written, and well-structured, and would recommend it to anyone interested in this topic.
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