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Death and Immortality in Late Neoplatonism (Studies in Platonism, Neoplatonism, and the Platonic Traditi)

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-9004207172
ISBN-10: 9004207171
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Editorial Reviews


""This is an excellent book which makes a great contribution not only to the literature on the commentary tradition of the "Phaedo," but also to the study of Neoplatonic commentaries and the way in which such commentaries should be read." Sarah Klitenic Wear, "Bryn Mawr Classical Review" 8.5.2012. ""Gertz has done many services in this volume, and it is likely not an exaggeration to hold his work as a model approach to dealing with the Neoplatonic commentary genre and its difficulties of interpretation."" Dennis Clark, "The International Journal of the Platonic" 8:1 (2014), pp. 107-109. ""A huge amount of scholarship has evidently gone into producing this volume, and the result is a book that makes a significant contribution to research in this area and that most certainly delivers on its goal of helping us to see the Phaedo through late Neoplatonic spectacles."" G. Fay Edwards, "Philosophical Review" 123:2 (2014), pp. 231-234. ""This book should be on the reading list of all who study the nature of soul in Plato, the place of the Phaedo in the Neoplatonic curriculum, Plato s theory of recollection and the forms in souls, Plato s myths, transmission patterns among Neoplatonic commentators, and ethical issues such as philosophical purification, suicide, the relationship between civic and contemplative virtues, providence, and others."" Donka D. Markus, "Ancient Philosophy" 33:2 (2013), pp. 464-469."

About the Author

Sebastian R. P. Gertz, Ph.D. (2010) in Classics, University of Cambridge, is a Research Associate to the Ancient Commentators on Aristotle project at King's College London. He has published on Greek Neoplatonism and the ancient commentary tradition.

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Product Details

  • Series: Studies in Platonism, Neoplatonism, and the Platonic Traditi (Book 12)
  • Hardcover: 255 pages
  • Publisher: Brill (July 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9004207171
  • ISBN-13: 978-9004207172
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 0.7 x 9.7 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: #7,297,582 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

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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