By Daniele Iozzia
While aesthetics as a self-discipline didn't exist sooner than the trendy age, historic philosophers provide many insights approximately attractiveness and artwork. In overdue Antiquity Plotinus faced the matter of attractiveness and the worth of the humanities. Plotinus reflections have an immense position within the improvement of the idea that of the worth of creative mind's eye through the Renaissance and the Romantic period, yet he additionally encouraged the inventive style of his time. Aesthetic issues in Pagan and Christian Neoplatonism reconstructs the classy philosophical perspectives of past due Antiquity, and their relation to creative construction of the time. by way of analyzing the resonance of Plotinus suggestion with modern artists and with Christian thinkers, together with Gregory of Nyssa, the ebook demonstrates the significance of Plotinus treatise On attractiveness for the improvement of overdue old aesthetics. The Cappadocian fathers curiosity in Plotinus is explored, in addition to the ensuing legacy of the pagan thinkers philosophy inside Christian notion, equivalent to the idea that of good looks and the narration of the contemplative adventure. Uniquely applying philological and philosophical perception, in addition to exploring either pagan and Christian philosophy, Aesthetic topics in Pagan and Christian Neoplatonism represents the 1st complete synthesis of aesthetic considered past due Antiquity.
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Extra info for Aesthetic Themes in Pagan and Christian Neoplatonism: From Plotinus to Gregory of Nyssa
18 We must therefore assume that he adopts the common conception about the excellence of Phidias’ Zeus in Olympia, and it is not correct to attribute to the philosopher a speciﬁc interest in this work of art. It is also clear, however, that the appreciation of the arts in Plotinus is testiﬁed by the use he makes of metaphors. It seems that sculpting is a preferred image for Plotinus, but painting and architecture are also present in the metaphors adopted by him. Plotinus’ metaphors are fuelled by a power of expression that is independent from the strictly philosophical understanding of artistic activity, and confer a high literary value to his words.
Dionysius, who followed Proclus’ example. It is nevertheless true that the Plotinian themes of the escape and the ecstasy were soon assimilated in some Christian circles, and Gregory is a notable example for that. 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.
In fact, all created beings, for Gregory, are beautiful, regardless of the pleasure that they can produce in us: the large animals and the plants in their variety are beautiful, and everyone can agree on this, but even the beings that appear repulsive to man actually possess beauty, since they correspond to the divine idea47 which conceived them as such and therefore precisely by doing this has given them beauty. Therefore, all natural beings, not only the rational ones, are beautiful, and such beauty is always of an intelligible nature.
Aesthetic Themes in Pagan and Christian Neoplatonism: From Plotinus to Gregory of Nyssa by Daniele Iozzia