Robert Berchman (firstname.lastname@example.org), Philosophy of Mind: Ancient, Medieval, Modern
Papers are invited on philosophy of mind and metaphysics with focus on the nature of mental phenomena and how they fit into the causal structure of reality.
Michael Chase (email@example.com) Neoplatonism and Contemporary Science, II
Following the panel on Neoplatonism and Contemporary Science organized at the ISNS meeting at Miraflores de la Sierra (June 2010), a second panel on the same theme is proposed. Once again, I would be pleased to receive papers comparing aspects of Neoplatonic thought and any aspect of contemporary natural science. Particularly welcome themes would include contemporary theories of time and space (including special and general relativity), theories of cosmology (Big Bang, Penrose's Conformal Cyclic Cosmogony, etc.), quantum mechanics, theories of complexity, thermodynamics and far-from-equilibrium systems, theories of the origin of life.
Donald Duclow (firstname.lastname@example.org), Neoplatonism and Renaissance Philosophy
We welcome papers on the critical role that Neoplatonists like Proclus and Pseudo-Dionysius play in the philosophy of Nicholas of Cusa, Marsilio Ficino and other Renaissance thinkers.
John Finamore (email@example.com), Soul and Souls in the Platonic Tradition
This panel will explore Platonic and other conceptions of the Psychic Realm and the souls in it, human and otherwise. How do philosophers describe the nature and function of the human soul? What is their relation to other higher souls, such as those of gods, angels, daemons, and heroes? Possible areas of focus include (but are not limited to) the inner workings of the souls, the role of the higher forms of souls in the earthly life of human souls and in their afterlife, and the effect of the various souls on theurgy and individual salvation.
Emilie Kutash (firstname.lastname@example.org), Revisiting art, architecture and music in a Neoplatonic register
Specifically papers on Neoplatonic notions of space, place, time matter and infinity as they might be manifest in specific artists and periods of the arts.
Marilynn Lawrence (email@example.com), Neoplatonism’s Relationship with the Occult, Psi, Esoterica, and the Supernatural
Various forms of neoplatonism and aspects of neoplatonism, when treated as a belief system, can be contrasted with materialistic and physicalist views of the universe. Like many lines of philosophy in the ancient world, neoplatonism almost always involves the belief in a soul that survives the body, and more specifically a higher part of the soul that is eternal and divine. Given this, we can ask the following questions: What is the relationship between neoplatonic theory and both ancient and modern belief in ‘supernatural’ and/or paranormal phenomena? What is the place of supernatural phenomena in platonism and neoplatonism? In any system of neoplatonism, are things we call supernatural an extension of natural principles or something else? Does a belief in psychic phenomenon require a strict dualism of soul and body (which is often characterized of “Platonism” in general and predecessor of Cartesian dualism), or is it more compatible with more subtle neoplatonic metaphysics that involve a relationship between soul and body? How can the practices of magic and divination be justified in a Plotinian, Iamblichean, or Proclean framework?
Pierre Mauboussin (firstname.lastname@example.org), Ammonius Hermeiou
As the only notable Neoplatonic scholarch allowed to remain teaching after the 480's in Alexandria, Ammonius Hermeiou came to exercise enormous influence through his students and successors on the remaining century or so of Neoplatonic scholarship (and eventually that of the Islamic philosophers), particularly after the closing of the school in Athens in 529 and the subsequent dispersal of its members. Richard Sorabji has suggested that the compromise Ammonius made that Damascius characterizes as a sordid matter of monetary gain concerned simply the suppression of the elements of pagan religious practice in Iamblichan Neoplatonism most offensive to Christian sensibilities. However, a more thorough examination of Ammonius' semantics and account of future contingents in his commentary on De Int., the classification of logic in the apo phones commentary on the Ana. Pr., and his argument that Aristotle's prime mover was also the efficient cause of the movable world taken together suggest that Ammonius originated a significant number of distinctive doctrines closely tied to his work on Aristotle that distinguished certain specific elements of his doctrines from those of his teacher Proclus and his contemporaries.
The panel on Ammonius is intended to address the distinctiveness and influence of Ammonius' work, such as:
Carl O’Brien (email@example.com) and Sarah Klitenic Wear (firstname.lastname@example.org), Neoplatonic Teachings on Plato’s Phaedrus
This panel is concerned with Platonic writings on Plato’s Phaedrus, particularly, but not limited to, issues originating from full commentaries, such as Hermias’ commentary on the Phaedrus and Ficino’s translation of this commentary, as well as topics originating from fragments, testimonia or imagery from the Phaedrus which appear in Platonic works. Possible areas of interest include: elements of Syrianus’ teaching that can be gleaned from the Commentary and its relationship to his notion of the soul or his understanding of cosmic principles, the relationship between Hermias’ Commentary and the Phaedrus dialogue, in addition to the general topics of divine knowledge and Providence or the issue of divinely-inspired madness, as found in Platonic comments on the Phaedrus. Of interest also are Iamblichean innovations to be found in Hermias’ Commentary (such as the ontological hierarchy and metaphysical system). How do Neoplatonist readings of the Phaedrus, as exhibited by Hermias’ Commentary, differ from previous Platonist and Middle Platonist interpretations? Also of interest is imagery from the Phaedrus appearing in the works of Christian Platonists.
Christina-Panagiota Manolea (email@example.com), Svetla Slaveva-Griffin (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Suzanne Stern-Gillet (email@example.com), Mania Platonic and Neoplatonic
Plato’s vocabulary of madness is rich and diverse. Laudatory and deprecatory in turn, it was applied to the philosopher, the lover, the poet, the Bacchic reveller, the seer and the mentally disturbed. The concept was later appropriated by Neoplatonic philosophers and commentators, as well as by medical writers of various persuasions. In the process, the connotative range of mania and its associated concepts widened even further. Philosophers such as Proclus relied on the concept to describe the impetus to philosophical reflection and literary achievements of the highest order, commentators such as Hermias sought to fit specifically Neoplatonic ideas into what they took to have been Plato’s stance on the matter. For medical writers such as Galen, mania became a categorial term for the description of a variety of mental disorders. The panel welcomes papers pertinent to any aspect of the concept of mania in the Platonic and Neoplatonic tradition. Abstracts should be sent to all three organisers.
David Santos (firstname.lastname@example.org) and John Martin (email@example.com), Analytic Philosophy and Neoplatonism
In philosophy, the contemporary scientific community that usually focuses on Neo-Platonism deals poorly with an analytical approach to the problems that this tradition poses. One sign of this is that most of the secondary literature on Neo-Platonism rarely recognizes itself both from the methodological point of view and from a thematic approach in the work of contemporary analytical philosophy. This panel is, essentially, looking for two types of proposals: first, the panel will accept papers that critically discuss the very possibility of understanding the theories of Neo-Platonism through an analytical and contemporary approach to the major texts and themes recognized in the tradition; second, the community is invited to discuss and reflect on the Neo-Platonism texts themselves using the critical instruments currently available to experts in the field of analytical philosophy. The purpose of this panel is to challenge the philosophical community not just from a history of philosophy point of view or to reinterpret the texts in light of renewed word games or mere tricks of rhetoric but to think about the texts in the rigorous intellectual light of the existing analytical solutions, with a special emphasis on field work in the area of contemporary metaphysics and logic. The intention of this panel is to stimulate a lucid and intellectually and religiously uncommitted discussion on the Neo-Platonism dissertations themselves; the proposed analysis should investigate and decompose the explanatory models of the focused authors, criticizing them in a neutral manner and discussing the timeliness of their principal axes.
John Turner ("firstname.lastname@example.org) and Kevin Corrigan (email@example.com), Plotinus, Gnostics, and The Anonymous Parmenides Commentary: The State of the Discussion
In the light of recent dissertations relating to the subject, the recent publication of Plato's Parmenides and its Heritage, and other developments, we welcome papers on any topic and from any viewpoint relating to the overall theme.
José Zamora (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Doris Meyer (email@example.com), Allegory and syncretism in Porphyry’s De antro nympharum
Porphyry’s De antro nympharum is an original allegorical exegesis, which presents a reading of the Odyssey 13.102-112, in particular the passage in which Homer describes the cave at the beach of Ithaca where Odysseus hid his treasures from the Phaeacians. These 11 verses serve as a pretext to frame the Neoplatonic conception of the coming of souls into the world. These topics will be addressed in this panel: The sources and the originality of De antro nympharum as well as its relationship to Neo-Pythagoreanism and Middle-Platonism. The literary genre, the functions of the commentary and of exegetical literature: a hieròs lógos without ritual? Allegory and interpretation of Homer. The elements of syncretism. The representation of the different religions: Mithraism, mystery cults, Greco-Roman religion, Eastern religions. Neoplatonic theology in De antro nympharum and the conflict with Christianity (and the Gnosis?). Comparison with other texts of Porphyry.