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The extensive influence of Plotinus, the third-century founder of 'Neoplatonism', on intellectual thought from the Renaissance to the modern era has never been systematically explored. This collection of new essays fills the gap in the scholarship, thereby casting a spotlight on a current of intellectual history that is inherently significant. The essays take the form of a series of case-studies on major figures in the history of Neoplatonism, ranging from Marsilio Ficino to Henri-Louis Bergson and moving through Italian, French, English, and German philosophical traditions. They bring clarity to the terms 'Platonism' and 'Neoplatonism', which are frequently invoked by historians but often only partially understood, and provide fresh perspectives on well-known issues including the rise of 'mechanical philosophy' in the sixteenth century and the relation between philosophy and Romanticism in the nineteenth century. The volume will be important for readers interested in the history of thought in the early-modern and modern ages.
This is the first book to provide an account of the influence of Proclus, a member of the Athenian Neoplatonic School, during more than one thousand years of European history (c.500–1600). Proclus was the most important philosopher of late antiquity, a dominant (albeit controversial) voice in Byzantine thought, the second most influential Greek philosopher in the later western Middle Ages (after Aristotle), and a major figure (together with Plotinus) in the revival of Greek philosophy in the Renaissance. Proclus was also intensively studied in the Islamic world of the Middle Ages and was a major influence on the thought of medieval Georgia. The volume begins with a substantial essay by the editor summarizing the entire history of Proclus' reception. This is followed by the essays of more than a dozen of the world's leading authorities in the various specific areas covered.