The sixteen essays in this volume trace the development of Platonism in the history of Western thought, starting with the revival of the Platonic tradition in the early modern period that followed the rediscovery and translation of important Greek texts. Special attention is devoted to Marsilio Ficino’s translations and commentaries; to the relationship between Platonism and Christianity; to the influence of Platonic metaphysics on the mystical tradition – in particular on Jacob Böhme and Emanuel Swedenborg; to the impact of idealism on the hermeneutical criticism of traditional philosophical categories and to the ways in which the so-called ‘Critique of Modernity’ promoted a new reading of the Platonic dialogues. The emphasis throughout is on demonstrating the theoretical and historical continuity of Platonism over the centuries.
Contributors are: Laura Candiotto, Pierpaolo Ciccarelli, Anna Corrias, Francesca Maria Crasta, Eva del Soldato, Laura Follesa, Guido Giglioni, Nicholas Holland, Andrea Le Moli, Brunello Lotti, Cecilia Muratori, Arnold Oberhammer, Paula Oliveira e Silva, Valery Rees, Pasquale Terracciano, and Angelo Maria Vitale.
Valery Rees graduated MA from Newnham College, Cambridge. She leads Renaissance Studies at the School of Philosophy and Economic Science. Her publications include The Letters of Marsilio Ficino and From Gabriel to Lucifer. A Cultural History of Angels.
Anna Corrias is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellow at the universities of Cambridge and Toronto. She authored the monograph The Renaissance of Plotinus: The Soul and Human Nature in Marsilio Ficino’s Commentary on the “Enneads” (Routledge, 2020) and several articles.
Francesca M. Crasta is Professor of the History of Philosophy at the University of Cagliari. She works on early modern metaphysics and natural philosophy and has published several articles and books on Emanuel Swedenborg and eighteenth-century Italian philosophy.
Laura Follesa is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Jena. Her research focuses on German authors (Herder, Schelling), the notion of 'thinking in images' (Das 'Denken in Bildern', Lang 2019), and the interplay between philosophy and science.
Guido Giglioni is Associate Professor of History of Philosophy at the University of Macerata, Italy. His research concentrates on the interplay of life and imagination in the early modern period. His publications include two books on Jan Baptista van Helmont (Milan, 2000) and Francis Bacon (Rome, 2011).
"The reader will find innovative approaches and a wide variety of topics, including a compelling introduction by the editors. The chapters cohere well with each other, despite their thematic variety. The volume offers important contributions, exemplifying some of the best scholarship to date, and provides a broad and rich discussion of the reception of Platonism in modern and contemporary Europe. In conclusion, the volume is a worthwhile addition to the subject’s literature."
Georgios Steiris, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, in Mediterranea: International Journal on the Transfer of Knowledge, volume 7 (2022), pp. 599–602
1 Philosophy on the Defensive: Marsilio Ficino’s Response in a Time of Religious Turmoil Valery Rees
2 Ficino, Plotinus, and the Chameleonic Soul Anna Corrias
3 Healing Rituals and Their Philosophical Significance in Marsilio Ficino’s Philosophy Guido Giglioni
4 A Platonic Light Metaphysics between St. Augustine and Ficino: Girolamo Seripando’s Quaestiones CIX De re philosophico-theologica Angelo Maria Vitale
5 The Letter of Lysis to Hipparchus in the Renaissance Eva Del Soldato
6 Niccolò Leonico Tomeo’s Accounts of Veridical Dreams and the Idola of Synesius Nicholas Holland
7 The Platonic Stain: Origen, Philosophy and Censorship between the Renaissance and the Counter Reformation Pasquale Terracciano
8 Francisco de Hollanda on Artistic Creation, the Origin of Ideas, and Demiurgic Painting Paula Oliveira e Silva
9 ‘Platonic-Hermetic’ Jacob Böhme, or: Is Böhme a Platonist? Cecilia Muratori
10 The Theory of Ideal Objects and Relations in the Cambridge Platonists (Rust, More, and Cudworth) Brunello Lotti
11 Platonism, Metaphysics, and Modern Science: Rüdiger and Swedenborg Francesca Maria Crasta
12 Schelling and Plato: the Idea of the World-Soul in Schelling’s Timaeus Laura Follesa
13 On the Phenomenological ‘Reactivation’ or ‘Repetition’ of Plato’s Dialogues by Leo Strauss Pierpaolo Ciccarelli
14 Care of the Self and Politics: Michel Foucault, Heir of a Forgotten Plato? Laura Candiotto
15 Dialectic in Plato’s Sophist and Derrida’s ‘Law of the Supplement of Copula’ Arnold Oberhammer
16 Image and Copy in French Deconstruction of Platonism Andrea Le Moli
All interested in the history of Platonism. More specifically, students and academics working on classical studies, history of philosophy, history of ideas, and historians in general. Keywords: Renaissance; Jakob Böhme, Jacques Derrida, Origen of Alexandria; Emmanuel Swedenborg; Cambridge Platonism; Post-modernism; Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph von Schelling; Iamblichus; Plotinus; Pythagoreanism; early-modern philosophy; classical reception; Christianity; myth.