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Play and Illusion in Renaissance Humanism
Author: Timothy Kircher
In Before Enlightenment: Play and Illusion in Renaissance Humanism, Timothy Kircher argues for new ways of appreciating Renaissance humanist philosophy. Literary qualities – tone, voice, persona, style, imagery – composed a core of their philosophizing, so that play and illusion, as well as rational certainty, formed pre-Enlightenment ideas about knowledge, ethics, and metaphysics.

Before Enlightenment takes issue with the long-standing view of humanism’s philosophical mediocrity. It shows new features of Renaissance culture that help explain the origins not only of Enlightenment rationalists, but also of early modern novelists and essayists. If humanist writings promoted objective knowledge based on reason’s supremacy over emotion, they also showed awareness of one’s place and play in the world. The animal rationale is also the homo ludens.

Abstract

In this paper, we show how the Epicureans are part of and transform the originally Platonic ethical tradition of the assimilation to the divine (ὁμοίωσις θεῷ). We argue that a proper understanding of this tradition helps us to understand better the role that thinking plays in Epicurean ethics: Epicurus’ emphasis on and reinterpretation of thinking allows him to reject more forcefully the claim that the best life is a life of unreflective pleasure (βίος ἀπολαυστικός).

In: Mnemosyne
In: Mnemosyne
In: Mnemosyne
In: Mnemosyne
In: Mnemosyne
In: Mnemosyne
Author: Nina Almazova

Abstract

Polymnestus (seventh century BC) is represented in Ps.-Plu. De mus. as the second composer of aulodic nomes and processional songs after Clonas. This paper argues that Polymnestus’ nomes bore his name and that he did not compose either the orthian nomes or those ascribed to Clonas. Polymnestus’ music continued to be known in the classical period; he was considered to be working in an innovative, but decent and sublime style. This does not fit well with the assertion of the scholia to Aristophanes, based on Ar. Eq. 1287 and Cratin. fr. 338 K-A, that Polymnestus composed obscene songs. An explanation for this incongruity is proposed: the expressions Πολυµνήστεια ποιεῖν and Πολυµνήστει’ ἀείδειν may be a pun which connected an Athenian named Polymnestus with his great Colophonian namesake. Thus it provides no information about the artistic heritage of Polymnestus of Colophon, but instead proves his fame in the classical period.

In: Mnemosyne
Author: Rafael Ferber

Abstract

This paper deals with the deuteros plous, literally ‘the second voyage’, proverbially ‘the next best way’, discussed in Plato’s Phaedo, the key passage being Phd. 99e4-100a3. I argue that (a) the ‘flight into the logoi’ can have two different interpretations, a standard one and a non-standard one. The issue is whether at 99e-100a Socrates means that both the student of erga and the student of logoi consider images (‘the standard interpretation’), or the student of logoi does not consider images (‘the non-standard interpretation’); (b) the non-standard one implies the problem of the hypothesis, a problem analogous to the problem of the elenchus; (c) there is a structural analogy between Descartes’ ontological argument for the existence of God in his 5th Meditation and the final proof for the immortality of the soul in the Phaedo.

In: Mnemosyne
In: Mnemosyne