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Ever since antiquity, the presence of evil has been considered incompatible with the existence of God. This apparent contradiction gave rise to the argument from evil, which turned into a formidable weapon against theism. Faced with this challenge, theists of all creeds have been proposing theodicies, or justifications of God’s ways.
This monograph is the first book-length treatment of the subject from a Platonic perspective. Its essential message is that Plato devised a noteworthy and influential theodicy comprised of several theodicean strategies, some of which remain relevant even today. Hence, Plato’s pioneering contribution to the field of theodicy deserves the attention of both philosophers and theologians.
Édition critique, traduction française, introduction et notes par Jean-François Pradeau
Porphyre (234 – 305), disciple de Plotin et éditeur de ses Ennéades, adresse cette Lettre à Marcella, une femme d’un certain âge qu’il a épousée sur le tard. Il lui explique la raison de son départ, après seulement dix mois de mariage. Il l’invite, loin de toute passion, à mener une vie philosophique dont il lui rappelle les grands principes éthiques, inspirés de Platon. Porphyre livre ici une apologie de la philosophie traditionnelle, dirigée contre les croyances irrationnelles. La Lettre à Marcella est un document unique sur la manière dont une vie philosophique peut être vécue.
Le texte de la Lettre a Marcella n’a été conservé que dans un unique manuscrit, recopié au XVe s. Il est ici édité, traduit et présenté.

Porphyrius (234 – 305), Plotinus’ disciple and editor of his Enneads, addresses his letter to Marcella, an aging woman, whom he married late in life. He explains to her the reasons for leaving her, after only ten months of marriage. He invites her to leave passions behind to lead a philosophical life along the lines of the major ethical principles inspired by Plato. Porphyrius takes a strong stand as an apologist of traditional philosophical teachings. The Letter to Marcella provides a unique account on the ways and principles along which a philosophical life should be led.
The Letter to Marcella survives as a single manuscript that dates from the 15th century. It is here introduced, edited, translated and annotated.
This volume sheds new light on Alexander of Aphrodisias’ On Mixture and Growth as an intelligent and carefully crafted rebuttal of Stoic blending, which Alexander regarded as the closest rival of his own brand of hylomorphism. The authors explore Alexander’s dialectical method and determine the precise character of the Stoic theory he attacks. The problematic notions of mutual co-extension and infinite division appear in their proper context, while the successive stages of the process of blending are carefully distinguished from the resulting state of the blend. In this perspective the discussion of growth that closes Alexander’s work finds its natural place.
Plato’s political thought continues to be of enduring interest among classicists, philosophers, political theorists, and intellectual historians. The present volume introduces readers to the topic through a survey of important recent trends in the scholarly literature, focusing on challenges to the authenticity of the Seventh Letter; reassessments of the “Socratic Problem”; democratic readings of the Republic; and the rehabilitation of the Statesman and Laws. It provides an overview of the key methodological issues that must be addressed in interpreting the Platonic dialogues, while also suggesting directions for further research.
The papyrological writings of Philodemus of Gadara continue to yield crucial new insights on key aspects of ancient Epicureanism. In fact, they even shed light on the Epicurean paragon of human wisdom and happiness itself: the sage.
From the many references to the wise person’s characteristics that can be found scattered throughout Philodemus’ ethics, a uniquely detailed and multifaceted portrait of the Epicurean sage emerges. This is the first book-length study of the Epicurean sage. It explores the different aspects of the sage’s way of life and offers a reconstruction of this Epicurean role model, as envisaged by Philodemus.
Translated with an Introduction and Commentary by Lorenzo Corti
Arithmetic deals with numbers: but what is the nature of their existence, of their parts, and of their relationship with countable items? These questions nourished a lively debate between the Platonico-Pythagorean tradition (trying to answer them) and the Pyrrhonian tradition (trying to show that these answers were unsatisfactory). The debate lies at the heart of Sextus Empiricus’ Against the Arithmeticians. The present book aims at facing the remarkable historical and philosophical questions raised by Sextus’ treatise by offering a new translation of it and the first dedicated commentary to it.
Studies in Ancient Philosophy
Philosophia Antiqua is the leading series specializing in books on Ancient Philosophy, covering the entire history of the subject from the Presocratics through Plato, Aristotle and the Stoics to the Neoplatonists of late Antiquity. The series has recently tended to emphasize areas that once used to be under-represented in the literature, for example Hellenistic philosophy, the skeptical tradition, Galen and other non-Platonist authors of later Antiquity, but this merely reflects a shifting focus in the field and is not a matter of deliberate policy. The over-riding concern of the series is to promote scholarship of the highest quality and originality, publishing work specifically oriented towards texts (editions, commentaries, translations), but also monographs, including both those that offer new readings of familiar – or less familiar – texts and those that explore the intersections between ancient and modern topics and approaches. Volumes are published in English, French and German. The series includes edited volumes that show a clear and coherent focus, but does not normally host Festschriften or Memorial volumes.
This volume, the 37th year of published proceedings, contains five papers and commentaries presented to the Boston Area Colloquium in Ancient Philosophy during 2022. Topics: Plato: Phaedo, where Socrates undermines his explicit arguments for immortality with quotes from his predecessors; Statesman, with Socrates’ impending death an occasion to reconsider the roles of dialectic, expertise, myth, image and law; Aristotle: De Caelo, examining inclination, natural places, and the elements, with a strong dissent in the comment; Metaphysics N that differentiate mathematical features from natural explanation, with the comment raising challenging anomalies. Finally, Plotinus on union with the One and human happiness, as frequent and common. The comments challenge or sustain the theses in the main papers.