SEMINAR | How can the Perceptible World be Perceptible? Proclus on the Causes of Perceptibility

Summary

Prof. Gerd van Riel, KU Leuven, Institute of Philosophy

Start Date

2nd Nov 2016 11:00am

End Date

2nd Nov 2016 12:00pm

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How can the Perceptible World be Perceptible?

Proclus on the Causes of Perceptibility

Presented by Prof. Gerd van Riel, KU Leuven, Institute of Philosophy

Wednesday 2nd November, 11:00 am

Room 210 Social Sciences Building, Sandy Bay Campus

About the Seminar

One of the central problems of Platonic philosophy is the coherence between the intelligible principles and the sensible world. Since, according to the Platonists, causes are always immaterial, it is prima facie hard to explain why the intelligible causal structures should produce the material realm. How can the operation of such principles “crystallize” into the existence of an inert and solid material existent? Dualists such as the gnostics or the Manichaeans, but also such as Descartes, take one way out by arguing that the res extensa is irreducible to the res cogitans, or that (in the gnostic presentation of things) the principle of light is of a fundamentally different nature than the principle of darkness. But in this way, they take the existence of the material world for granted, and leave it unexplained. For the Neoplatonists, this dualistic account is not an option. They endorse a strictly monistic system in which every possible part of the universe is ultimately produced by the First Principle. Hence, Proclus’ answer to the question of where the perceptible world comes from will have to be a very subtle one.

About the Presenter

Gerd van Riel is Franqui Research Professor at KU Leuven, Institute of Philosophy. His recent works include: Plato’s Gods (Ashgate, 2013), Proclus. Commentaire sur le premier livre des "Eléments" d'Euclide (Vrin, 2017), ‘Augustine on Prudence’, Augustinian Studies, 41 (2010), and ‘The One, the Henads, and the Principles’ in P. d'Hoine and M. Martijn (eds.), All from One. A Guide to Proclus (Oxford, 2016).

When | Wednesday 2nd November, 11:00 am

Where| Room 210 Social Sciences Building, Sandy Bay Campus

Seminar - Causes of Perceptibility