This dialogue therefore is the beginning of all philosophy, in the same manner as the knowledge of ourselves. Hence many logical and ethical theorems are scattered in it, together with such as contribute to entire speculation of felicity. It likewise contains information with respect to many things which contribute to physiology, and to those dogmas which lead us to the truth concerning divine natures themselves. Hence too the divine Iamblichus assigned this dialogue the first rank, in the ten dialogues, in which he was of opinion the whole of Plato was contained.
Plotino (205-270 dC) foi o fundador do neoplatonismo. Seus escritos foram transmitidos na totalidade pela organização dada por Porfírio, as Enéadas. Segundo o próprio Plotino, sua pretensão era de apenas apresentar a doutrina de Platão, mas é original e autônoma sua interpretação. [SCHÄFER]
O platonista Thomas Taylor fez um trabalho muito respeitado durante o século XIX, organizando e traduzindo do grego a obra de Platão. Sua tradução guarda certo aspecto místico dos diálogos, que atrai aqueles mais interessados em algo mais "esotérico" no pensamento de Platão; por isto mesmo é combatida pelos estudiosos acadêmicos.
Hoje em dia a edição em papel desta tradução de Taylor custa uma fortuna, mas felizmente pode ser obtida gratuitamente em formato digital no Internet Archive, juntamente com outras traduções de Taylor.
LA FIN DE LA NOUVELLE ACADÉMIE
LA NOUVELLE ACADÉMIE AU IIe SIÈCLE : CARNÉADE
6. The Human Soul.—We have seen that the Soul of the Universe begat the human souls. Yet we have other accounts of their creation, which set forth that the Creator compounded human souls in the same vessel in which he had compounded the Soul of the Universe, the difference being that the elements used were less pure; and after creating them, the Creator assigned to each Soul its appropriate star. Thus the World-Soul and each human soul are sisters, and not related to each other as mother and daughter.
5. The Rank of Ideas.—Having explained the nature of Ideas it remains for us to describe the rank and dignity they occupy.
4. The Universe.—The Sense-world is the most beautiful world possible, being framed according to the most perfect of patterns, by the best care. "He was good; and in a good being no envy in relation to anything ever resides, but being without this he wished everything to become as like himself as possible." We saw that the Sense-world was an "intelligible organism," "Zôon ennoun." It is consequently able to think: and this is the characteristic of mind, and mind exists in a soul, and a soul in a body.
3. The World of Matter.—In the Intelligible world, the "One" is real existence, it follows that Matter, the "Many," is nonexistence. It is therefore absurd to call Plato's philosophical system a dualism. Matter, "Hylê," the indeterminate, has only negative predicates, it lacks form and quality, and cannot be apprehended by the senses. It can only be space, the form of outwardness, that is, coexistence and unordered sequence. It is an empty form waiting for a content to be impressed upon it.
2. The Archetypal World of Ideas.—In explaining what Plato meant by his World of Ideas, we must notice the fact that he accepts the identification of Being and Thought of Parmenides. As a consequence, his "intelligible world" is the world of true existence, and everything exists only inasmuch as it participates in this existence. An Idea is that which makes a horse a horse, and a tree a tree; in short it is a general notion, an universal, a species or genus, which abides unchanged amidst all the changes of the individuals to which it applies.