Neoplatonism and Western Aesthetics

Edited by Aphrodite Alexandrakis
Associate editor Nicholas J. Moutafakis

Subjects: Mysticism
Series: Studies in Neoplatonism: Ancient and Modern, Volume 12
Paperback : 9780791452806, 266 pages, November 2001
Hardcover : 9780791452790, 266 pages, November 2001

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Table of contents

R. Baine Harris

Editors' Introduction
Nicholas J. Moutafakis and Aphrodite Alexandrakis

I. Neoplatonism and the Concept of the Beautiful

Action, Contemplation and Interiority in the Thinking if Beauty in Plotinus
Jean-Marc Narbonne

Personal Beauty in the Thought of Plotinus
Joseph Sen

The Beautiful According to Dionysius
Dimitrios N. Koutras

The Experience of Beauty in Plotinus and Aquinas: Some Similarities and Differences
Patrick Quinn

II. Neoplatonism and Representational Design

The Sense of Beauty in Proclus the Neoplatonist
Christos Terezis and Kalomoira Polychronopoulou

The Vigil of the One and Plotinian Iconoclasm
Frederic M. Schroeder

Neoplatonic Influences on Eastern Iconography: A Greek-rooted Tradition
Aphrodite Alexandrakis

The Neoplatonic Tradition in the Art of El Greco
Robert Meredith Helm

Giorgio Vasari's The Toilet of Venus: Neoplatonic Notion of Female Beauty
Liana De Girolami Cheney

Neoplatonism in the Design of Baroque Architecture
John Hendrix

III. Neoplatonism in Contemporary Aesthetics

Poetic Hierarchies in the Works of Nikos Kazantzakis
John P. Anton

Neoplatonic Elements in the Spiritual Life
John Lachs

Martin Heidegger in Mimesis in Plato and Platonism
Constaintinos Proimos

The Neoplatonic Dimensions of Skovoroda's Aesthetic Theory
Roman T. Ciapalo

Neoplatonism and American Aesthetics
Jay Bregman

IV. Neoplatonism and Cosmic Genesis

The Role of Aesthetics in Plotinus' Ascent of the Soul
J. Noel Hubler

Creation or Metamorphosis? Plotinus on the Genesis of the World
Panayiota Vassilopoulou

Divinized and De-divinized Conceptions of the World and of Cosmos
Leonidas C. Bargeliotes

The Contributors

Shows how the aesthetic views of Plotinus and later Neoplatonists have played a role in the history of Western art.


Grouped together in four broad headings, the essays in this book offer a well-balanced examination of both Neoplatonic aesthetics and its significance in Western art. The concept of "beautiful" and its influence on Christian thinkers is addressed in the works of various Neoplatonists from Plotinus to Proclus. The book also shows how historically the Neoplatonic concept of beauty is investigated and utilized by certain renowned artists and architects. Also discussed is the influence of Neoplatonism in contemporary discussions involving the creative process and the aesthetic experience generally. Furthermore, the concept of the beautiful plays a central role in discussions involving processes governing the generation of the world in Plotinus' works.

Aphrodite Alexandrakis is Professor of Philosophy and Humanities at Barry University. Nicholas J. Moutafakis is Professor of Philosophy at Cleveland State University. He is the author of Imperatives and Their Logics and The Logics of Preference: A Study of Prohairetic Logics in Twentieth Century Philosophy.