Sebastian R. P. Gertz, Ph.D. (2010) in Classics, University of Cambridge, is a Research Associate to the Ancient Commentators on Aristotle project at King's College London. He has published on Greek Neoplatonism and the ancient commentary tradition.
All those interested in Plato, the Neoplatonic tradition (particularly Proclus, Olympiodorus and Damascius), ancient commentaries, the intellectual history of Late Antiquity, and ancient psychology and ethics.
"This is an excellent book which makes a great contribution not only to the literature on the commentary tradition of the Phaedo, but also to the study of Neoplatonic commentaries and the way in which such commentaries should be read. Sarah Klitenic Wear in BMCR, 8.5.2012
Table of contents
1. Nature and purpose of the present study
2. Olympiodorus and Damascius: two philosophical personalities
3. Interpreting the Phaedo: the centrality of the skopo¢j
3.1. Finding the skopo¢j
3.2. Applying the skopo¢j
Olympiodorus on suicide
1. Philosophy as mele¢th qana¢tou and the prohibition of suicide
2. Two kinds of death and separation
3. Two ways of arguing against suicide
4. Olympiodorus’ three arguments
5. The esoteric doctrine
6. The philosophical argument
7. The case for suicide
8. Olympiodorus’ conclusion
Politics and purification in Socrates’ second defence (Phd. 63b-69e)
1.1. The civic virtues and the statesman
1.2. Old puzzles
2. The civic context(s) of Plato’s Phaedo
3. The discourses on purification
4. The virtues
5. Conclusion: The rapture of virtues
Syrianus and Damascius: two interpretations of the argument from opposites in Plato’s
Phaedo (Phd. 69e-72d)
1. Introduction 00
2. The background to Syrianus and Damascius
3.1. Syrianus’ interpretation of the argument from opposites in outline
3.2. Syrianus’ approach to particular problems with the argument
3.3. How much does the argument from opposites prove?
4. Damascius: s%¢zetai o¥ lo¢goj?
4.1. Damascius’ critique of Syrianus
4.2. Damascius’ own version of the argument
Memory, forgetfulness and recollection in the Phaedo Commentaries
2. What does the argument prove?
3. What is recollection, and how does it work?
4. What forms are recollected, and why do we need forms at all?
5. Two puzzles about memory and recollection
The affinity argument in Plato’s Phaedo
2. Alcinous, Plotinus and Porphyry
4. Proclus’ analysis of the argument
5. Damascius’ critique of Proclus
6. Three objections to the argument
7. Two Platonic problems
The final argument in Plato’s Phaedo
1. The ‘second voyage’
2. The final argument
3. Strato’s criticisms and their impact
4. Refuting Strato 000
5. Damascius’ new analysis
6. Concluding evaluation
7. A final note on the argument for immortality in Proclus’
Elements of Theology
Immortality and afterlife in the Phaedo myth
2. The afterlife journey: Phd. 107c-108c
3. Which earth is the ‘true earth’?
4. The underground rivers in Damascius and Olympiodorus