Classical Philosophy. Collected Papers: Aristotle's Ethics by Terence H. Irwin

By Terence H. Irwin

First released in 1995. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa corporation.

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AXe^dvSpeia. T h e figure o f A l e x ­ a n d e r the G r e a t , as is h a r d l y s u r p r i s i n g , o c c u p i e s the c e n t r e s t a g e in t h e s e a c c o u n t s . I n all b u t two ( A r r i a n , D i o d o r u s ) , h o w e v e r , s o m e m e n t i o n is m a d e o f a r c h i t e c t s w h o assisted t h e k i n g in his e n t e r p r i s e . P s . C a l l i s t h e n e s is the o n l y s o u r c e w h o a c t u a l l y gives n a m e s . A m o n g t h e five m e n t i o n e d in t h a t text is D i n o c r a t e s o f R h o d e s , w h o in a n u m b e r o f o t h e r t e x t s is d e s c r i b e d as the a r c h i t e c t o f A l e x a n d r i a : V i t r u v i u s I I pref.

By acting on the Dyad the One generates, not the ideal world in its totality, but the ideas of oneness, twoness, and so on up to ten. These are called the idea-numbers. It would seem that Plato envisaged two levels of ideas, at the primary level the ideas of the primal numbers one to ten, at the secondary level the other ideas produced by combinations dependent on the 20 idea-numbers . The career of this rather obscure late Platonic doctrine is a subject of much interest of historians of ancient philosophy, and it is only natural that they turn to Philo to see if he can shed any light on it.

If we look at the exegetical context, however, a different picture emerges. This passage is part of a disproportionately long encomium of the hebdomad in Opif. 20 21 For a brief account of this doctrine see J. Dillon, The Middle Platonists, London 1977,3-5. Cf. H. J . Kramer, Der Ursprung des Geistmetaphysik, Amsterdam 1964,271-273; Dillon, Middle Platonists 159; H. : the philosophy of the Fourth Academy, Cam­ bridge 1985, 169. II 196 89-128, which is clearly either taken from a source or based on Philo's own collection of arithmological material .

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