Thursday, April 15, 2010

Plutarch and Colotes

The Adv. Col. conference last week was rather good.  The speakers had all spent some time thinking about their chunks and I learned a lot from reading through the whole thing again in this intensive way.  I've dipped in and out of the work before, as I think most people do, but never really thought about it in proper depth.  Anyway, one thing I am still not very sure about is what the overall purpose of the thing might be.  I suppose any account will have to deal also with its companion-piece, Non posse, but just why Plutarch should be bothering with a dusty Epicurean work -- however annoyed he might be by Colotes' method and purpose -- is still not very clear to me.  If there is something positive then I suppose it might be an indirect recommendation of Platonism as perhaps the only philosophy that it is possible to live by (and, along with Platonism, some of its more favoured antecedents might get a beta plus for effort along the way) but I still think that a pitched row with a long-dead Epicurean is an odd way to do it.

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