La doctrine de l'intellection dans la philosophie de Proclus : étude sur les principes de la noétique néoplatonicienne

Authors: Lortie, François
Advisor: Narbonne, Jean-Marc; Hoffman, Philippe
Abstract: In his Commentary on the Timaeus, while analysing the passage containing the expression “intellection accompanied by reason (noêsis meta logou)”, Proclus launches into a discussion of the nature of the mode of knowledge by which, according to Timaeus, the human soul can reach real Being. According to the dialectical principles (division, definition, demonstration and analysis) that guide his work as a philosopher and commentator, the head of the School of Athens defines six meanings for the word noêsis, amongst which he determines, after having discarded the others, the only one that can be meant by Timaeus in his speech: i) the intelligible intellection, ii) the intellection linking the Intellect to the Intelligible, iii) the intellection of the divine Intellect, iv) the intellection of the particular intellects, v) the intellection of the rational soul, vi) the intellection of the imagination. The first three senses of ‘intellection’ are promptly set aside, as they imply an intellection that transcends human knowledge. The intellection of the rational soul, because of its temporal activity, is judged unable to grasp Being in its eternity, whereas imaginative intellection, whose object is a particular image, cannot adequately grasp the universality and shapelessness of Being. Only the intellection of a so-called particular intellect can therefore explain the human soul’s knowledge of Being, that knowledge which Proclus takes to be defined by the expression noêsis meta logou. Through a study of the relevant passages in the works of Proclus and the Platonic and Aristotelian sources of his noetics, we offer an analysis of each of the various senses of noêsis mentioned in the Commentary on the Timaeus, including that of the particular intellect, which, by activating the intellective potential of the rational soul, is the cause of human intellection. By way of annex, we have added a pair of studies addressing two key themes of the Procline doctrine of intellection. Firstly, we offer a study of the relation of epistemological and theological discourses in Plato’s Pheadrus, a dialogue which takes a particular interest in the notion of divine inspiration as the foundation of dialectic. Secondly, we offer a study of the critique of the theory of ideal numbers in Aristotle’s Metaphysics, a Pythagoro-platonic doctrine of which Proclus, following Syrianus, wished to rehabilitate and integrate into his own thought.
Document Type: Thèse de doctorat
Issue Date: 2015
Open Access Date: 23 April 2018
Grantor: Université Laval
Collection:Thèses et mémoires

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