Neoplatonism, Then and Now

Leave a Comment

By Martin Horlacher

Earlier this year, I undertook a twelve-week philosophy course at Sydney Community College, in Rozelle. It was a fairly easy-going, yet exhaustive course that saw us cover everything from the pre-Socratic philosophers
of ancient Greece, right up to the musings of Jürgen Habermas in the twentieth century. We covered Descartes and Spinoza, Hegel and the Hindus, amongst others – the span of time we examined stretched over more than 2,500 years. Not at all bad for a course that only lasted three months.

Needless to say, I found a lot to think about in this time, and in the months since – not least of all, which philosophical traditions I find myself most agreeing with. In the months since the course concluded, I have worked out that I am much more a rationalist than an empiricist, certainly much more a virtue ethicist than a consequentialist, and almost certainly a monist, rather than a dualist (that is to say, in a metaphysical sense, I find myself agreeing more with Spinoza than Descartes, and notably more with Hinduism than Christianity in its view of God and the universe). Though, I must admit, I’m still not certain whether my own personal philosophy fits in more with the analytic or continental tradition – I’ll have to work that one out.

To read the complete talk on Neoplatonism click here.