Physics and Metaphysics

Gregory Smith

in The Oxford Handbook of Late Antiquity

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780195336931
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Physics and Metaphysics

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This article demonstrates the wide-ranging importance of physical and metaphysical ideas in the history of Late Antiquity. It begins by reflecting on a well-known passage from Porphyry's Life of Plotinus. Plotinus and his followers were very interested in the relationship between body and soul. Since these men and women—the Neoplatonists—are considered the most important philosophers of Late Antiquity, their preoccupation with the question of body and soul was momentous not just for the period but for the history of philosophy.

Keywords: physical; metaphysical; history; Late Antiquity; body; soul; Neoplatonists; philosophy

Article.  24857 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Classical Philosophy

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