An Ontology of Freedom in Proclus’ Commentary in Parmenidem 1022:24-27

Tim Buckley

Abstract


Proclus the Neoplatonist is best known as head of the Academy in the middle of the fifthcentury, and as an interpreter of the works of his master Plato. His commentaries on thedialogues of Plato are filled with esoteric interpretations of seemingly mundane details of thedialogues – the number of interlocutors, their ages, where they are sitting and the like. Theexample I have quoted, which serves as the point of departure for this article, is memorablyodd. In the dialogue that bears his name, a smile shared between Parmenides and his protégéZeno is suddenly recalled and given meaning, linked with Zeno’s laughter at Socrates’importuning of his master.

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