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The school of Ammonius, son of Hermias, on knowledge of the divine

Tempelis, Elias; (1994) The school of Ammonius, son of Hermias, on knowledge of the divine. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

The thesis undertakes a reconstruction and critical assessment of the theory of the Neoplatonic school of Ammonius, son of Hermias, on the presuppositions for the acquisition of knowledge of the divine and also on the contents and the purpose of this knowledge. The metaphysical position of the human soul between the intelligible and the sensible worlds allows it to know the intelligible world and the divine, in particular, provided that the cognitive reason-principles in the human intellect are activated. The purpose of such knowledge is the assimilation to the divine and is achieved by means of a personal struggle with the help of theoretical and practical philosophy. The school of Ammonius compared its philosophical attempt at knowledge of the divine to previous similar methods. Since the One is unknowable, the members of this school believed that man can know to some extent the Demiurge, who belongs to the second level of the intelligible world. The members of the school had different views on affirmative and negative theology. The intelligible ante rem universals, the most fundamental of which is Substance, constitute the cognitive and creative reason-principles of the demiurgic Intellect. The eternal activation of these principles result in the Demiurge's omniscience and the creation of the world, which is coeternal with the Demiurge. The Demiurge is incorporeal and exercises providence for what He has created, but He is not omnipotent. The theory of the school of Ammonius on knowledge of the divine is shown to be broadly consistent, though not necessarily convincing.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: The school of Ammonius, son of Hermias, on knowledge of the divine
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Philosophy, religion and theology; Human intellect; Knowledge of the divine; School of Ammonius
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10105970
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