This book tells a compelling story about love, friendship, and the Divine that took over a thousand years to unfold. It argues that mind and feeling are intrinsically connected in the thought of Plato, Aristotle, and Plotinus; that Aristotle developed his theology and physics primarily from Plato's Symposium (from the ""Greater"" and ""Lesser Mysteries"" of Diotima-Socrates' speech); and that the Beautiful and the Good are not coincident classes, but irreducible Forms, and the loving ascent of the Symposium must be interpreted in the light of the Republic, as the later tradition up to Ficino saw. Against the view that Platonism is an escape from the ambiguities of ordinary experience or opposed to loving individuals for their own sakes, this book argues that Plato dramatizes the ambiguities of ordinary experience, confronts the possibility of failure, and bequeaths erotic models for the loving of individuals to later thought. Finally, it examines the Platonic-Aristotelian heritage on the Divine to discover whether God can love us back, and situates the dramatic development of this legacy in Plotinus, Iamblichus, Proclus, and Dionysius the Areopagite. ""Love, Friendship, Beauty, and the Good debunks the academic myth which has encased ancient philosophy and its later pagan and Christian permutations in a curio box, available for a sterile analytical examination, but devoid of relevance to the nitty-gritty psychology of our daily life. It takes a lifetime of experience and expertise to reexamine the relationship between being and thinking in the most Cartesian of ways. Corrigan does just this with reason and passion."" --Svetla Slaveva-Griffin, Florida State University ""In this small volume, Corrigan shows convincingly that . . . Plato and his successors held that such experiences as love, pleasure, and desire are entirely compatible with divine transcendence, without which there can be no real immanence and no real love of individuals without the vertical dimension that makes this possible."" --John D. Turner, University of Nebraska-Lincoln ""Kevin Corrigan, noted authority on both Plato himself and the later Platonist tradition, particularly Plotinus, has here produced a remarkable study of the role of love in both stages of that tradition."" --John Dillon, Trinity College Dublin ""In this multifaceted gem of a book, Corrigan expertly guides us to understand more deeply and anew the perennial themes of love and friendship both in Platonism and in our own lives. . . . This is a valuable book and a model of concision."" --Arthur Versluis, author of Platonic Mysticism "" A]n arresting revisionist essay. . . . This book should be required reading for students of ancient philosophy and early Christian theology."" --John Peter Kenney, Saint Michael's College Kevin Corrigan is Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Interdisciplinary Humanities, Department of Middle Eastern and South Asian Studies, Emory University, Atlanta. He is the author of Gregory and Evagrius: Mind, Soul and Body in the 4th Century (2009); Reason, Faith and Otherness in Neoplatonic and Early Christian Thought (2017); Plotinus, Ennead VI 8: On the Voluntary and on the Free Will of the One (2017, with John D. Turner).
Kevin Corrigan is Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Interdisciplinary Humanities, Department of Middle Eastern and South Asian Studies, Emory University, Atlanta. He is the author of Gregory and Evagrius: Mind, Soul and Body in the 4th Century (2009); Reason, Faith and Otherness in Neoplatonic and Early Christian Thought (2017); Plotinus, Ennead VI 8: On the Voluntary and on the Free Will of the One (2017, with John D. Turner).