In Search of the Good : The Role of Recognition in Proclus and Maximus the Confessor

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http://hdl.handle.net/10138/232305

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Riggs , T C 2016 , ' In Search of the Good : The Role of Recognition in Proclus and Maximus the Confessor ' Open Theology , vol. 2 , no. 1 , pp. 457-470 . DOI: 10.1515/opth-2016-0037

Title: In Search of the Good : The Role of Recognition in Proclus and Maximus the Confessor
Author: Riggs, Timothy Charles
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Systematic Theology
Date: 2016-05-27
Language: eng
Number of pages: 14
Belongs to series: Open Theology
ISSN: 2300-6579
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/232305
Abstract: The concept of recognition is increasingly gaining in importance in political and social philosophy as a means of explaining and dealing conceptually with the problems of multiculturalism. Nevertheless, the phenomena which this concept signifies, namely human capacities for intersubjectivity, belong to human beings even before the development of the modern concept. This article explores how the content of the concept of recognition plays a role in two Platonic philosophies of Late Antiquity, those of the Neoplatonic philosopher Proclus and the Christian philosopher, monk and lay theologian Maximus the Confessor. It is shown that their versions of a metaphysics of the Good provides the foundation for a moral and ethical vision of human life which makes recognitive judgments – which make acts of recognition possible – a necessity for human action. Although proper recognition pertains to the rational recognition of the First Cause as the true end of all human action, nevertheless Proclus and Maximus make recognitive judgments not only possible but a necessary function of even the lower, irrational faculties of soul. In this way, they explain how human beings have an innate capacity at all levels of cognition for recognizing things and other people as goods to be pursued or avoided.
Subject: 611 Philosophy
Platonism
metaphysics
philosophical psychology
intersubjectivity
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