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The Contingency of NecessityReason and God as Matters of Fact$
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Tyler Tritten

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781474428194

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474428194.001.0001

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On the Primacy of Matter: Neoplatonism Right-Side Up

On the Primacy of Matter: Neoplatonism Right-Side Up

(p.75) Chapter 3 On the Primacy of Matter: Neoplatonism Right-Side Up
The Contingency of Necessity

Tyler Tritten

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter provides a close reading of Schelling’s early commentary on Plato’s Timaeus and then contrasts this reading with Neoplatonism’s, particularly Proclus’, understanding of this same text. While Neoplatonism views being according to a hierarchy of degradation or descent, with matter at the bottom, Schelling affirms that being potentiates itself into higher and greater degrees of order such that matter is not the last but the first. He is able to do this, however, only by rejecting the Platonic notion of participation. For Schelling, the participating acquires an independence from the participated so that an effect can be greater than its cause and, moreover, the effect exerts a retroactive after effect on the cause. The identity of a cause or antecedent is only constituted in and through its consequents. If matter is said to process from the One, then matter, in turn, is the consequent condition of the identity of the One as one rather than as many.

Keywords:   Matter, Neoplatonism, Schelling, Proclus, Timaeus

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