Pseudo-Archytas’ Protreptics? On Wisdom in its Contexts

In Debra Nails & Harold Tarrant (eds.), Second Sailing: Alternative Perspectives on Plato. Helsinki, Finland: pp. 21-39 (2015)
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Abstract
In his Exhortation to Philosophy (Protrepticus), the Neoplatonic philosopher Iamblichus famously preserves material culled from lost works of ancient philosophy, including dialogues of Aristotle. He also preserves a work entitled On Wisdom and ascribed to the Pythagorean philosopher Archytas of Tarentum, who was a friend and challenger of Plato. The text On Wisdom is a later Hellenistic production, probably written in the 1st century BCE, but it presents an important piece in the puzzle of reconstructing Pythagoreanism for the Hellenistic and Post-Hellenistic periods. On Wisdom provides ps-Archytas' views on the nature, pursuit, and purposes of philosophy, as well as the division of the parts of knowledge. This article presents the first complete modern translation into English and analysis of this work, whilst also explaining the precise ways in which its first critic, Iamblichus, appropriates its content to Neoplatonic theories.
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