Sunday, January 23, 2011

notes - outlining subchapters

primary source review - precursors to Pico's angelology in Dionysius and Aquinas-proclan iamblichean principles already in Christian NP trad
do quick review of angel text in Pico before discussing interpretations, then conclusion with what I think we can learn from the disc.

Dionysius and Theurgy intro subchapter will explain the Christian theurgy that I suggest might be better explanation than other theurgies.

intro subchapter will give my argument on "Pico, Aquinas and Dionysius" context for angelology, theological commitments, philos. motivations

emphasize passivity of Dionysian angelic reception, concern for preserving hierachy/distance which Pico shares, although he's funkier than T

Dionysius and Theurgy bit - this activity of Celestial Hierarchy is theurgic in sense of divine works done by God/Jesus/Angels, part. by man

intro Dionysius - problem of angelic knowledge making it to humans via illumination/translation process of Celestial Hierarchy led by Jesus.

are Thomistic "each angel its own species" discussed by Pico in 900 theses and "angel as number" vestigial traces of Proclan henadology?

Kabbalah in Oration bit will look at how Pico uses Dionysian terms to translate Cabala, bring in some Copenhaver and Idel but not 900 yet...

Oration "sed contra" bit will look do philosophical reading of angels in Oration as model of contemplative life

Oration literature review will cover Copenhaver's theurgy theory, then skeptical/philosophical readings seeing Oration as rhetoric not magic

Copenhaver mitigates theurgy+magic by arguing that they are preliminary stages of mystical
initiation for Pico, but finds more than Craven.

De Ente is not as ambitious as Heptaplus formally, but similarly marshals an impressive array of authorities to make a powerful "Ar/PD" arg.

Heptaplus is a masterpiece of literary construction, weaving huge number of influences into tight+overdetermined structure to support theory

Heptaplus and De Ente represent Pico's more mature, longer-format thinking, whereas Commento/Oration/900 were merely notes+sketches, ideas.

Conclusion - Pico's philosophical angelology in Hep/Comm/Ente/Disp might be a better starting point than theurgic speculations about Ora/900

Pico demonstrates his commitments to "ontotheology" post-Aquinas in Commento, Heptaplus, De Ente in ways not possible in 900 short sentences

review of angelology in Commento - angelic level of being seen as a whole (Pico's take on Plotinian style) as "Angelic Mind" / forms stories

if we don't need magic to explain angelology of Heptaplus+Commento,maybe we don't need magic to explain angel mysteries of Pico's 900 Theses

my main point in Comm/Hep/BU/Disp chapter: Pico is paying consistent attention to Neoplatonic Angelology although magic no longer an issue.

Heptaplus and Commento, Disputations are not subject to same degree of theurgic interpretation, Mebane argues vs. Heptaplus-centric readings

Later texts chapter lit review -- Commento+Heptaplus in recent groundbreaking scholarship of Michael Allen, Crofton Black, other evaluations

900 last half, review "Pico's Encounter with Neoplatonic Angelology" and how it relates to better studied scholastic+cabalistic angel theses

900 "sed contra" bit -- short lit review on why 900 can't be seen as Pico system, his own views can't be extracted. Black,Edelheit,Dougherty

900 Kabbalah bit, Copenhaver on angelic talisman theory, Wirszubski on KBL sources+distranslation, Craven on Pico's KBL is clearly stated.

900 Literature review -- Farmer ex. of large scale theurgic interpretation of Theses as a whole, Copenhaver vs. Idel+Craven on theurgy/magic

Henads are the superessential angels of participation, transmitting individuality from the unparticipated One to its ontic fellows in unity.

rather Pico correlates sefirot with NP "gods" b/c it seems like a philosophical precursor to Dionysian angelology and theology of henads

Pico correlates sefirot with "gods" of ancient theology ("Guardians" of Orpheus) not to import pagan diety conjuring, which he warns against

does Pico correlate sefirot with angels, divine mind, forms, henads, intellectuals or intelligibles? it's not entirely clear what he means.

for Pico, as Aquinas+Dionysius, angels indispensable part of story of procession from One to multiplicity, resonant w/Proclus+Cabala sefirot

are Thomistic "each angel its own species" discussed by Pico in 900 theses and "angel as number" vestigial traces of Proclan henadology?

Henad in Proclus commentary on Parmenides "each henad has a multiplicity dependent on it"

Conclusion, Aquinas and Dionysius didn't allow for becoming angel. If Pico really is "breaking hierarchy" in Oration this would be serious!

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