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Some articles on Philo

February 2009
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A search on MUSE this morning revealed some articles on Philo I had to add to my personal Philo bibliography. I list them here; some other readers might find them interesting too. Or you might do a search for yourself by going to MUSE.

Robertson, David G.
Mind and Language in Philo
Journal of the History of Ideas, Volume 67, Number 3, July 2006, pp. 423-441.

Abstract
The Late Hellenistic Jewish philosopher Philo of Alexandria has been neglected in studies of theories of mind and language in Post-Aristotelian Philosophy. Philo’s dualism distinguishes immateriality and materiality in our language (logos). His arguments about the nature of mind and his explanations of the relation of speech to the mind, divine or human, draw heavily from Stoics and Platonists. Philo appears to present contemporary Platonist, anti-Stoic arguments that mind is of a different nature than body. Also, Philo deserves credit as our first detailed, surviving expositor of the view that meanings are thoughts, presented to the world in speech.

Runia, David T.
The Idea and the Reality of the City in the Thought of Philo of Alexandria
Journal of the History of Ideas, Volume 61, Number 3, July 2000, pp. 361-379

Abstract
The theme of my paper is the conception of the city as a social and cultural phenomenon held by the Jewish exegete and philosopher Philo of Alexandria (15 bc to 50 ad). There can be no doubt that the city occupied a central position in his own life. As an inhabitant of Alexandria he was thoroughly immersed in a highly urbanized form of life. From a more theoretical angle the city has an important place in his thought because of what it represents: of all physical products of human activity the city is the largest and most complex (here there is in fact little difference between Philo and us, although there is an obvious difference in scale). It is not my aim to examine Philo’s political philosophy, i.e., his views on how the city should be governed, nor his views on the actual political administration of the Roman Empire in his time. These subjects have already been treated with sufficient competence by others. I will argue that, though as an Alexandrian Philo was very much a homo urbanus, he nevertheless reveals a significant ambivalence towards the city. This attitude is related to his dual ideological background (Jewish and Greek), and anticipates developments in later antiquity.


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