AWARDS: AHRC doctoral studentship.
SUPERVISED BY: Prof. George Boys-Stones
TITLE: Neoplatonic Hieroglyphics with particular reference to Horapollo
Philosophers, psychologists, and linguists, both ancient and modern, are typically and all but inexplicably prone to far-reaching and seemingly ineliminable misapprehensions about how language is related to thought and how each is related to the world. The Neoplatonists, amongst whom I count Horapollo, were no exception. To their credit, however, they did recognize that sound thought and valid claims about the world presuppose the intelligibility of the objects of those thoughts and claims. Unfortunately, they attributed metaphysical status to this intelligibility, so while Greek served to express empirical and conceptual matters, they were forced to cast around for forms of language suitable for articulating intelligibility on its own terms, and hieroglyphic Egyptian seems to have been the language of choice for the purpose. My research is about what is gained and what is lost by holding language hostage to metaphysics in this way and in the Neoplatonic choice of solution to the impasse it creates.