Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (College of Philosophy and Theology)
Schools and Centres
Philosophy and Theology
This thesis establishes an “other beginning” for thinking by repositioning Plato and Neoplatonism in Heidegger’s history of metaphysics. The thesis achieves this by revising Heidegger’s interpretation of Plato and retrieving Neoplatonist approaches to non-discursive thinking, corresponding to some of Heidegger’s post-turn concerns. The thesis begins by justifying the adoption of Heidegger’s “two beginnings” idea and illustrating what I label the “fundamentals of truth of the first beginning,” which Heidegger used to envision the other beginning of thinking. The fundamentals of truth inform Heidegger’s reading of Hölderlin and the later writings that emerged from the 1950s onwards. The second part re-thinks Heidegger’s attribution of the collapse of truth (alētheia) to Plato. It argues that Plato was committed to a non-discursive consummation of philosophy, which language fails to capture. This thesis shows that Plato’s use of a deep topography, myth and inspired expression all serve as mitigative strategies for overcoming this failure. The second part proposes an interpretation of Plato’s Cave allegory that repositions Plato and establishes the foundation for the other Platonist beginning. In the third part, this re-interpretation of Plato is linked to Neoplatonism, which I show as an innovative appropriation of Plato’s non-discursive philosophy. After placing Heidegger’s interpretation of Neoplatonism in its historical context, accounts of non-discursive thinking in Plotinus, Porphyry, Iamblichus and Proclus are expounded. These Neoplatonists each advance non-discursive thinking, while Plotinus and Proclus also have significant parallels with Heidegger’s post-turn writings that are considered. The thesis concludes by identifying further research regarding an other Platonist beginning for thinking, which I argue should be informed by post-Heideggerian approaches.
Alexandrov, E. (2023). The Other Beginning of Thinking: Heidegger and Neoplatonism (Doctor of Philosophy (College of Philosophy and Theology)). University of Notre Dame Australia. https://researchonline.nd.edu.au/theses/390
Available for download on Monday, September 22, 2025