Plotinus treatise on the virtues

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Plotinus treatise on the virtues

November 13, David J. Yount proceeds to a meticulously argued demonstration of the thesis he had already put forward in his preceding book Plotinus the Platonist: According to him, there are no essential differences between their philosophical doctrines.

Plotinus, for one, never alludes to any esoteric interpretation, and his philosophy is systematically presented as a straightforward and faithful exposition of the Platonic dialogues.

The question then is: Should the commentator consider the main difference, opposing a monist and a dualist account of being, as a result of an error in the historical interpretation of Plato? The demonstration presented here is divided among three chapters.

In chapter 1, Yount discusses the nature and possibility of the ultimate philosophical experience Plotinus treatise on the virtues the first principle of being.

Finally, in chapter 3, Yount examines a series of ethical questions, regarding happiness, love, purification, the nature of virtues, and several others. The application of the compatibility principle leads in all three chapters to the same conclusion: Plotinus is not only the true heir of Plato, but his philosophy is in line with all the main metaphysical, epistemological and ethical claims of his master.

Each chapter follows an identical method. Yount presents a systematic account of all the pertinent passages of both philosophers related to the topics discussed, for which he reproduces a personal translation from the Greek, or a translation by others that he amends or adapts.

This aspect of the method needs a short comment, since most philological issues raised in the presentation are not discussed as such, but mainly to accommodate the main interpretive thesis.

The Enneads Summary -

This is not to say that these translations are incorrect, but only that they are not justified as such. The philological contribution of the book is not its main objective, even if, as the history of scholarship on nearly all these texts tends to show, all these passages are filled with interpretive issues for which philology has something to offer.

The abundant notes pp. The main focus of this book is rather on the philosophical statements drawn by Yount from this complex comparative compilation of passages. The reader is confronted with a file of texts, each of which is assigned to an interpretation of the important arguments, but the discussion relies on a methodical analysis of these arguments.

Starting from that, Yount provides us with a philosophical analysis of the nature of this experience: All of these statements have a long history in the interpretation of both philosophers, and one would require in the beginning some basic definition of what it is to be a mystic, but Yount thinks that such a definition is either impossible, or not necessary for a comparative project such as the one he proposes: In the case of mysticism, the conclusion could be summarized as follows: This is the requirement for an interpretation that is comprehensive, compatible and open at the same time.

Yount discusses in detail the concurrent readings in recent scholarship, and his position, not surprisingly considering his premises, is that the Neoplatonic doctrine was already present in Plato. This conclusion leads him, to give only one example, to criticize the interpretation of Lloyd P.

Gerson Plotinus,who took the very different position that one can best understand Plotinus when ignoring his so-called mystical stance.


The epistemological issues discussed in chapter 2 are no less controversial. This last argument summarizes the whole discussion, since Plato and Plotinus hold firmly that there is a scale of kinds or degrees of knowledge, culminating in a supra-dialectical kind.

But what is the modern commentator to do with the Neoplatonic doctrine of the metaphysical scale of hypostases itself, in which Intellect represents a true novelty? The core of modern Neoplatonic scholarship is devoted to that issue, starting from A. The last chapter discusses a number of ethical issues, all linked to the quest for happiness eudaimoniaincluding the Platonic concept of virtue as based on knowledge, and the claim that the search for wisdom is the supreme condition of happiness.Plotinus, On the One and Good; being the Treatises of the Sixth Ennead [] First Treatise.

1. in its self-intellection Substance and Being. In virtue of its Being it thinks, and it thinks of itself as Being, and of that as Being, upon which it is, so to speak, pivoted.

In early Greek uses, Homer used nous to signify mental activities of both mortals and immortals, for example what they really have on their mind as opposed to what they say aloud.

It was one of several words related to thought, thinking, and perceiving with the mind. In pre-Socratic philosophy, it became increasingly distinguished as a source of . 1. Preliminaries. Aristotle wrote two ethical treatises: the Nicomachean Ethics and the Eudemian does not himself use either of these titles, although in the Politics (a36) he refers back to one of them—probably the Eudemian Ethics—as “ta êthika”—his writings about words “Eudemian” and “Nicomachean” were .

Plotinus treatise on the virtues

Plotinus was a neo-Platonist, and Plato's ethical teaching underlines Plotinus' conception of virtue as an intrinsic quality of human character and also underlies Plotinus' conception of excellence that derives from the soul's purity in the contemplation of the Forms.

Hellenistic Astrology.

An encyclopedia of philosophy articles written by professional philosophers.

Hellenistic and Late Antiquity astrologers built their craft upon Babylonian (and to a lesser extent Egyptian) astrological traditions, and developed their theoretical and technical doctrines using a combination of Stoic, Middle Platonic and Neopythagorean thought.

Astrology offered fulfillment of a desire to systematically . Aristotelianism: Aristotelianism, the philosophy of Aristotle and of those later philosophical movements based on his thought.