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Re: The One - Why more?

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  • vaeringjar
    ... be ... the ... doesn t, and ... l Un, ... Which because of this exchange I started reading yesterday, wondering just how Plotinus works all this out. It
    Message 1 of 26 , Apr 29, 2006
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      > >
      > > This is delightful, but why isn't there in fact such a text to
      be
      > > found in Plato or in Plotinus? In Aristotle, we do indeed have
      > > "thought thinking itself." But Plotinus's One is supposed to be
      > > absolutely simple. How can what is simple "prefer" or "seek"
      > > anything, as the supreme principle is imagined to do, in your
      > > dialogue?
      >
      >
      > M.C. True enough, that is a problem. Then again, the simplicity of
      the
      > One would seem to rule out the One's having a will. Yet it
      doesn't, and
      > Plotinus wrote an entire treatise Sur la liberte et la volonte de
      l'Un,
      > as translated by Georges Leroux (Enn. VI 8 [39], Paris 1990).


      Which because of this exchange I started reading yesterday,
      wondering just how Plotinus works all this out. It seems to me on
      the one hand that will by itself would imply a sort of
      incompleteness not appropriate to the One, since normally at least
      we would think that Will by itself precedes action, and so again in
      that sense we have a separation or dichotomy not appropriate to the
      One. An intention not yet fulfilled.

      But then again if everything exists because of the One, perhaps its
      Will in that sense precedes the (ongoing) creation of all, and is
      appropriate in that sense, since it is the ultimate cause in that
      way, unless we think of the One as creative totally by accident,
      completely aloof from all its effects, a real deus absconditus. And
      if the One has to contain the potentiality for everything within it,
      then it seems that Will in some way would have also to be within the
      One. But all action is there too, potentially, so there would then
      be no split.

      Or does it have Will in the sense then of rather the idea or form of
      Will? Just as it has being only as the idea of being? Isn't this one
      of the reasons Iamblichus conceived of more than just the One at the
      head of his scheme of being, since he wanted to preserve a
      completely unaspected and ultra pure highest, but still had to deal
      with the procession of being? Of course that's the real problem with
      any Platonic system, with the Forms or with the One - how to deal
      with that ultimate paradox of getting from one to many without
      compromising, dragging in some deus ex machina, falling prey to
      Third Men, appealing to faith, jump that chasm as daunting as any
      crack in the carpet (sic!), without falling into it.

      I need to finish VI.8 to see what he says there, how he handles the
      notion of Will - I am not sure that Plotinus anywhere describes the
      One as ideal of being, but I got that somewhere, I think, or maybe
      it popped into my tiny head along the way.

      >
      > I don't want to press this point with Plotinus, since I
      think,
      > following Pierre Hadot, that it was Porphyry who developed these
      ideas,
      > which remained latent in his master Plotinus. Porphyry is no
      longer
      > content to call the supreme principle the One : it becomes *to
      einai*,
      > esse, being as an infinitive. As such it is transcendentally
      superior
      > to all other things, but also deficient in that it lacks
      concreteness
      > and ......self-consciousness.

      Another point where Porphyry and Iamblichus parted company - ?
      Plotinus' One is clearly previous to being also - I noticed that in
      VI.9.

      Not to go off on an entirely different tack, but I was rereading the
      Parmenides Commentary not long ago, and it's so hard with all the
      evidence that Hadot has brought up (not all of which I have studied,
      to be honest) not to see it as by Porphyry, but just the tone of the
      work, the use of the second person here and there for one thing,
      somehow to me it just doesn't sound like Porphryry stylistically in
      some ways. That's probably a really dangerous thing to say, given
      how much of Porphyry we don't have.

      Has anyone brought this up as an issue? I am not up on all the
      scholarship, but what strong reasons are there, if any, not to
      attribute it to Porphyry? I had seen somewhere someone say it might
      by be a follower of Porphyry and so then effecttively might as well
      be by him then, but I don't really have any idea of exactly who that
      would be. Someone otherwise unknown? That might account then for any
      stylistic inconsistencies, I would think. Same notions, just put
      differently.

      Dennis Clark
      Issaquah
    • aousager
      Dear Francisco Razzo, there is a full exposition of Plotinus view on the stepwise unification(s) of the particular human soul together with a comprehensive
      Message 2 of 26 , May 1 4:17 AM
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        Dear Francisco Razzo,
        there is a full exposition of Plotinus' view on the stepwise
        unification(s) of the particular human soul together with a
        comprehensive account of the epistemological and ontological
        requirements for it, among them, especially, the Platonic sources
        for his doctrine in my book "Plotinus on Selfhood, Freedom and
        Politics" (Aarhus University Press 2004) - 397 pages.

        Plotinus is an originator of Augustine's similar (but definitely not
        identical) doctrine on the unification of the soul (pp. 91-3).

        Yours,
        Asger Ousager
        PhD, Research Fellow
        Nobelparken 1461-328
        University of Aarhus
        Denmark

        --- In neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com, "francisco razzo"
        <franciscorazzo@...> wrote:
        >
        > Chers Collègues
        >
        > Il voulait pouvoir contribuer à un petit peu avec cette discussion
        très
        > intéressante. Je suis extrêmement reconnaissant de pouvoir faire
        partie de
        > ce groupe. Moi aussi encore un novice dans philosophie.
        >
        > Mais je crois beaucoup de dans cette question :
        >
        > Concernant la connaissance de l'Un, plus à spécifiquement,
        >
        > l'expérience inefable du Premier Principe, doit se donner dans la
        marge d'une
        > expérience mystique. Et ce que cela envoie? Premier dans
        l'impossibilité de
        > communication directe de ce type de "connaissance", ou
        l'établissement
        > définitif des limites de lascience. Nous confions ainsi dans un «
        témoin »!
        > Dans en second, que même en avant du "flux", le principe
        intelligible est
        > maintenant complètement transcendental, ce qui dans Héraclite se
        justifie
        > par un *Logos*, qui est toujours, et que les hommes ne sont pas
        seulement dans
        > syntonie, différentement dans Plotin, le Principe est ai présent,
        mais en
        > même temps
        >
        > complètement absent.

        >
        > Comment alors connaître l'Un ? Le témoin de cette expérience
        >
        > "abysse-hautain" la justifie philosophiquement et aussi «
        poétiquement ».
        > Poétiquement : par milieu de métaphores "spéciales". Et les
        métaphores les
        > plus courants dans la période Impériale sont, exactement, ce de
        > l'"inférieur/supérieur"
        > et ce de l'"intérieur/extérieur". Les métaphores sont justifiées
        selon une
        > anthropologie philosophique qui établit une structure hiérarchique
        de l'être
        > humain. L'homme doit trouver l'Un, qui est le plus haut et
        *epekeina tes
        > ousia*, dans sa la plus intimee et propre unité. Le *superior
        summo meo, *comme
        > dira plus tard. S. Agostin, c'est-à-dire, le plus intime de
        l'esprit – *Aditum
        > mentis – *ou le bout fin, l' *Apex Mentis. *C'est dans ce sens que
        Plotin
        > nous invite à « tourner à nous-mêmes ». Il me semble que le
        traité 9
        > enseigne cela plus ou moins. Au moins encore je crois beaucoup de
        dans cela.
        >
        > *Respeitosamente*,
        > Francisco Razzo
        > ICHTHYS
        >
        > Instituto Hypnos - o prazer de saber
        > www.institutohypnos.org.br
        >
        > ""A filosofia é propriamente uma
        > saudade da pátria, um impulso para
        > estar por toda parte em casa"
      • John Dilon
        ... Yes, we know about Speusippus plethos from Aristotle. This process of the One plurifying itself was seen as being set out in the second hypothesis of the
        Message 3 of 26 , May 1 4:43 AM
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          on 29/4/06 0:53, vaeringjar at vaeringjar@... wrote:

          > --- In neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com, "vaeringjar" <vaeringjar@...>
          > wrote:
          >>
          >>>>
          >>> Well yes, so we have a world, one may say, but why a One? I think
          >> Plotinus
          >>> would maintain that we have a basic intuition of 'one-ness' in
          > face
          >> of all
          >>> this Heraclitean flux which can only be satisfied by the
          > postulate
          >> of a One.
          >>> Enn. VI 9 is very much about that, I think. John
          >>>
          >>
          >> I couldn't help myself and took a look at VI 9 just now, one of my
          >> favorites because of that lovely passage at the end about the
          >> the 'flight of the alone to the alone'. I think Plotinus gets right
          >> at it, in the very beginning of the Ennead:
          >>
          >> It is in virtue of unity that beings are beings.
          >> This is equally true of things whose existence is primal and of
          >> all that are in any degree to be numbered among beings. What could
          >> exist at all except as one thing? Deprived of unity, a thing ceases
          > to
          >> be what it is called: no army unless as a unity: a chorus, a flock,
          >> must be one thing. Even house and ship demand unity, one house, one
          >> ship; unity gone, neither remains thus even continuous magnitudes
          >> could not exist without an inherent unity; break them apart and
          >> their very being is altered in the measure of the breach of unity.
          >> Take plant and animal; the material form stands a unity; fallen
          >> from that into a litter of fragments, the things have lost their
          >> being; what was is no longer there; it is replaced by quite other
          >> things- as many others, precisely, as possess unity. (MacKenna and
          >> Page)
          >>
          >>
          >> So as anything on the micro level needs unity to exist, so also on
          >> the macro level there must be an ultimate unity - macrocosm like
          >> microcosm? Is it as simple as that?
          >>
          >>
          >
          > After I posted this it occurred to me that this is the same argument
          > as in Proclus' very first proposition in his <Elements of Theology>.
          > I was curious to see if Dodds referred in any way in his commentary
          > to this passage in Plotinus, and he does mention it, rather briefly.
          >
          > But it's interesting that Proclus takes this as his point of
          > departure, and also as I recall this is Plotinus' first Ennead
          > chronologically dealing directly with the One. I noticed that Proclus
          > is very consistent in his terminology in the Elements dealing with
          > this subject, and always, unless I am mistaken, refers to what we
          > would probably call most often "the Many" with "plethos". I guess we
          > would have to say then from Proclus that it's a technical term, not
          > just a synonym. Speusippus used it first, as I recall, instead of the
          > Infinite Dyad, and I'd have to look it up, but I think we know that
          > only second-hand his case (from Aristotle - ? Can't remember for
          > sure. I don't think it's in the imputed excerpt in Iamblichus' DCMS -
          > ?)
          >
          > Dennis Clark
          > Issaquah
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > Yahoo! Groups Links
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          Yes, we know about Speusippus' plethos from Aristotle. This process of the
          One plurifying itself was seen as being set out in the second hypothesis of
          the Parmenides, and I think with some justification. JMD
        • francisco razzo
          Dear Asger Ousager I am thankful very for the indication. Excuses with the errors of my English, but I do not have familiarity in writing in another language
          Message 4 of 26 , May 2 1:50 PM
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            Dear Asger Ousager



            I am thankful very for the indication. Excuses with the errors of my
            English, but I do not have familiarity in writing in another language not to
            be my Portuguese.



            It is, exactly, footing epistemological and ontological that still lacks my
            research, does not have doubt. I am in the beginning of the work; I will
            take in consideration these philosophical basic problems, they are two
            demanding philosophical pillars. I believe much that the anthropology
            questions need these beddings.



            I read more details of the description of your book and was more
            enthusiastic in I know it. Of fact the question most intriguing: "*And
            finally, what are the political and ethical implications of Plotinism?"*



            I am studying the En. VI 9 (9), as work of conclusion of course of the
            "College". All the aid and the counted with great studious of Plotino is
            very well coming.



            Muito Obrigado!

            F. Razzo



            2006/5/1, aousager <ousager@...>:
            >
            > Dear Francisco Razzo,
            > there is a full exposition of Plotinus' view on the stepwise
            > unification(s) of the particular human soul together with a
            > comprehensive account of the epistemological and ontological
            > requirements for it, among them, especially, the Platonic sources
            > for his doctrine in my book "Plotinus on Selfhood, Freedom and
            > Politics" (Aarhus University Press 2004) - 397 pages.
            >
            > Plotinus is an originator of Augustine's similar (but definitely not
            > identical) doctrine on the unification of the soul (pp. 91-3).
            >
            > Yours,
            > Asger Ousager
            > PhD, Research Fellow
            > Nobelparken 1461-328
            > University of Aarhus
            > Denmark
            >
            > --- In neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com, "francisco razzo"
            > <franciscorazzo@...> wrote:
            > >
            > > Chers Coll�gues
            > >
            > > Il voulait pouvoir contribuer � un petit peu avec cette discussion
            > tr�s
            > > int�ressante. Je suis extr�mement reconnaissant de pouvoir faire
            > partie de
            > > ce groupe. Moi aussi encore un novice dans philosophie.
            > >
            > > Mais je crois beaucoup de dans cette question :
            > >
            > > Concernant la connaissance de l'Un, plus � sp�cifiquement,
            > >
            > > l'exp�rience inefable du Premier Principe, doit se donner dans la
            > marge d'une
            > > exp�rience mystique. Et ce que cela envoie? Premier dans
            > l'impossibilit� de
            > > communication directe de ce type de "connaissance", ou
            > l'�tablissement
            > > d�finitif des limites de lascience. Nous confions ainsi dans un �
            > t�moin �!
            > > Dans en second, que m�me en avant du "flux", le principe
            > intelligible est
            > > maintenant compl�tement transcendental, ce qui dans H�raclite se
            > justifie
            > > par un *Logos*, qui est toujours, et que les hommes ne sont pas
            > seulement dans
            > > syntonie, diff�rentement dans Plotin, le Principe est ai pr�sent,
            > mais en
            > > m�me temps
            > >
            > > compl�tement absent.
            >
            > >
            > > Comment alors conna�tre l'Un ? Le t�moin de cette exp�rience
            > >
            > > "abysse-hautain" la justifie philosophiquement et aussi �
            > po�tiquement �.
            > > Po�tiquement : par milieu de m�taphores "sp�ciales". Et les
            > m�taphores les
            > > plus courants dans la p�riode Imp�riale sont, exactement, ce de
            > > l'"inf�rieur/sup�rieur"
            > > et ce de l'"int�rieur/ext�rieur". Les m�taphores sont justifi�es
            > selon une
            > > anthropologie philosophique qui �tablit une structure hi�rarchique
            > de l'�tre
            > > humain. L'homme doit trouver l'Un, qui est le plus haut et
            > *epekeina tes
            > > ousia*, dans sa la plus intimee et propre unit�. Le *superior
            > summo meo, *comme
            > > dira plus tard. S. Agostin, c'est-�-dire, le plus intime de
            > l'esprit � *Aditum
            > > mentis � *ou le bout fin, l' *Apex Mentis. *C'est dans ce sens que
            > Plotin
            > > nous invite � � tourner � nous-m�mes �. Il me semble que le
            > trait� 9
            > > enseigne cela plus ou moins. Au moins encore je crois beaucoup de
            > dans cela.
            > >
            > > *Respeitosamente*,
            > > Francisco Razzo
            > > ICHTHYS
            > >
            > > Instituto Hypnos - o prazer de saber
            > > www.institutohypnos.org.br
            > >
            > > ""A filosofia � propriamente uma
            > > saudade da p�tria, um impulso para
            > > estar por toda parte em casa"
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > Yahoo! Groups Links
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >


            --
            Francisco Razzo
            ICHTHYS

            Instituto Hypnos - o prazer de saber
            www.institutohypnos.org.br

            ""A filosofia � propriamente uma
            saudade da p�tria, um impulso para
            estar por toda parte em casa"


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