Fw: BMCR 2007.10.11, Riccardo Chiaradonna , Studi sull'anima in Plotino
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Subject: BMCR 2007.10.11, Riccardo Chiaradonna , Studi sull'anima in Plotino
> Riccardo Chiaradonna (ed.), Studi sull'anima in Plotino. Elenchos 42.
> Naples: Bibliopolis, 2005. Pp. 415. ISBN 88-7088-482-1. EUR 50.00.
> Reviewed by Peter Lautner, Pa/zma/ny Pe/ter Catholic University
> Word count: 3307 words
> To read a print-formatted version of this review, see
> [Authors and titles are listed at the end of the review.]
> The volume is a collection of papers presented in a conference at
> Delphi and Padua. They are grouped in two sections, one discussing the
> various problems in Enn. IV 7, examining it chapter by chapter, and the
> other raising more general problems in Plotinus' theory of the soul.
> The contribution of Matthias Baltes and Cristina D'Ancona consists of
> two parts. Baltes offers a close reading of IV 7.8, a chapter
> discussing the notion of the soul as harmony, while D'Ancona surveys
> his interpretation of Plotinus and the Platonic notion of the
> immortality of the soul. In analyzing the text, Baltes supplies us with
> plenty of earlier parallels, beginning with Phaedo 88d-92d, and closes
> by referring to some Neoplatonic texts from the 6th century A.D. He
> shows that Plotinus is attacking the notion of the soul as harmony with
> the assumption that, by harmony, we have to mean the harmony of bodily
> ingredients, whereas many other Platonists were tempted to interpret it
> in the wake of the Timaeus where, by harmony, Plato refers to the
> proportionate structure of the various motions of the soul. In the
> Timaeus, the soul cannot be a harmonious arrangement of bodily parts
> for it is prior to the body. The Greek text of Plotinus does not
> specify what kind of mixture the soul is supposed to be, but the Arabic
> version says that, on this theory, the soul is a mixture of the four
> humours.[] Elsewhere, at VI 6 .16.43-45, Plotinus accepts a
> harmony theory expressed in terms of mathematical proportions.
> Surveying Baltes' interpretation of the Platonic notion of the soul's
> immortality, D'Ancona stresses that for him the main thesis making up a
> Platonic position is that there is an animating principle, itself
> divine and hence immortal, which manifests itself both in human beings
> and in the cosmos (51). She also mentions that, for Plotinus,
> immortality characterizes "all sorts and grades of the soul" (55). If
> so, one might ask how to explain Plato's usage in the Timaeus, where
> appetite and spirit are called mortal parts of the soul (69c7-8).
> Chiara Russi examines the three functions of the soul indicated in the
> tractate On providence (III 3 .4.6-13). They are tied to the notion
> of two <greek>lo/goi</greek>, one which produces things in the world
> below, and the other which connects the superior principles with the
> products. Russi's thesis is that the connecting principle coincides at
> one level with the providential activity on account of which individual
> souls are distributed in a universe preformed by the productive
> principle, and at another level with the autonomous principle residing
> in human beings (63). Thus we get a threefold hierarchy, with the
> providence from above, which is the highest in rank, and the productive
> and connective principles respectively. The hierarchy seems to
> correspond to Plotinus' threefold picture of the soul at IV 3
> .11.14-21: (1) there is a soul that remains always in itself and
> has the function of a paradigm; (2) its most extreme part is connected
> to <greek>lo/goi e)/nuloi</greek> and is productive of the things
> below, while (3) there is a middle soul connecting the uppermost soul
> with the productive one, which can also be seen as the inferior
> Eyjo/lfur Kjalar Emilsson discusses the problem of how the doctrine
> that the soul can be present as a whole throughout the body (IV 2 ;
> IV 7 ) can be squared with other remarks in the Enneads. One might
> think that Plotinus changed his mind on two related points. First, he
> says that the soul is not really in its body, but the body is in the
> soul (IV 3 .22). We do not find such a formulation in the early
> treatises. As the two theses seem to contradict one another, an
> explanation must be found for the inconsistency. In IV 2 , Plotinus
> does claim that the soul is in the body in a peculiar way, whereas in
> the later works he does not allow that. Second, he was taken to state
> in IV 2 that the whole soul is simultaneously divisible and
> indivisible, while according to the later treatises the soul has one
> divisible and one indivisible part that do not blend. As for the first
> point, Emilsson argues that there is no need to suppose a rupture in
> Plotinus' development, only that minor modifications took place. He
> points out that "body in the soul" is equivalent to "soul present to
> body" (VI 4 .4.29-30). Thus we have two kinds of expression
> reflecting different points of view on the relation between body and
> soul. "Body in soul" represents the viewpoint of the body participating
> in the soul, whereas expressions such as "soul is present to body"
> witness the same relation from the viewpoint of the soul as descending
> into the world below. In responding to the second query, the
> explanation is that for no obvious reasons Plotinus leaves the rational
> soul out of the picture in IV 2.1. Perhaps it is because he was
> concentrating on the soul operating through the body.
> Paul Kalligas shows that the criticism of the materialistic notion of
> the soul as a body is remarkable for not resting on premises specific
> to Platonist doctrines. The argument is carefully reconstructed to show
> that Plotinus' intention was to refute Stoicizing notions by means that
> can be accepted by his opponents as well. Thus, by using
> <greek>a)ntilamba/nesqai</greek>, Plotinus tried to maintain a
> theoretically non-committing stance. The verb signifies all kinds of
> apprehension, sensory and intellectual alike, whereas
> <greek>kata/lhyis</greek> mostly refers to sense-perception. The
> general strategy is to demonstrate that if there is intellectual
> cognition (<greek>to\ noei=n</greek>), then the soul is not corporeal.
> It is concerned with objects of intelligible nature. Relying on this
> point, Plotinus could also argue against the Aristotelian position.
> Alessandro Linguiti deals with a similar problem and takes the same
> route of reconstructing Plotinus' objections to the Stoic notion of the
> soul. That entails a critique of the view that virtue is also corporeal
> in a certain way. He reconstructs the line of thought as containing
> two, partly separate, arguments which start from the same premises: (1)
> virtues are situated in the soul, and (2) if one thing is situated in
> another, both are in the same division of nature (in this case, they
> are both either corporeal or incorporeal). The first argument takes the
> following route: (3) if the soul is corporeal, the virtues are also
> bodies, but (4) virtues (or some of them at least) are not bodies;
> therefore the soul cannot be corporeal either. The second argument
> continues like this: (5) virtues are eternal and permanent, and as such
> (6) they are incorporeal. As one of the conceptions behind the
> arguments, Linguiti mentions the thesis that qualities are incorporeal.
> To take the example of courage: if it is considered as the
> impassibility of the pneuma (123), and impassibility is a quality, then
> courage is incorporeal, which contradicts the Stoic doctrine.
> Riccardo Chiaradonna focuses on the critique of the Stoic notion
> according to which body and soul form a perfect mixture (<greek>kra=sis
> di' o(/lwn</greek>), and compares it to passages with similar content
> in Calcidius and Priscian of Lydia's Solutiones ad Chosroen. Plotinus
> rejects the idea that two bodies can interpenetrate one another, but
> accepts the thesis that the soul pervades the body, which leads to the
> conclusion that the soul cannot be bodily. The demonstration relies on
> earlier, traditional arguments, and Chiaradonna draws attention to a
> parallel text in Alexander of Aphrodisias' Mantissa 116.5-13. The
> important difference between Alexander and Plotinus is that the latter
> considers two different conceptions of mixture: in mixing up with one
> another the ingredients (1) lose their being in actuality, or (2) can
> conserve their nature in the perfect compound. The second conception
> can be attributed to the Stoics. Plotinus uses the Stoic notion to
> describe the relation of soul to body, with the important modification
> that the soul is not corporeal. The first conception recalls
> Peripatetic ideas of how bodies can form a mixture. One might note that
> it is hard to say how this Peripatetic notion differs from the Stoic
> concept of "blending" (<greek>su/gxusis</greek>), in which the
> ingredients lose their peculiar nature. One possibility might be that
> the Peripatetic notion is of a blend from which the original
> ingredients can be recovered.
> The aim of Christian Tornau's paper is to clarify the arguments against
> the Aristotelian notion of the soul as "the entelechy of the natural,
> organic body that is potentially alive". Plotinus very quickly reduces
> it to saying that the soul is an immanent form of the body (IV 7
> .8.6). After sketching the unfair tendencies of ancient
> philosophical criticism, Tornau does his best to show that Plotinus'
> objections were to some extent justified. They were directed against
> the Aristotelian notion of the vegetative soul. As the lowest layer, it
> is responsible for nutrition, growth and reproduction, and Plotinus
> takes it to be the <greek>e)ntele/xeia</greek> of the living body.[]
> When rejecting the idea of the soul's inseparability from the body he
> relies very much on the problems concerning this part of the soul.
> Examining the status of the individual human soul, Alexandrine
> Schniewind concentrates on the reason why they are called
> <greek>a)mfi/bioi</greek>, a term which is a hapax in the Enneads. She
> examines the passage IV 8 .4.31-5 and sets it in a double context:
> the simile of the cave, which alludes to the soul chained by the
> sensible world, and the Timaeus' description of the mixing bowl where
> the Demiurge blends the World Soul and the human individual soul alike,
> which refers to the positive character of the individual soul as akin
> to the World Soul. The emphasis is on Plotinus' account of the
> difference between these individual, amphibious souls: it is due to two
> factors, nature and chance. Here Plotinus does not elucidate the
> mechanism by which nature and chance determine the particular soul, but
> in IV 3 we find remarks that explain quite a lot. There are six
> features responsible for its differentiation (IV 3 .15.7-10):
> difference of the body, chance, education, difference in the souls
> themselves, differences due to all of these factors, and differences
> due to some of them only.[] As for the reason for the basic dualism
> in the individual soul, Schniewind suggests that Plotinus' description
> is deliberately vague. In the last resort, the generation of the
> individual soul can be sufficiently described with reference to the
> similes of the cave and mixing bowl.
> The second part of the collection starts with Mauro Bonazzi's paper on
> the notion of sense-perception and awareness. The key text he refers to
> is Theaetetus 191cd, the description of the wax-tablet model. Plotinus
> rejects the model (III 6 .3.28-30; IV 6 .3.71-79) when
> criticizing Stoic theories. As Bonazzi notes -- to my mind rightly --
> the model does not represent the Stoic views precisely (209). The main
> thrust of Plotinus' critique is against the unity of perception (IV 7
> .6.13-15), and relies on Plato's arguments in Theaetetus 184b-186e.
> The upshot is the well-known thesis about the impassibility of the soul
> functioning by means of judgments. The soul is capable of acquiring
> knowledge only because of the capacity of judgment. The view that
> perceptions are in fact judgements depends on the thesis of the unity
> of the perceptual process. As an antecedent of such an approach
> Plotinus hints at the sceptic attack against the reliability of sensory
> experience (IV 6.1.28-32). Not only Hellenistic theories were exposed
> to the sceptical challenge, but certain Platonic doctrines in the early
> imperial age as well (221). Plotinus' response to the challenge entails
> the revision of Plato's dictum that the similar knows the similar. One
> might wonder, however, whether there is room in Plotinus for a
> distinction between awareness and judgement in the process of
> sense-perception. Even if judgement clearly entails awareness, still
> one might think of those two phenomena as distinct.
> Irmgard Ma+nnlein-Robert compares Plotinus' notion of the soul with the
> few remarks we have on Longinus' views, and contrasts them both to
> Epicurean and to Stoic doctrines. The study reveals the similar
> attitudes the two Platonists showed towards their Hellenistic
> predecessors. They objected to the view that the soul is an
> <greek>a)naqumi/asis</greek>, a view that renders it corporeal and
> perishable. Longinus seems to have criticized all sorts of
> materialistic tendencies, Stoic and Epicurean alike, though the
> evidence for his critique is extremely scanty. The comparison with Enn.
> IV 7 shows that the arguments against Hellenistic theories were much
> the same, which leads to the assumption that Plotinus and Longinus
> relied on the same traditional patterns. Ma+nnlein-Robert also suggests
> that the early phase of Plotinus' thought was characterized by ideas
> shared by Longinus as well. One small difference is that Longinus
> refers to the Stoics by name, whereas Plotinus gives unnamed references
> only. In sum, in her view, the divergence between the two Platonists in
> Porphyry's Vita Plotini seems to be a slight exaggeration.
> Elena Gritti examines the Plotinian notion of <greek>fantasi/a</greek>
> in connection with the assumption that the soul is not subject to
> affection. She concentrates on two schemes within which the capacity
> was discussed. On the one hand, the capacity is located between
> <greek>dia/noia</greek> and <greek>ai)/sqhsis</greek>; on the other
> hand, Plotinus is ready to speak about two <greek>fantastika/</greek>
> in IV 3 .31. The latter may explain the claim that one aspect/part
> of the capacity deals with the sensible world, whereas the other is
> directed towards the intelligible. As an internal sense-perception,
> <greek>fantasi/a</greek> forms <greek>tu/poi</greek> that are
> intelligible in a certain way. It produces a unique image out of the
> many sensible qualities, while the contents of the intellect are
> developed into a <greek>lo/gos</greek>, possessing propositional form
> (271). In playing such a role, <greek>fantasi/a</greek> turns into a
> psychic analogue of matter, carrying various images that will be used
> by intellectual capacities.
> Dimitri Nikulin examines the arguments for the individual nature of the
> soul. What are the conditions for a soul to possess an individual
> nature? Due to its participation in the divisible nature within bodies,
> the soul is both one and many (IV 9 .2.24-28; IV 2 .2.45-47). As
> a unitary entity it is one, but due to its descent into bodies it is
> many as well. Furthermore, the relation between the singe universal
> soul and the many embodied souls is explained with reference to the
> alternative Plotinus was faced with (IV 9.5.1-3). Either the universal
> soul is present in all individual souls, or they all come from the one
> that remains in its original state. Individual souls have a similar
> structure -- they are both one and many -- which is the result of their
> connection with the Intellect. The relation of the individual souls to
> one another and to the universal soul is defined by the aid of the
> one-many model of theoretical knowledge. Their unity with one another
> is understood not as actual, but rather "as a potential actualization
> of the theorems" (289). But this does not account for the nature of
> individuation. To explain it, one has to see not only the reason why
> the soul is manifold, but the nature of the differences as well.
> Plotinus rejects an account of individuation in terms of form if there
>only exist forms of universals (V 9 .12.8-11), and he also avoids
> assigning the principle of individuation to matter. Thus, he arrives at
> the conclusion that the individuality of the soul hinges on the
> existence of the forms of individuals. In the case of the soul, the
> difference is due to the <greek>lo/gos</greek> that is present to a
> thing as a representation of the form. This is why the difference is
> called "logical" (see V 7 .3.7-13).[]
> Marco Zambon reconstructs Plotinus' position on the vehicle of the
> soul. Understandably, he draws much on the various expositions of the
> issue we find in the Chaldaean Oracles, and in Iamblichus and Proclus.
> He also admits that Plotinus was not very much interested in the issue.
> The main source, however, is Porphyry, whose thesis depends on
> Plotinus' answers to questions about the unity of body and soul in
> human beings. As a compromise between Platonic and Aristotelian notions
> of the separability of body and soul, the theory of the soul-vehicle
> also served to bridge the gap between Platonic and Hellenistic
> theories. Porphyry's bipartite psychology determines his views on the
> soul-vehicle. There is an intellective substance, our true self, which
> is impassible and thus capable of leaving the bodily world, whereas the
> passionate part inclines towards the sensible world. Porphyry's
> position is between the two extremes represented by Plotinus, with his
> notion of the undescended part of the individual soul, and Proclus, for
> whom the whole soul is encosmic with no parts remaining in the
> intelligible realm (318). Interestingly enough, Porphyry's views were
> adopted by Iamblichus who considered the soul-vehicle a mediating
> entity between the rational soul and the body.
> Iamblichus is also discussed in the paper by John Dillon, this time
> with the aim of elucidating his critique of Plotinus' concept of the
> undescended part of the individual human soul. Plotinus also maintains
> that the non-rational part of the soul is exempt from affection. It is
> striking that he proves the claim by using Aristotelian arguments (III
> 6 .3.4-11, 27-35). Iamblichus criticizes the thesis of undescended
> individual soul in many places, notably in his De Anima (section 6
> Dillon-Finamore = Stobaeus, Ecl. I 365.5-21 W.) and in Tim. (fr. 87
> Dillon = Proclus, in Tim. III 334.3 - 335.2 Diehl). The strongest
> statement is to be found in ps.-Simplicius' in DA, which says that the
> soul is a mean in the strongest possible sense. Thus it cannot remain
> in the intelligible world.
> Finally, Giovanni Catapano turns to Augustine, where he finds traces of
> Plotinus' concept of the soul. He points to striking textual parallels
> between Ep. 66 and De trinitate on the one hand and the Enneads on the
> other. He also investigates Augustinian influences in Hincmar of Reims
> (9th century). Augustine clearly refers to Plotinian doctrines in
> claiming (De trinitate IV 6.8, see also Hincmar, De diversa et
> multiplici ratione animae 2, in Patrologia Latina CXXV 934D) that the
> whole soul senses (tota sentit) and as a whole nothing escapes it
> (totam non latet).
> All in all, the book is a welcome contribution, not only to Plotinus,
> but also to the study of Neoplatonic theories of the soul in general.
> It is furnished with indices of ancient and medieval names, as well as
> of modern authors.
> M. Baltes - C. D'Ancona, "Plotino, L'immortalita\ dell'anima. IV 7 ,
> 8," 19-59
> C. Russi, "Provvidenza, <greek>lo/gos</greek> connettivo e
> <greek>lo/gos</greek> produttivo. Le tre funzioni dell'anima in enn.
> III 3 , 4.6-13," 59-79
> E. K. Emilsson, "Soul and <greek>merismo/s</greek>," 79-95
> P. Kalligas, "Plotinus against the corporealists on the soul. A
> commentary on Enn. IV 7 , 8.1-23," 95-113
> A. Linguiti, "Plotino contro la corporeita\ delle virtu\. Enn. IV 7
> ,8,24-45," 113-127
> R. Chiaradonna, "L'anima e la mistione stoica. Enn. IV 7 ,8,"
> Ch. Tornau, "Plotinus' criticism of Aristotelian entelechism in enn. IV
> A. Schniewind, "Les a^mes amphibies et les causes de leur diffe/rence.
> A\ propos de Plotin, enn. IV 8 , 4.31-5," 179-200
> M. Bonazzi, "Plotino, il Teeteto, gli Stoici. Alcune osservazioni
> intorno alla percezione e alla conoscenza," 203-223
> I. Ma+nnlein-Robert, "Longin und Plotin u+ber die Seele. Beobachtungen
> zu methodischen Differenzen in der Auseinandersetzung platonischer
> Philosophen des 3. Jahrhunderts n.Chr. mit Epikur und Stoa," 223-251
> E. Gritti, "La <greek>fantasi/a</greek> plotiniana tra illuminazione
> intellettiva e impassibilita\ dell' anima," 251-275
> D. Nikulin, "Unity and individuation of the soul in Plotinus," 275-305
> M. Zambon, "Il significato filosofico della dottrina dell'
> <greek>o)/xhma</greek> dell' anima," pp. 305-337
> J. Dillon, "Iamblichus' criticisms of Plotinus' doctrine of the
> undescended soul," 337-353
> G. Catapano, "Tota sentit in singulis. Agostino e la fortuna di un tema
> plotiniano nella psicologia altomedievale," 353-401.
> 1. See A. Badawi, Aflutin 'inda l-'arab. Plotinus apud Arabes.
> Theologia Aristotelis et fragmenta quae supersunt (Cairo, 1966),
> 2. One might be puzzled by the distinction Plotinus draws between
> soul and <greek>e)ntele/xeia</greek> in IV 7 .8.28-32. Aristotle's
> response might rely on the definition according to which soul is an
> <greek>e)ntele/xeia</greek> of the organic body. Thus, if a part of a
> plant is withering, it might not be considered as living. Therefore, it
> cannot be related to the <greek>e)ntele/xeia</greek> of the living
> being either.
> 3. It is far from being clear how to account for the difference in
> the souls themselves. If it is not due to the influence of the body, or
> to education, is it to be found in the discarnate souls as well?
> 4. Interpretation of V 7 is vexed, to say the least. For a convincing
> case, see F. Ferrari, 'Esistono forme di <greek>kaq' e(/kasta</greek>?
> Il problema dell' individualita\ in Plotino e nella tradizione
> platonica antica', Atti della Accademia delle Scienze di Torino: Classe
> di Scienze Morali, Storiche e Filologiche 131 (1997), 23-63.
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