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Re: [neoplatonism] Re: What are the One and the Nous for you?...logic

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  • John Dillon
    ... Yes. JMD [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    Message 1 of 105 , Jul 3, 2012
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      >    Group:
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      >  John Dillon said:
      >
      >  Well, the Dyad is Nous before it has 'jelled' as Nous, while it is still an
      >  indefinite outflow form the One -- though all this not to be regarded as a
      >  temporal succession, of course, but rather a logical one. But the Dyad is
      >  still there in the background for Plotinus.
      > Dan Hartjes says:
      > The logic we use to discuss these terms was sharpened by experiences in
      > the phenomenal world as we grew from babies to adults. To comprehend the One
      > and Nous and the Dyad we seem to need another kind of logic, a higher logic,
      > if you will. We bring up "identity" and "sameness" and "correlate" in our
      > discussions almost as if they apply to every world.  It is my opinion that
      > each plane has its own laws and may require a new language for us to speak
      > fluently while we are there. To transfer a language (and logic) from this
      > world to another and expect it to be adequate is short-sighted. To use it in
      > that other world will likely lead to error.
      > When intelligent individuals discuss love, their language (and logic) to
      > describe what it is falls short and even at times appears as jibberish. May we
      > not have that same issue when we discuss something as lofty as the One and
      > Nous and the Dyad. Per-haps we need to use the logic of love to speak its
      > beautiful language.
      >                      Dan Hartjes
      >
      >  
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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      >

      Yes. JMD


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Marco Bormann
      Hi Bob, I had only now the time to read your article. Very nice. Marco ... From: Robert Wallace To:
      Message 105 of 105 , Jul 16, 2012
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        Hi Bob,

        I had only now the time to read your article. Very nice.

        Marco


        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "Robert Wallace" <bob@...>
        To: <neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Wednesday, July 04, 2012 8:17 PM
        Subject: Re: Re : [neoplatonism] Re: What are the One and the Nous for you?


        > Hi Marco,
        >
        > I'm glad to see how much we agree. I certainly wish that more German
        > and Anglophone and other scholars were aware of the continuity between
        > Hegel and the Platonic tradition.
        >
        > This is part of the broader problem, that few scholars seem to be
        > aware of the immense role that's played in "modern" thought and
        > culture (literature, as well as philosophy) by Platonism. Of course
        > modernity includes a strong anti-Platonic current, in writers like
        > Hobbes, Hume, Nietzsche, and Heidegger. But the opposition to these
        > writers, in the Cambridge Platonists, German Idealism, the Romantic
        > poets, the American Transcendentalists, and Whitehead, is all inspired
        > essentially by Platonism. Because we don't appreciate this continuity,
        > we tend to see the opponents of materialism and empiricism as a
        > scattered group with no clear unifying theme. As a result, we fail to
        > appreciate how strong their underlying arguments and intuitions are.
        >
        > After all, the dispute with materialism and empiricism began in
        > Greece, in the debate between the Platonists and the sophists and
        > atomists. How can we hope to understand the dispute, without seeing
        > this simple fact, and appreciating the resources that Plato provides?
        >
        > To suppose that the main alternative to materialism and empiricism is
        > Kant, is to greatly underestimate the strength of such alternatives.
        > For Kant, brilliant as he was, had major limitations. Which, happily,
        > the broader Platonic tradition does not share.
        >
        > I wrote another tirade on this subject in Notre Dame Philosophical
        > Reviews a couple of years ago:
        > http://ndpr.nd.edu/news/23923-the-cambridge-companion-to-hegel-and-nineteenth-century-philosophy/
        >
        > best, Bob
        >
        >
        > On Jul 4, 2012, at 4:35 AM, Marco Bormann wrote:
        >
        >> Hi Bob,
        >>
        >> Thanks for your detailled account. I agree with a lot of things you
        >> say.
        >> Especially that Hegel's is not a different philosphy from Plato and
        >> Plotinus. From my point of view Platonism is much more essential to
        >> Hegel
        >> than Kant. Many German scholars see this the other way around.
        >> So if I get your point on the One correctly, you have some kind of
        >> dialectical account of it which you share with Hegel. According to
        >> this the
        >> One is at the same time as prue being something exalted but is also
        >> has to
        >> be something integrated in order to be able to be truely exalted.
        >>
        >> Marco
        >>
        >> ----- Original Message -----
        >> From: "Robert Wallace" <bob@...>
        >> To: <neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com>
        >> Sent: Thursday, June 28, 2012 9:23 PM
        >> Subject: Re: Re : [neoplatonism] Re: What are the One and the Nous
        >> for you?
        >>
        >> > Hi Marco,
        >> >
        >> > Thanks for this interesting discussion!
        >> >
        >> > On Jun 28, 2012, at 10:09 AM, Marco Bormann wrote:
        >> >
        >> >> Hi Bob,
        >> >>
        >> >> the way Hegel describes the One in this section is indeed pretty
        >> the
        >> >> way
        >> >> Plotinos describes the genesis of the Nous out of the One in Enn.
        >> V,
        >> >> 1, 7,
        >> >> 5-6. It reflects itself and sees itself as something else. Hegel
        >> uses
        >> >> repulsion in the same way. But there is an important difference. As
        >> >> I would
        >> >> agree, that Plotinos sees the One as something completetly above
        >> the
        >> >> Nous,
        >> >> Hegel doesn't. If you see the Logic as his Nous, the One is just
        >> one
        >> >> concept
        >> >> in it.
        >> >>
        >> > Where is "being" (Hegel's starting point) in Plotinus? This is a
        >> > serious, not a rhetorical question. My impression is that being is
        >> the
        >> > One's unspoken but most definitive attribute. The One is not a
        >> > "thing," but the One is definitely not "nothing" (Nichts).
        >> >
        >> > If I'm right about this, then when Hegel takes Being as his starting
        >> > point, Hegel is actually taking the most important characteristic of
        >> > the One as his starting point. So the function of Hegel's
        >> > "Quality" (Being/Nothing/Finite/Infinite etc.) chapter is in fact to
        >> > clarify Plotinus's starting point, not to propose a different
        >> starting
        >> > point. It's a "friendly amendment" to Plotinus's exposition.
        >> >
        >> > As for Plotinus's "seeing the One as completely above the Nous," I
        >> > agree of course that that's what he _says_. But at the same time he
        >> > says (following Plato in the Timaeus) that the One "can't be
        >> jealous,"
        >> > and must therefore emanate.... _Why_ can't the One be jealous?
        >> Neither
        >> > Plato nor Plotinus makes this clear. Hegel suggests that the reason
        >> > the One (as the self-contained infinite) can't be jealous is that
        >> > nothing can be truly self-contained, truly infinite, truly "beyond"
        >> > other things if it rejects or has any negative relation to those
        >> > others. For to have such a negative relation is to be limited by
        >> that
        >> > other thing, and thus not be infinite, not be truly beyond the other
        >> > at all. This is Hegel's critique of the "spurious infinity."
        >> >
        >> > From which he concludes that what's truly infinite "is" only as the
        >> > finite's going beyond itself. This doesn't make the finite more real
        >> > than the infinite; quite the reverse, because the finite (for its
        >> > part) is real only _by_ going beyond itself, as the true infinite
        >> > (this is Hegel's version of Plotinus's "return"). It does explain
        >> why
        >> > the true infinity (the true "One") can't be "jealous," can't "refuse
        >> > to have anything to do with" the finite. For such an attitude would
        >> > prevent it from being infinite, self-contained, or truly "beyond."
        >> >
        >> >
        >> >
        >> >> Of course form Hegel's reading of the History of Philosophy this
        >> makes
        >> >> perfect sence, since he sees in every philosophy the defence of one
        >> >> central
        >> >> concept and for himself the combination of all of them is the
        >> truth.
        >> >> But I
        >> >> would not say that this is very fair to Plotinos and I'd agree that
        >> >> Hegel
        >> >> owes a lot to his neoplatonist predecessors.
        >> >> So in this point, I do see that they have the same structure of
        >> >> thought, but
        >> >> for Plotinos it's a cornerstone of his ontology, while for Hegel
        >> >> it's just a
        >> >> step between Qualityand Quantity.
        >> >>
        >> > I hope I've made it clear why it's not "just a step." What Hegel
        >> says
        >> > explicitly about the "One" in the Quantity chapter presupposes
        >> what he
        >> > has shown us about Being in the Quality chapter. Thus it explains a
        >> > key feature of the "One" that Plato and Plotinus insist upon but
        >> don't
        >> > explain. And thus Hegel is offering (in effect) a revised and more
        >> > defensible version of what Plato and Plotinus presented.
        >> >
        >> > I should add that Hegel certainly also is giving an implicit
        >> critique
        >> > of Plotinus's choice of the term, "One," for the ultimate, since
        >> "One"
        >> > is after all a quantitative term, which inevitably carries with it
        >> > connotations of a logically corresponding "many," and all of the
        >> > confusion that comes with that. Whereas Hegel wants to show, through
        >> > the supersession of Quantity within Essence and the Concept, how
        >> > quantity as such embodies a very primitive and undeveloped
        >> conception
        >> > of the ultimate reality. In this sense the "One" in Hegel's Quantity
        >> > chapter certainly _is_ "just a step."
        >> >
        >> > But this doesn't mean that Hegel has abandoned Plotinus's or Plato's
        >> > central concerns. For at the same time Hegel clearly does embrace
        >> > Plato's and Plotinus's more fundamental notion that the ultimate
        >> > reality is not the multiple world of sense experience, as such, and
        >> > that there is an intimate and indispensable relationship between the
        >> > ultimate reality and that multiple world. This is the sense in which
        >> > what Hegel presents in the Logic is a "friendly amendment" to Plato
        >> > and Plotinus, rather than simply a "different philosophy." And if
        >> you
        >> > agree that Plato and Plotinus owe us an explanation of their "no
        >> > jealousy" principle which they don't seem to provide, perhaps you'll
        >> > agree that they may have considerable need for the sort of amendment
        >> > that Hegel proposes.
        >> >
        >> >
        >> >> By the way, this reflexive argument, the one becoming many
        >> because it
        >> >> reflects itself sounds like it is a pretty old idea. But the oldest
        >> >> version
        >> >> I could find of it is in the Letter of Eugnostos, from the Nag
        >> Hammadi
        >> >> Codex. And that is dated around 75 AD. Maybe someone has an idea
        >> >> where to
        >> >> look for an older version.
        >> >>
        >> > I would suggest that the Timaeus's line about the demiurge being
        >> > unable to be jealous may be the original text on this subject. For
        >> > this is where a certain kind of mirroring or emanation enters the
        >> > discussion.
        >> >
        >> > Best, Bob
        >> >
        >> >>
        >> >> Marco
        >> >>
        >> >> ----- Original Message -----
        >> >> From: "Robert Wallace" <bob@...>
        >> >> To: <neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com>
        >> >> Sent: Wednesday, June 27, 2012 2:53 PM
        >> >> Subject: Re: Re : [neoplatonism] Re: What are the One and the Nous
        >> >> for you?
        >> >>
        >> >> > Hi Marco,
        >> >> >
        >> >> > I'm referring to the introductory section about the One, its
        >> >> > "repulsion," and atomism.
        >> >> >
        >> >> > If this One has been "developed," that's all to the good, I
        >> think.
        >> >> It
        >> >> > has been developed from Being and Reality. Hegel has made
        >> explicit a
        >> >> > background that Plotinus leaves unstated, but seems clearly to
        >> >> > presuppose. For if the One were not, or if it weren't real, there
        >> >> > would be no point in discussing it. A "purity" that excluded
        >> being
        >> >> or
        >> >> > reality wouldn't have much to recommend it.
        >> >> >
        >> >> > I think the whole Plotinian process of "emanation and return" is
        >> >> > spelled out in Hegel's account of true infinity--and that account
        >> >> > enables us to understand the process. True infinity is, as you
        >> know,
        >> >> > the upshot of Hegel's account of Being and reality, prior to
        >> the One
        >> >> > and Quantity. So Hegel's "development" of the One, via true
        >> >> infinity,
        >> >> > enables us to understand the overall structure of Plotinus's
        >> account
        >> >> > of the One.
        >> >> >
        >> >> > Indeed, Hegel's whole system recapitulates Plotinus, with Logic
        >> >> > emanating Nature and returning to itself via Spirit. I find true
        >> >> > infinity the most useful key for understanding all of this.
        >> >> >
        >> >> > I too have a lot of respect for McTaggart. Unfortunately, some of
        >> >> the
        >> >> > stuff that he just couldn't understand is quite indispensable.
        >> >> >
        >> >> > best, Bob
        >> >> >
        >> >> > On Jun 27, 2012, at 4:26 AM, Marco Bormann wrote:
        >> >> >
        >> >> >> Bob,
        >> >> >>
        >> >> >> which part are you exactly refering to in "Quantity"? And isn't
        >> >> >> Hegel there
        >> >> >> starting off with a One that has been developped throughout the
        >> >> >> "Quality"-section and is thus not a pure one.
        >> >> >> By the way, when it comes to commentaries on Hegels' Science of
        >> >> >> Logic, I
        >> >> >> always refer to McTaggart. Even though I am German and have
        >> tried
        >> >> to
        >> >> >> read a
        >> >> >> lot of commentaries on this book, McTaggart's is the one I stuck
        >> >> >> with. It's
        >> >> >> a good example of how a language barrier can actuallt help a
        >> text
        >> >> >> since it
        >> >> >> avoids what many German commentators tend to do, namely simply
        >> >> >> repeating
        >> >> >> difficult sections. And this is so far the only commentary I
        >> have
        >> >> >> read,
        >> >> >> which is really honest, simply stating "I find myself completly
        >> >> >> unable to
        >> >> >> understand this", when it's the case.
        >> >> >>
        >> >> >> Regards,
        >> >> >> Marco
        >> >> >>
        >> >> >> ----- Original Message -----
        >> >> >> From: "Robert Wallace" <bob@...>
        >> >> >> To: <neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com>
        >> >> >> Sent: Tuesday, June 26, 2012 8:16 PM
        >> >> >> Subject: Re: Re : [neoplatonism] Re: What are the One and the
        >> Nous
        >> >> >> for you?
        >> >> >>
        >> >> >> >
        >> >> >> > On Jun 26, 2012, at 11:45 AM, vaeringjar wrote:
        >> >> >> >>
        >> >> >> >>
        >> >> >> >> Ah, a main question! How do you get from One to many? :)
        >> >> >> >>
        >> >> >> > To which my answer would be: you don't. Not from One to a many
        >> >> which
        >> >> >> > is true or real in the same sense that the One is true or
        >> real.
        >> >> >> >
        >> >> >> >> And yes, is the One that has a two the same as the One
        >> itself?
        >> >> One
        >> >> >> >> of many vs the One.
        >> >> >> >>
        >> >> >> >> I think actually Speusippus handled this very elegantly, with
        >> >> his
        >> >> >> >> precision of language, or what I take to be very precise. He
        >> >> used
        >> >> >> >> the term 'plethos' - the concept of multiplicity. As a
        >> >> contrast to
        >> >> >> >> the One. Not that functionally - again, that word - it's much
        >> >> >> >> different from the Infinite Dyad - I think...be nice if we
        >> >> hadn't
        >> >> >> >> lost so much of Speusippus.
        >> >> >> >>
        >> >> >> > A very precise account is given by Hegel in the introductory
        >> >> section
        >> >> >> > of "Quantity" in his _Science of Logic_. As far as I know,
        >> >> there is
        >> >> >> > still no thorough commentary on this section. I covered a good
        >> >> >> deal of
        >> >> >> > it in my Hegel book.
        >> >> >> >
        >> >> >> > Best, Bob
        >> >> >> >
        >> >> >> >
        >> >> >> >>
        >> >> >> >> Dennis Clark
        >> >> >> >>
        >> >> >> >>
        >> >> >> >>
        >> >> >> >
        >> >> >> > Robert Wallace
        >> >> >> > website: www.robertmwallace.com
        >> >> >> > email: bob@...
        >> >> >> > phone: 414-617-3914
        >> >> >> >
        >> >> >> >
        >> >> >> >
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        >> >> >> >
        >> >> >> > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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        >> >> >> >
        >> >> >> > ------------------------------------
        >> >> >> >
        >> >> >> > Yahoo! Groups Links
        >> >> >> >
        >> >> >> >
        >> >> >> >
        >> >> >>
        >> >> >>
        >> >> >>
        >> >> >
        >> >> > Robert Wallace
        >> >> > website: www.robertmwallace.com
        >> >> > email: bob@...
        >> >> > phone: 414-617-3914
        >> >> >
        >> >> >
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        >> >> >
        >> >> > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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        >> >> >
        >> >> >
        >> >> > ------------------------------------
        >> >> >
        >> >> > Yahoo! Groups Links
        >> >> >
        >> >> >
        >> >> >
        >> >>
        >> >>
        >> >>
        >> >
        >> > Robert Wallace
        >> > website: www.robertmwallace.com
        >> > email: bob@...
        >> > phone: 414-617-3914
        >> >
        >> >
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        >> > ------------------------------------
        >> >
        >> > Yahoo! Groups Links
        >> >
        >> >
        >> >
        >>
        >>
        >>
        >
        > Robert Wallace
        > website: www.robertmwallace.com
        > email: bob@...
        > phone: 414-617-3914
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