Plotinus on the Soul. Cambridge 2015; isbn 978-1-107-10595-9 hardback; pp xiii + 222; £67.Plotinus tells us at Ennead iv.8.1,23 ‘We are left with the divine Plato, who has said in many places in his works many noble things about the soul and its arrival here, so that we can hope for some clarity from him. So what does this philosopher say? It is clear that he does not always speak with sufficient consistency for us to make out his intentions with any ease’. The nature of the soul is an issue that the Platonist Plotinus grappled with throughout his active philosophical life in the seminars he held in Rome between AD244 and his death in 270. He wrote up the findings of these seminars from 254 onwards, and it is these writings that one of the members of the seminar group, Porphyry, edited in six groups of nine treatises (hence the name “Enneads”—“Nines”), which is the form in which they have come down to us. Of these 54 treatises the nine that Porphyry, included in Ennead iv deal exclusively with issues concerning the soul, and many of the others, such as i.1 and iii.6, are largely or partly devoted
International Journal of the Platonic Tradition – Brill
Published: Nov 3, 2017
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