Plotinus on Intellect (Hardback)
  • Plotinus on Intellect (Hardback)
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Plotinus on Intellect (Hardback)

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£83.00
Hardback 242 Pages / Published: 15/02/2007
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Plotinus (205-269 AD) is considered the founder of Neoplatonism, the dominant philosophical movement of late antiquity, and a rich seam of current scholarly interest. Whilst Plotinus' influence on the subsequent philosophical tradition was enormous, his ideas can also be seen as the culmination of some implicit trends in the Greek tradition from Parmenides, Plato, Aristotle, and the Stoics. Emilsson's in-depth study focuses on Plotinus' notion of Intellect, which comes second in his hierarchical model of reality, after the One, unknowable first cause of everything. As opposed to ordinary human discursive thinking, Intellect's thought is all-at-once, timeless, truthful and a direct intuition into 'things themselves'; it is presumably not even propositional. Emilsson discusses and explains this strong notion of non-discursive thought and explores Plotinus' insistence that this must be the primary form of thought. Plotinus' doctrine of Intellect raises a host of questions that Emilsson addresses. First, Intellect's thought is described as an attempt to grasp the One and at the same time as self-thought. How are these two claims related? How are they compatible? What lies in Plotinus' insistence that Intellect's thought is a thought of itself? Second, Plotinus gives two minimum requirements of thought: that it must involve a distinction between thinker and object of thought, and that the object itself must be varied. How are these two pluralist claims related? Third, what is the relation between Intellect as a thinker and Intellect as an object of thought? Plotinus' position here seems to amount to a form of idealism, and this is explored.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199281701
Number of pages: 242
Weight: 510 g
Dimensions: 240 x 160 x 20 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
A few years ago it would have been neccessary to begin this review by explaining, even to an erudite philosophical audience, who Plotinus was and why he had any important contribution to make to modern philosophy. Times are changing: recent discursive histories of the subject... all acknowledge Plotinus' historical significance and his charm. Emilsson's study will be of interest both to those already acquainted with his work and to those attracted to the topic by such recommendations... this is a welcome addition to the literature, much of which will be intelligible even to undergraduate student. * Stephen Clark, The Philosophical Quarterly *
Emilsson's thoughtful discussion is expressed in language that is, if not exactly colloquial, relaxed... This friendly and unassuming voice mitigates the fact that the topic is thorny even for a reader familiar with ancient philosophy and basics of the Neoplatonic worldview. Emilsson's study will hopefully, in time, soildify a statis as a classic work to refer by scholars writing not just on Plotinus, but on late ancient views on thinking, intellection, and knowledge. * Paulina Remes, Mind *
All Neoplatonic scholars will derive great benefit from E.'s thoughtful and mature treatment of some of the most intractable topics in Plotinus' philosophy. * John Bussanich, The Classical Review *
His work will no doubt be for many years to come a basic tool for all students of Plotinus' metaphysics and epistemology, but also for those interested in Neoplatonism as a philosophical set of doctrines articulated on a rational basis of occasionally gripping insightfulness. The book is well-produced and provided with useful and conveniently structure indices. * Paul Kalligas RHIZAI *
an extraordinary stimulating analysis of what is probably the most central and engaging aspect of Plotinus' metaphysics. * Andrew Smith, Bryn Mawr Classical Reviews *
Plotinian studies are currently flourishing...To this growing body of literature, E. K. Emilsson's Plotinus on Intellect is a most valuable addition. It addresses a main question in Plotinus' ontology, and it does so in the language of philosophy. Rather than remaining locked within the intricacies of Plotinus' system, in the manner of many a scholar working in the field, Emilsson is not afraid to stand back from the system...Emilsson is much to be congratulated for so seeking to extend Plotinus' appeal to a wider philosophical readership...The thesis itself and its varied ramifications are painstaking and lucidly argued for...Plotinus on Intellect is a well-produced book; typos are rare, references accurate and indices helpfully comprehensive...a fine work which deserves to become a point of reference for anyone working in the field. * Suzanne Stern-Gillett, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews *
...an extraordinarily stimulating analysis... * Bryn Mawr Reviews *

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