Plotinus

(c. 205-70 ce)
   The traditional founder of Neoplatonism, Plotinus wrote many wide-ranging essays, which were posthumously collected and published in groups of nine as the Enneads by his disciple Porphyry. According to Plotinus, the One (God) transcends every human category, even number and being, preventing any cognition or speech about him. All reality proceeds from the One as a series of timeless emanations of descending order of being beginning with the highest emanation of Mind (Nous), the realm of Plato's Forms. Next is the level of soul, and then bodies, and finally primary matter, which is so low that it verges on the edge of non-being. Plotinus' ethics is focused on the Platonic desire for the human soul to escape embodiment and multiplicity and return to the unity of the One. Plotinus' system presents a number of deep conceptual difficulties including the challenge of explaining how derivative levels of being originate from the higher levels (for example, how matter derives from mind). Moreover, the transcendence of the One over all properties/concepts is not only difficult to grasp, but by definition it cannot be grasped, a fact that places the system out of the area of rational discourse and into the realm of mysticism. Plotinus' theory contradicts numerous Christian doctrines including the personal and triune nature of God. Nevertheless, Plotinus has exercised an enormous influence over much Christian philosophy.
   See Neoplatonism; Plato
   Further reading: Dufour 2002; Gerson 1994; O'Meara 1993; Plotinus 1956; Rist 1967

Christian Philosophy . . 2015.

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  • PLOTINUS — Philosophus Platonicus, Aegyptius natione, e civitate Lyco, discipulus Ammonii, Philosophi Christiani, praeceptor Porphyrii, Galieni, Taciti et Probi temporibus. Sub Philippo, Romae docuit, non Idololatras modo, sed et Christianos habens… …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale

  • Plotinus — [plō tī′nəs] A.D. 205 270; Rom. Neoplatonic philosopher, born in Egypt …   English World dictionary

  • Plotinus — Infobox Philosopher region = Western Philosophy era = Ancient philosophy color = #B0C4DE image size = 200px image caption = Plotinus name = Plotinus birth = 204, Lycopolis death = 270, Campania school tradition = Neoplatonism main interests =… …   Wikipedia

  • Plotinus — /ploh tuy neuhs/, n. A.D. 205? 270?, Roman philosopher, born in Egypt. * * * born AD 205, Lyco, or Lycopolis, Egypt? died 270, Campania Egyptian Roman philosopher. At age 27 he traveled to Alexandria, where he studied philosophy for 11 years. In… …   Universalium

  • Plotinus — Plotin Plotin (griechisch Πλωτίνος oder Πλωτῖνος/Plōtinos, * um 205 in Lykonpolis (heute Assiut) in Ägypten; † um 270 in Minturnae, Kampanien) war ein griechischer Philosoph; er gilt als der Hauptvertreter des Neuplatonismus …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Plotinus — (c. AD 205–270) The founder of Neoplatonism . Plotinus was born in Egypt. After study with the Alexandrian teacher Ammonius Saccus, he travelled in pursuit of wisdom to Persia, but eventually fled to Antioch and Rome in 244. Under the protection… …   Philosophy dictionary

  • Plotinus — (c. 205–70)    Philosopher.    Plotinus established an independent school of philosophy in Rome, Italy. He was himself of Egyptian origin, but he taught in Greek. He is remembered as the originator of the neo Platonist system. He believed in a… …   Who’s Who in Christianity

  • Plotinus — biographical name A.D. 205 270 Roman (Egyptian born) philosopher • Plotinian adjective …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Plotinus — See Neo Platonism …   History of philosophy

  • PLOTINUS —    an Alexandrian philosopher of the Neo Platonic school, born at Lycopolis, in Egypt; he taught philosophy at Rome, a system in opposition to the reigning scepticism of the time, and which based itself on the intuitions of the soul elevated into …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

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