- Neo-Platonism Eyjólfur K.Emilsson GENERAL INTRODUCTION Neo-Platonism is usually defined as the philosophy of Plotinus, who lived in the third century AD, and his followers in the pagan Graeco-Roman world in late antiquity. The most significant philosophers among these followers are Porphyry, Iamblichus and Proclus. In a more liberal sense the term ‘Neo-Platonic’ may be applied to all philosophers on whom these primary Neo-Platonists exerted considerable influence. It may thus be used so as to include Christian thinkers such as St Augustine, Boethius, Pseudo- Dionysius and John the Scot Erigena and of later people, Marsilio Ficino, Cusanus, Bruno and Cudworth, to name just a few. Neo-Platonism was the dominant philosophy in the Graeco-Roman world from the third century till the sixth, when the emperor Justinian closed the pagan schools. It survived even after this in Alexandria down to the Islamic conquest in 642. Plotinus taught in Rome, but eventually Neo- Platonism spread out in the Empire, especially in the East, with major centers for a while in Rome, Syria and Pergamum, and with long lasting traditions in Athens and Alexandria. Neo-Platonism was thus an active philosophy for about 400 years. As the last phase of pagan philosophy prevalent in the early centuries of Christianity, Neo-Platonism was the school of ancient philosophy which at first opposed and soon profoundly influenced Christian thought and theology.<sup>1</sup> Its later stages are characterized by the Aristotelian Neo-Platonist Greek commentators, who fall outside the span of this volume. But even the period from Plotinus in the third century AD to Proclus in the fifth provides a fairly long list of Neo-Platonic philosophers. Rather than commenting on every name—our knowledge of the doctrines of most of the thinkers involved is extremely limited in any case—I shall treat Plotinus, the greatest mind of all the Neo- Platonists, most extensively. In so doing I shall point out traits that are characteristic of Neo-Platonism generally. This will be followed by shorter accounts of Porphyry, Iamblichus and Proclus. The definition of Neo-Platonism given at the outset tells us of course nothing about philosophical content. Before attempting to give such an account, it may be helpful to have an outline of the background of Neo- Platonism in antiquity and an explanation of the term ‘Neo-Platonism’. Throughout antiquity there were thinkers, often quite different from each other, who claimed to be followers of Plato. Arguably, they were all right in maintaining such affiliation, for Plato’s thought is so rich that one can develop it in many directions. Platonic tradition in antiquity can be divided into four main types that correspond, at least roughly, to different periods. First comes the Old Academy, a metaphysically inclined school of thought which dominated in Plato’s Academy for the next few generations after Plato’s death. In the early third century BC scepticism became the prevailing view. This tendency lasted into the first century BC, when the Academy became dogmatic again with Antiochus of Ascalon, who blended his Platonism with a good deal of Stoicism. The period that follows till Plotinus (205–69/70) is usually called Middle Platonism.<sup>2</sup> Our knowledge about Platonic thinkers during this time is extremely fragmentary. Nevertheless, we know enough to affirm that there was considerable activity, by no means exclusively or even primarily in the Academy but at various places in the Hellenized world. In fact Middle Platonism is no unified school of thought, but a label put on various Platonically inspired thinkers at different places during this period. It is possible, nevertheless, to point out some general trends: Platonists have now become metaphysically oriented again, happily engaging in speculations about the ultimate principles and structure of the world. So in a way we see here a return to the kind of philosophy characteristic of the Old Academy but with important new features: the Middle Platonists generally show significant influence of other philosophical schools in terminology and even in doctrine. The Peripatetics are the most relevant here, but Stoic influence is by no means negligible. The authors Plutarch of Chaeronea and Apuleius (the author of the Golden Ass), who are better known for their non-philosophical writings, both wrote philosophical works and count as Middle Platonists. Among the philosophically most important of the Middle Platonists should be mentioned Albinus, author of Introduction to Plato’s Dialogues, and Alcinous. The latter, whom some scholars wish to identify with Albinus, wrote a work called the Didaskalikos, which in many respects is representative of Middle Platonism. Concurrently with Middle Platonism and not easily distinguishable from it there arose a movement of Neo-Pythagoreanism represented by such figures as Moderatus and Numenius. Their doctrines paved the way for Plotinus, who was in fact accused of plagiarizing from Numenius. Plotinus’ thought, and thereby the kind of philosophy that has come to be known as Neo-Platonism, grows out of this soil. It is even questionable whether Plotinus, who on all accounts is considered the founder of Neo- Platonism, really marks a breaking point in the history of Platonism. (As we shall see, this is not meant to downgrade his importance and originality.) For most of the supposedly characteristic elements of Neo- Platonism can be traced back to the Middle Platonists. Plotinus constitutes a historical milestone primarily because he synthesizes and in some respects carries further ideas already current. Nor should we forget that he is the first significant Platonist of his era who has left a large extant corpus. Even our meager sources suggest that a more complete picture of his Middle Platonist predecessors would reveal Plotinus as a great mind belonging to an already established mode of thought. Thus, Neo-Platonism, defined as a philosophical movement beginning with Plotinus, is a somewhat artificial notion. As with the names of so many other movements in the history of culture, ‘Neo-Platonism’ is an intellectual historian’s term of art, invented in modern times to describe the past. The philosophers involved surely did not think of themselves as Neo-Platonists. They would simply see themselves as Platonists, interpreters and followers of Plato’s philosophy. But so have many others thought of themselves both before and after Plotinus and his followers in antiquity. The main reason why historians have found it expedient to put a special label, ‘Neo-Platonists’, on these particular Platonists is that for a long time after the study of Plato’s dialogues was resumed in Europe during the Renaissance, the distinction between his thought and that of the late ancient Platonists, especially Plotinus and Proclus, tended to be blurred: Plato was generally seen from a Neo-Platonic viewpoint. Moreover, this attitude was often mixed with an effort to harmonize and even mix Platonism with Christianity. Gradually, however, it became evident that this view involved serious historical distortions. Not only did it turn out to be worth while to study Plato stripped of the outfit of the ancient Platonic tradition, not to mention Christianity, increasing historical awareness also suggested that many features foreign to Plato had infiltrated the minds of Plotinus and his successors. It was originally in a revolt against the historical errors of the total fusion of Plato and the late ancient Platonists that scholars began to distinguish sharply between the philosophy of Plato and that of Plotinus and his successors, calling the latter ‘Neo-Platonists’. Understandable as these motives are, the reaction was in some respects excessive: new historical errors and misunderstandings have separated Plato and the Neo-Platonists even further apart than is reasonable. The presence of Plato in the Neo-Platonists’ writings, which today is obvious to all serious students of both, faded into the background, whereas all sorts of other elements came to the fore: the Neo-Platonists’ alleged orientalism, superstition and philosophical eclecticism. Truly Platonic elements even went unnoticed in cases where they are, by hindsight, obvious. The most notorious example of this is scholarly views of the Neo-Platonic One (I shall have more to say about this shortly) about whose non-Platonic and even non-Greek origin there had been imaginative speculations, until in 1928 E.R. Dodds proved beyond any reasonable doubt that the One’s key features come right out of Plato’s Parmenides.<sup>3</sup> The fact is that as philosophers the Neo-Platonists are above all genuine Platonists and this must be the first guiding principle in the interpretation of their thought. But what sort of Platonists? It is sometimes said that Neo-Platonism is Plato without Socrates, meaning that the ethico-political side of Plato as well as Socratic ignorance with all its implications are largely absent in the Neo-Platonists. Their interests lie primarily in metaphysics and in the philosophy of nature and of Man as seen from the viewpoint of their metaphysics. In fact there are relatively few Platonic passages on which the Neo-Platonists build. The Timaeus enjoys a prominent position, presenting for the Neo-Platonists a picture of the world as a whole and its structure. Other much cited dialogues are the Parmenides (the second part), which was thought to present Plato’s theology (i.e. metaphysics or ontology)—the Neo-Pythagoreans mentioned above were the first to read the Parmenides in this way; the Republic, especially books V–VII and the myth of Er. To this may be added passages from the Symposium (Diotima’s speech), Phaedrus, Phaedo, Theaetetus, Philebus, the Sophist, the Laws and the first Alcibiades. The Neo-Platonists were convinced that Plato presents a coherent and true account of the reality. The problem is to understand him correctly, for often he expresses himself cryptically—according to the Neo-Platonists Plato’s myths contain important philosophical truths. In addition the tradition of Plato’s unwritten doctrines, i.e. Aristotle’s presentation of Plato’s principles and accounts of the celebrated lecture on the Good, play a role in the Neo-Platonists’ picture of Plato. Not that the tradition of the unwritten doctrines supersedes that of the dialogues; rather the dialogues are interpreted in the light of the ‘unwritten doctrines’. An example of this is the identification of the One and the Good as Plato’s highest principle. The Neo-Platonists could not fail to be influenced by the philosophical developments that took place in the Graeco-Roman world during the 600 years between Plato and Plotinus as well as by the intellectual climate of their day. In the third century AD it was impossible to talk about philosophy without some Stoic and Aristotelian accent, which had become a part of the language of philosophy itself. And however convinced a Platonist a late ancient philosopher may have been, he would of course use any tools available to him and compatible with his basic Platonic views to argue for and state his position. Thus, the Neo-Platonists’ position can be compared to that of, say, any sensible Marxist of today who uses whatever he finds useful in twentieth-century non-Marxist philosophy, sociology or economics, not attempting to transform himself into a nineteenth-century mind but, on the contrary, addressing the issues of the day. In any case, for the Neo-Platonists Aristotle was not a complete outsider. The late ancient Platonist attitudes towards him vary from hostility to a friendliness that would only befit a faithful fellow Platonist. Plotinus’ attitude may perhaps be expressed by saying that Aristotle was an aberrant Platonist who nevertheless is most useful. After Porphyry the dominant view came to be that in fact Plato and Aristotle were in essential agreement. Plato belonged to Athens, a small homogeneous city-state, where active participation in politics was expected of every free man; the Neo- Platonists, by contrast, belonged to the immense and multifarious Roman Empire. The general mood of the times, not only among the Neo-Platonists themselves who in due course did much to create the intellectual climate at least among the educated, was oriented inwards and upwards rather than out to the physical world and society. The rise of Christianity and the popularity of gnosticism and other kindred trends bear witness to this. All this helps to explain the Neo-Platonists’ lack of enthusiasm for Plato’s worldly ethics and political philosophy and preoccupation with the speculative aspects of his thought. How good an interpretation of Plato came out of all this? This is by no means an easy question to answer, if only because also today even fundamental aspects of Plato’s philosophy are debated. The Neo-Platonists did not have a sense of a development in Plato’s thought and they would give much greater weight to Plato’s myths and allegorical interpretations than most scholars today are willing to do. However, given that one’s task is to set forth systematic metaphysics out of the Platonic material the Neo- Platonists rely on, their results are not at all implausible, as can be seen from the fact that modern scholars who attempt to reconstruct systematic metaphysics out of Plato tend to come up with structures that have a good deal in common with Neo-Platonism, albeit admittedly not the whole thing. Plato is in any event a central figure in ancient philosophy: he brings together many ideas from previous Greek philosophy and puts a strong mark on subsequent ancient mainstream metaphysics, i.e. on the Aristotelian and the Stoic traditions in addition to the Platonic tradition itself. So Neo-Platonism as a philosophical movement concerned with Plato’s thought while being aware of and employing ideas from the other schools can be fruitfully seen as a culmination not only of Platonic but Greek metaphysical thought in general. In many cases Neo-Platonism takes to their extreme, to their logical conclusion one might even say, ideas already present in the tradition. The philosophical value of the movement lies not least in this play with the entire Greek tradition which results in a distinctive and, when at its best, quite sophisticated metaphysical thinking. Within the history of philosophy Neo-Platonism has a rather peculiar and in some respects an uncomfortable position. It lies on the border between antiquity and the Middle Ages, which constitute two separate fields of expertise whose focal points lie far from Neo-Platonism. The Neo- Platonists’ writings also tend to make difficult reading, even for philosophical works. This is not only because their works may present views that are in themselves difficult to grasp, but also and no less because the Neo-Platonists incorporate and presuppose so much of the previous Greek tradition in their writings that no Neo-Platonic text is intelligible without prior familiarity with this tradition. The result of all this is that the Neo-Platonists are usually not given much attention in the standard philosophy curriculum. Furthermore, the prevailing trends in twentiethcentury philosophy, especially in the English-speaking world, have on the whole been unsympathetic towards Neo-Platonism, which is seen to exhibit many signs of corrupt philosophy: uncontrolled rationalistic metaphysical speculation combined with faith in an authority (who is moreover misunderstood); to this are added the sins of mysticism, occultism and superstition. Even if genuine progress has been made in Neo-Platonic studies in recent years, the image of the Neo-Platonist as a thinker engaged in ‘wild fancy’ seems to linger on. While there are certainly passages that make some of these charges understandable, the Neo-Platonists’ reputation as philosophers has in general been lower than they deserve. And whatever one thinks of their philosophy, the Neo-Platonists have had an immense influence not only on the history of philosophy but also in the history of art, literature and science. Richard Wallis hardly exaggerates when he writes that ‘a survey of Neo-Platonism’s influence threatens to become little less than a cultural history of Europe and the Near East down to the Renaissance, and on some points far beyond’.<sup>4</sup> At the end of this chapter I shall briefly take up the issue of the influence of Neo-Platonism. PLOTINUS, THE MASTER THINKER OF NEOPLATONISM LIFE AND WRITINGS We are lucky to have a fairly reliable account of Plotinus’ life and writings. His student, friend and editor, Porphyry, composed a biography, On the Life of Plotinus and the Order of His Books (hereafter Life) which prefaced his posthumous edition of Plotinus’ writings. Plotinus was born in 204/5, probably in Lycopolis in Egypt, though this piece of information does not come from Porphyry. About his ethnic origin nothing is known, but he wrote in Greek. At the age of 28 Plotinus began his philosophical studies in Alexandria under a certain Ammonius (often called Ammonius Saccas), with whom he studied for about eleven years. In an attempt to acquaint himself with the philosophy of Persia and India, he joined the emperor Gordian on a campaign against the Persians. Gordian was murdered on the way and Plotinus escaped with difficulty. He settled in Rome at the age of 40, where he established a school. He stayed in Rome for the rest of his life except during his final illness, when he retired to Campania. Few ancient philosophers have left a larger extant corpus than Plotinus and we probably possess everything he wrote. His works are treatises that vary greatly in length and scope. Some are only a few pages dealing with a specific question, while others are extensive writings. Porphyry arranged the treatises according to subject matter into six sets of nine treatises, i.e. six ‘enneads’. In order to arrive at this division he had to split some treatises, for example IV.3–5, The Problems of Soul, which originally was a single treatise. The order is supposed to be pedagogical, starting with the easier and proceeding to the more difficult. Thus, Porphyry included in the first Ennead treatises that deal with ethical matters. In the second and third he put treatises dealing with the physical universe. The fourth is about soul and the fifth about intellect and the doctrine of the three principal hypostases. Porphyry does not say explicitly which subject the sixth Ennead is supposed to cover, but apparently it is meant to be being and the One. In any case, Porphyry’s arrangement according to subject matter is an approximate one, partly because he is forcing the material to meet his principles of division, partly because many of Plotinus’ treatises do not readily fall under one, or even two, headings.<sup>5</sup> Plotinus’ treatises grew out of discussions in his school. These discussions would often be concerned with exegesis of some text or other. Plotinus used to have commentaries on Plato and Aristotle read in the school (Life, 14). The object of reading these would be to arrive at a correct understanding of the relevant primary text. Thus, more often than not, Plotinus’ writings are interpretations of some Platonic text or doctrine, sometimes involving refutations of rival interpretations. However, he did not follow the standard procedures of the writing of commentaries. Porphyry says that he did not speak straight out of the books that were read in his seminars ‘but took a distinctive personal line in his consideration, and brought the mind of Ammonius to bear on the investigations in hand’ (Life, 14, 14–16). Of Plotinus’ manner of writing Porphyry informs us that when Plotinus wrote he did so continuously as if he was copying from a book and that owing to bad eyesight he could not bear to read over what he had written (Life, 8). All this suggests that the style of Plotinus’ lectures and writings was quite unconventional. So far as his writings are concerned we can confirm that so they are indeed. Already in antiquity people complained that he was difficult to follow (Life, 17– 18). He was sometimes accused of being ‘a big driveller’, sometimes a plagiarist (Life, 17). Porphyry’s account of Plotinus’ style and manner of philosophizing aims to show that such accusations are unjustified. Plotinus is sometimes described as a systematic philosopher who never reveals his whole system in an organized way and that the system must be inferred from bits and pieces here and there in his writings. Another common dictum is that every one of his treatises presupposes all the rest and the whole system. Even if there is something to these claims and a more organized comprehensive view lies behind Plotinus’ writings than meets the eye, Plotinus’ mind is not that of the rigid system-builder. In this he is different from Proclus and even Porphyry. Plotinus has perhaps been seen as more of a system-builder than he really is because many features of later Neo-Platonists’ systems can be detected by the benefit of hindsight in Plotinus’ works. Plotinus’ philosophical genius consists rather in the combination of sensitivity and shrewdness with which he addresses the problems inherent in his tradition. The result is that after him this tradition was transformed. PLOTINIAN METAPHYSICS A characteristic of Plotinus’ philosophy and Neo-Platonism generally is a division of reality into hierarchically ordered stages or levels, so-called ‘hypostases’. The following list presents the main levels of the Plotinian hierarchy, which was essentially taken over by the later Neo-Platonists though certain details may have varied. The One (the Good) Being—Intellect—Platonic Ideas Soul The World-Soul—Individual Souls Organisms Bodies Matter Why should reality be structured in this way? In order to answer this question let us first point out some affinities with earlier Greek thought. From the outset Greek philosophers were engaged in explaining the world of everyday experience in terms of some underlying nature: Thales proposed water, Anaximander some indeterminate nature, Plato the Ideas and so forth. In general the Greek philosophers took a strong realist position with regard to their explanatory postulates—principles (archai) as they came to be called. Not only were the principles supposed to exist, but frequently they were supposed to be more real, to exist in some fuller sense, than that which they were meant to explain. The Neo-Platonic One, Intellect, Soul are principles in this traditional sense. With certain qualifications, to be explained below, so is matter. Inorganic bodies, organisms and their functions, and human consciousness and experiences are phenomena to be accounted for in terms of the principles. We can even readily identify the sources of the Neo-Platonic principles in previous Greek thought:<sup>6</sup> the One (the Good) is founded on Platonic passages such as the first hypothesis of the Parmenides and the Idea of the Good in the Republic. In formulating his theory about it Plotinus also draws on Parmenides of Elea himself, the Pythagoreans, Speusippus and Xenocrates, all of whom posited a One as an ultimate principle. Intellect, as the sphere of being and the Ideas, has its source in Plato of course but also in Aristotle, especially Metaphysics 12, where God is described as a pure intellectual activity. Soul as a cosmological principle comes primarily from Plato’s Timaeus. Plotinus’ notion of matter is a combination of the receptacle of forms in the Timaeus and Aristotle’s notion of matter. The three first principles, the One, Intellect and Soul, comprise together the intelligible world (though, as we shall see, the One is not strictly speaking intelligible). Like Plato, Plotinus works with a fundamental dichotomy between the intelligible and the sensible. The intelligible world is distinguished from the sensible world primarily by being non-spatial; it is also the sphere of the real (in the sense of being what it is in virtue of itself), whereas in Plotinus’ view nothing in the sensible world counts as real in this sense. So the Neo-Platonic hierarchy is a hierarchy of principles. But a host of questions remains: Why do the principles assume a hierarchical form? What are the distinguishing features of each level? Why exactly these principles? How are the levels related to one another? The answer to the first question is that once we have distinguished between what is to be accounted for and a principle that explains it, questions may arise about the principle itself: the principle itself may turn out to have features that stand in need of an explanation and a further principle must then be postulated to account for the one we encountered first. This process may go on until we come up with a principle which needs no further explanation, a principle about which no further questions can be asked. For the Neo-Platonists this ultimate principle is the One. The Neo-Platonists generally assume that the explanatory principles themselves must have the features they explain. For instance Soul, which is the principle of life in the sensible realm, is itself alive. Moreover, the principles ideally have these features in such a way that it is pointless to ask why they have them. The principle possesses of itself what other things possess as an imposed feature and hence one that requires explanation. Plotinus frequently expresses this by saying of a principle that it is such and such in itself (en heautôi), whereas other things have the same feature as in another (en allôi). This corresponds roughly to what in modern philosophy is expressed in terms of necessary and contingent properties. The notion that the principles have of themselves the features they explain in others is of course implicit or explicit in much of previous Greek thought: for example the Platonic Ideas are themselves primary instances of what other things are in virtue of them—the Idea of beauty is beautiful par excellence. Let us call this assumption the Principle of the Self-Sufficiency of the Cause. The Neo-Platonic hierarchy is above all a hierarchy of degrees of unity: each level has a characteristic kind of unity with the One on top as the absolutely simple stage which, by the Principle of the Self-Sufficiency of the Cause, is the cause of all other unity there is and thereby, in fact, the cause of everything else whatsoever. Why should unity be such an important concept? Once again Plotinus is drawing on the previous Greek tradition and interpreting the facts in light of it. Unity had been a key concept in the tradition from the Pythagoreans and the Eleatics to Aristotle and the Old Academy: unity is what distinguishes between an entity and a non-entity. Plotinus accepts Aristotle’s view that being and unity are coextensive: to be is to be one thing, to be unified, and the more ‘one’ something is the more of a being it is. The most striking feature of the world of everyday experience is in fact the unity of it as a whole and of individual objects, especially living things, in it. The organization, regularity and beauty that is evident in the world of everyday experience— all these may be said to express its unity—cannot be explained in terms of its constituent parts. The latter are what is unified and their unity is an imposed feature which must come from elsewhere. The unity revealed in the sensible world is far from perfect but it gives the sensible world the reality it has. The same may be said of our experiences of ourselves: introspection shows that the human soul has a more perfect kind of unity than anything pertaining to the body, although even the soul does not have unity of itself (IV.2 (4) 2; IV.7. (2) 6–7). Thus, our everyday experiences, both of the external world and our mental life, point beyond themselves to a higher level of reality which is its principle. This process of going upwards from everyday phenomena to their principles reminds us of and in fact draws on Plato’s dialectic as described for instance in the Symposium and the Republic. There are many instances of such spiritual ascent in the Enneads. The most famous one is Plotinus’ first treatise, On Beauty, 1.6, where he builds on Diotima’s speech in the Symposium. This treatise has been extremely influential in art, especially during the Renaissance. The ascent from the beauty of corporeal things to the Beautiful itself is as one would expect interpreted in terms of the Plotinian hierarchy and general doctrine of spiritual ascent. Interestingly, he deviates from Plato’s views of the arts as expressed in the Republic in that for Plotinus art does not imitate nature but operates in parallel with nature (I.6.3; V.8 (31) 1). Thus, the artist uses the intelligible world directly and expresses it in sensible form. The artist’s status is thereby elevated to that of a micro-demiurge instead of being a maker of shadows of shadows. Other treatises where spiritual ascent is prominent are 1.3 (20), On Dialectic, V.1, On the Three Primary Hippostases (10) and On the Knowing Hypostaseis V.3 (4). In IV.7 (4), On the Soul’s Immortality, Plotinus argues against rival views on the nature of the soul and attempts to prove its independence of the body and kinship with a higher realm. This is one of Plotinus’ most accessible treatises and shows how he thinks everyday natural phenomena point to transcendent causes. Leaving the intermediate stages aside for the moment, the Principle of the Self-Sufficiency of the Cause together with the claim that everything presupposes unity, leads to the highest principle, the One. The doctrine of the One, even if foreshadowed by the tradition before Plotinus, is presumably his most significant contribution. His Aristotelizing predecessors such as Alcinous and Numenius believed in a simple first principle, but, like Aristotle, they thought that this simple principle was an intellect of some sort. As we have seen, in Plotinus the level below the One is an intellect which is characterized by a high degree of unity. Nevertheless, Plotinus maintains, any intellect involves plurality: there is plurality in thought because there is at least a conceptual distinction between the thought and its object, and what is thought is in any case varied (cf. for example V.3.10.). So the One is not an intellect. The One is both absolutely simple and unique—i.e. there can at most be one absolutely simple principle (V.4 (7) 1)—and it involves no variation or limitation. From this it follows that the One cannot be positively described. It cannot be grasped by thought or known in its true nature, since any thought of it distorts in so far as the thought is bound to be composite. It is not even appropriate to say of the One that it is, or that it is one, since such expressions indicate something unified rather than the absolutely simple nature which gives unity to whatever is unified (VI.9.5). Nevertheless, it is possible to approach the One and even become one with it in a kind of noncognitive union, a ‘vision’ which escapes all description (VI.9 (9) 8–11). On account of this doctrine of a union with the ultimate principle, a union which transcends conceptualization, Plotinus has been called a mystic. It must however be said that this ‘mystical union’ does not play a major role in his writings. Even if there are precedents for a supreme formal principle in Plotinus’ tradition, most of his predecessors would postulate in addition other ultimate principles. Thus, Aristotle posits both form and matter and it seems that Plato too, in the Philebus and according to Aristotle’s account, posits in addition to a formal, unifying principle an independent principle of plurality. In Plotinus and the other Neo-Platonists this is different. Even if the lower levels in his hierarchy function in fact as principles of multiplicity —we shall see in greater detail below precisely how—all these lower levels derive from the One. In this sense Plotinus is an unwavering monist. Intellect, the level below the One, is the realm of the Platonic Ideas and of real being—by which is meant that which is what it is in virtue of itself, not through something else. Historically the Plotinian Intellect is the unification of Aristotle’s God from Metaphysics 12 (identified with the demiurge of Plato’s Timaeus), the active intellect of On the Soul 3, 4–6 and the realm of the Platonic Ideas. The identification of the realm of the Ideas with real being is straightforward, provided that one believes in Platonic Ideas, for by definition each Idea is perfectly and of itself that which it causes in others. More problematic is the identification of the Ideas with a divine intellect. Plotinus finds historical support for such a view in Plato’s Sophist where the Ideas are said to have intelligence and life, and in Aristotle’s views of God: God is an Intellect and at the same time the supreme being or substance, i.e. it is in virtue of being pure thought of himself that God is pure actuality, and being pure actuality God has a fuller being than anything else, is more real. But what philosophical motivation lies behind placing the Ideas within a divine Intellect? An important question Platonists face is how to describe the relation between the demiurge and his intelligible model in the Timaeus in precise philosophical terms. In treatise V.5(32), That the Ideas are not Outside the Intellect and on the One, Plotinus discusses this question and gives several arguments for the view that the Ideas are indeed internal to the divine intellect. Of these arguments the philosophically most interesting one is an argument to the effect that if the Ideas are outside the Intellect, the latter’s knowledge of them must be acquired, i.e. the Intellect will receive only an impression of the Idea, not the Idea itself; but the Ideas are the standards of judgment and if the Intellect does not possess these standards previously, it will lack the necessary means of recognizing the impression of each Idea for what it is. So, if the Intellect does not essentially contain the Ideas as its thoughts, its knowledge and wisdom become problematic: an unacceptable conclusion since it is agreed that the divine intellect has supreme knowledge. These ideas are further developed in V.3(49) where there emerges a picture of the Intellect as really identical with, though conceptually distinct from, the objects of its thought, the Ideas. The Intellect’s thought is described as self-thought and its knowledge as a kind of self-knowledge. At the same time this self-thought is the Ideas and real being. In his account of this Plotinus makes use of the Aristotelian view that God is an Intellect and also what is supremely real, a substance par excellence: only a self-contained thought is fully actual, pure actuality. But Plotinus goes far beyond Aristotle not only in identifying the thoughts of the Intellect with the Ideas but also in his use of this doctrine. For him, the identification of real being with a divine intellect means that there is a level of reality where knowledge and being, epistemology and ontology, coincide. This he takes to be a necessary condition of the possibility of knowledge. We mentioned above that Intellect is characterized by a greater unity than the sensible world.<sup>7</sup> Intellect is non-spatial and non-temporal and hence free from the dispersion that has to do with space and time. (It follows from this that talk of ‘above’ and ‘below’, ‘first’ and ‘after’ in connection with the hypostases is of course merely metaphorical.) Secondly, the part-whole relations in Intellect are such that not only does the whole contain its parts, the whole is also implicit in each of the parts (cf. for example VI.2.20). Thirdly, as we have noted there is not a real distinction between subject and attribute on the level of Intellect. It is replaced by the notion of intellectual substance and its activity (energeia), which is identical with the substance. Much of this doctrine about the relationships between the items on the level of Intellect is founded on interpretations and suggestions in Plato’s late dialogues. Plotinus takes the five greatest kinds of the Sophist, being, sameness, difference, motion and rest, as the highest genera of his ontology. Each of these is at once distinct and presupposes and is interwoven with all the others. Together they constitute the Intellect or the Intelligible substance and particular Ideas are generated from them as species from higher genera. The integrity of Intellect implies that Intellect’s thought, Intellect’s self-thought as we have seen, is in some ways different from ordinary thought: it employs neither inferences nor words; its objects which are at the same time its vehicles are the very things themselves, the prototypes and causes of which everything else, whether natural phenomena or lower modes of human thought, are inferior manifestations. Soul is the level below Intellect.<sup>8</sup> On account of the multiplicity of its functions Soul is in some ways the most complex of the Plotinian hypostases and conceptually the least unified one. The historical sources of Plotinus’ notion of soul are primarily Plato, above all the Timaeus, but Plotinus’ psychology also reveals strong Aristotelian and Stoic influences. We shall have more to say about human psychology later in connection with Plotinus’ views on Man and the remarks here are intended primarily to give an outline of the place of soul within the system. The hypostasis Soul is the intelligible level that is directly responsible for the sensible world. Thus, everything below the level of soul is its product: matter itself, inorganic bodies, ordinary living things, including the sensible cosmos itself, which according to the Neo-Platonists as well as Plato and the Stoics is a supreme organism. Certain difficulties arise precisely on account of Soul’s close relationship with the sensible. In the first place, how can soul cause the extended sensible world, administer it and, in fact, ensoul it without thereby coming to share in its extended nature? How could soul operate here and also there without being divisible into spatially distinct parts? If it is divided, its intelligible status will be lost or at least seriously threatened. This difficulty is increased by the fact that according to common and deeply ingrained opinion soul is present in the bodies it ensouls. Plato in the Timaeus even speaks of the soul of the world as extending throughout it. Plotinus was deeply disturbed by these and other puzzles having to do with the soul’s relationship with the sensible realm as is shown by the fact that he returns to them repeatedly. Plotinus finds it necessary to make certain distinctions within the level of soul. There is the hypostasis Soul, which remains in the intelligible realm, and there is the World-Soul and the souls of individuals, the latter two being on the same level (IV.3.1–8). Plotinus further distinguishes within the two latter types of soul between a higher and a lower soul, corresponding to a distinction between soul directly operating through a body and soul not so operating (this distinction coincides with the distinction between rational and non-rational soul). These distinctions are useful for other purposes, but surely do not solve the real philosophical difficulties about the soul’s relation to the sensible realm. For if the sensible realm is caused and administered by something belonging to the intelligible realm something of the intelligible order must stain itself in the mud, as it were. Nor does Plotinus think, at least not when he is at his best, that creating new levels will help solve this problem. One solution he frequently suggests and argues for, mainly from facts about the unity of consciousness in sensation, is that the soul is present as a whole at every point of the body it ensouls. Thereby it can be at different places without being divided. Its being so present as a whole in different parts of space shows its different ontological status from that of bodies which have numerically distinct spatial parts (see for example IV.2.2). Another account, however, presents soul as not present in body at all, but rather the reverse, body as present to soul: body is in soul somewhat as bodies may be said to be in light or in heat; they thereby become illuminated or warm without (in Plotinus’ view) dividing or affecting the source of light or heat in any way. Similarly, bodies become ensouled, alive, in virtue of presence to soul (IV.3.22; IV.4. 18). The treatises VI.4 and VI.5(21–2), On the Ubiquitous Presence of Being (which constitute a single treatise), contain what is perhaps Plotinus’ subtlest account of the relation between the sensible and the intelligible along these lines. In connection with Plotinus’ views on Soul mention should be made of the strange doctrine that all souls are one, that all souls are identical with the hypostasis Soul (and by implication with one another). The Neo- Platonists after Porphyry rejected this doctrine but Plotinus maintains it consistently and attaches considerable importance to it (IV.9 (8), VI.4.4; IV. 3.1–8 (27)). Plotinus is clearly aware that the doctrine sounds strange and he himself seems not altogether at ease in maintaining it. So one may wonder why he considers it necessary to do so. Such a doctrine however seems to be implied by the combination of two Plotinian doctrines that we have just mentioned: the soul’s membership in the intelligible realm (or the realm of real being) and the integrity of that realm. The upshot of the treatises VI.4–5 is that if being is indivisible, and what participates in being therefore participates in it as a whole, and if the so-called presence of soul in extension is just another way of looking at such participation, then the whole of soul must presumably be present to whatever any soul is present to. In other words, the doctrine of the unity of soul can be seen as just a special case of the indivisibility of being. Above we mentioned that Intellect is outside space and time. In III.7 (45), On Eternity and Time, Plotinus states his views on time. Developing his own view from the account in Plato’s Timaeus, Plotinus offers interesting and powerful criticisms of the views of Aristotle, the Stoics and the Epicureans. He defines eternity as ‘the life which belongs to that which is and is in that which is, all together and full, completely without extension or interval’ (III.7.3, 36–8) and time he defines as ‘the life of soul in the movement of passage from one mode of life to another’ (III.7.11, 43– 5). Thus, time comes in at the level of soul as the ‘image of eternity’. This means that the soul, in producing the sensible world, unfolds in successive stages what is present all together and without interval at the level above. Plotinus’ doctrine of time had deep impact in the West, for it influenced both St Augustine and Boethius. The lowest level in the Plotinian hierarchy is matter.<sup>9</sup> Plotinian matter is like the One in that it permits no positive characterization, but for exactly the opposite reasons: the One is, one might say, so full, so perfect that it eludes any positive description; matter, on the contrary, is such on account of its utter privation, lack of being. It is the receptacle or substrate of immanent bodily forms, such as colors, shapes and sizes. Physical objects, bodies, are composites of matter and such immanent forms. Matter itself is not subject to change but underlies change: as forms come and go matter remains unaffected (III.6 (26)). It is as such imperceptible but reason convinces us of its existence as a purely negatively characterized substrate of forms. Since matter is what underlies all forms of bodies, it might be tempting to identify it with space or with mass. Plotinus considers this and rejects it. The three-dimensionality of space presupposes local determination and all mass contains form, but matter is totally indeterminate and without form (II.4 (12) 8–12). Nevertheless, matter is the principle of spatial extension in that the dispersion characteristic of space is due to matter (II.4.11–12) 1–12). So matter is a principle in the sense that it is necessary to explain plurality, though it is not a principle of being in Plotinus’ sense. In this brief account of the Plotinian hierarchy every now and then mention has been made of the relationships between the stages: we have noted for instance that a given level is somehow ‘produced’ by one above it. It remains, however, to address this topic generally. Plotinus and the other Neo-Platonists use Plato’s language of participation: a lower level participates in a higher one and thereby comes to have the character of the latter. They also use Plato’s language of model, imitation and image to the same affect. What is new in Neo-Platonism in this regard is the so-called emanation—a term that has found its way into just about every survey of Neo-Platonism, however brief. Plotinus frequently uses the analogies of the sun and the light it radiates, fire and heat and the like to illustrate how a higher hypostasis generates a lower. Sometimes he uses metaphors from the language of water (‘to flow out’ etc.). The later Neo-Platonists speak of ‘procession’ from the higher to the lower. Thus, the Neo-Platonists frequently describe the production of the lower in terms of some kind of process originating in the higher. The term ‘emanation’ may however mislead in so far as it suggests that the cause spreads itself out. The Neo- Platonists on the contrary consistently maintain that the cause always remains unaffected and loses nothing by giving away. In Plotinus there is sometimes an explicit and often an implicit distinction drawn between an ‘internal activity’ and an ‘external activity’ (cf. e.g V.3.12; V.4.2). This distinction runs through every Plotinian cause down to soul and is crucial for an understanding of causation in the Plotinian system. Keeping in mind what was said above about the identity of a substance with its activity (energeia), the internal activity will be the same as the thing itself. In terms of the light analogy the inner act is whatever the source of light, considered in itself and as a source of light, is doing. The external act is this same entity as operating in something else, causing the brightness on the wall for instance. It is illuminating to compare this with Aristotle’s account of actualization.<sup>10</sup> When a teacher, who actually knows something, teaches a pupil what he knows, the teacher is producing an effect in another without being cut off from that other (cf. Physics 3, 202b7–8). The events of teaching and learning are in fact one and the same event, though different in definition. Plotinus applies and transforms these ideas: the external act, the effect in another, becomes an inferior image or expression of the original, an image which nevertheless is not cut off from its cause, because the image still depends on the activity of the cause. It makes the matter still more complicated that the Neo-Platonists speak not only of a process from the cause but also of a reversion (epistrophê) of the produced towards its source. It is clear that the analogies from everyday physical phenomena mentioned above are no longer of any help here: the light on the wall surely does not have to return to the sun. In any event the Neo-Platonists thought that some kind of reversion is needed whereby the product is informed by the source in order for the product to be complete (see for example V.1, 5–7 and Proclus, Elements of Theology (hereafter ET), props. 31–9). The outward process and the reversion are not temporal processes and hence neither is temporally prior to the other. Nor does reversion mean ‘reunion’—in that case nothing new would come about. Rather it seems that the Neo-Platonists thought that the outward process distinguishes the product from the original whereas the reversion establishes their identity, which however is not complete since what assumes the character of the source in the reversion is something which by proceeding is already other than the source (6, 130–5). As the Neo- Platonists do not posit any kind of pre-existent matter as the recipient of form, what gets informed must come from the informing cause. Thus, the outgoing aspect functions as a material principle, the returning aspect as the informing of the material principle. This structure of process from a source which remains in itself unaffected and then a reversion, an inclination back towards the source, pervades the system. Only at the very lowest level, that of matter and immanent sensible forms, is there no generation, which of course is another way of saying that we have reached the bottom. So what is the external activity of the One becomes the internal activity of Intellect, which in turn has Soul as its external activity. The internal activity of a generated hypostasis consists of thought of its source, a reversion. We may visualize the system as a hierarchy where each stage below the One is an expression or a mirror image of its cause, revealing a more ‘unfolded’ and thereby, in the Neo-Platonists’ view, causally weaker version of it—‘unfolding’ is one of Plotinus’ favorite metaphorical expressions. So in a way the same items exist on every level: the One is everything there is, but in such a unified form that no distinctions are to be found. Likewise, Intellect and Soul, and finally the physical world contain everything there is. PLOTINUS’ VIEWS ON MAN Plotinus’ attitude towards the sensible world and to human life within it is somewhat ambivalent. While constantly emphasizing its low worth as compared with the higher realms, he does not consider it totally evil or worthless. In all essentials his view is the same as Plato’s in the middle dialogues. First I shall present an outline of the picture and then take up certain aspects in greater detail. Man is identified with his higher soul, reason (I.1(53) 7, etc.). The soul is distinct from the body and survives it: it is essentially a member of the intelligible realm and has a source in Intellect on which it constantly depends. This undescended source is sometimes described as the real man and our true self. However, as a result of the communion with the body and through it with the sensible world, human beings may also identify themselves with the body and the sensible. Thus, Man stands on the border between two worlds, the sensible and the intelligible. Our existential choice is about which of the two we identify ourselves with. Philosophy is the means of purification and intellectual vision. As noted above it is possible, however, to ascend beyond the level of philosophy and arrive at a mystical reunion with the source of all, the One. In contrast with the post- Porphyrian Neo-Platonists, who maintained theurgy as an alternative, Plotinus stands firmly with classical Greek rationalism in holding that philosophical training and contemplation are the means by which we can ascend to the intelligible realm. The most noteworthy feature of Plotinus’ psychology is perhaps his use of Aristotelian machinery to defend what is unmistakably Platonic dualism (17; 21). We find him for instance using the Aristotelian distinctions between reason, sense-perception and vegetative soul much more than the tripartition of Plato’s Republic. He employs the notions of power and act, and sense-perception is described in Aristotelian terms as the reception of the form of the object perceived. However he never slavishly follows Aristotle and one should expect some modifications even where Plotinus sounds quite Aristotelian. Sense-perception in Plotinus is an interesting case of how he can be original while relying on tradition.<sup>11</sup> He sees sense-perception as the soul’s internalization of something external and extended. This involves grave difficulties: on the one hand, the external physical object must evidently somehow affect the percipient, if there is to be perception of that object; on the other hand, action of a lower level on a higher is generally ruled out and a genuine affection of the soul is in any case objectionable because the soul is not subject to change. So Plotinus sees sense-perception as involving the crossing of an ontological gap between the sensible and the intelligible. In formulating this problem his dualism becomes sharper and in some respects closer to modern Cartesian dualism than anything we find in Plato or previous ancient thinkers.<sup>12</sup> His solution to the problem is clever even if it is questionable whether it succeeds in all respects: what is affected from the outside is an ensouled sense-organ, not the soul itself. This affection of the sense-organ is however not the perception itself but rather something like a mere preconceptual sensation; the perception proper belongs to the soul and consists in a judgment (krisis) of the external object. This judgment does not constitute a genuine change in the soul for it is an actualization of a power already present. Plotinus contrasts sense-perception as a form of cognition with Intellect’s thought which is the paradigm and source of all other forms of cognition. Sense-perception is in fact a mode of thought but obscure (VI.7 (38) 7). This is so apparently because the senses do not grasp the ‘things themselves’, the thoughts on the level of Intellect, but mere images. Since they are images they also fail to reveal the grounds of their being and necessary connections. This is Plotinus’ version of the view that considered in themselves facts about the sensible world appear contingent. In the treatise 1.8 (51), On What Are and Whence Come Evils, Plotinus discusses at length questions concerning evil, a topic also brought up in many other treatises. The intelligible world is perfect and totally selfsufficient. The sensible world, which is imperfect and contains evil, is a reflection of the former and contains nothing which does not have its origins there. It is therefore puzzling how evil can have arisen: can it be caused by what is perfect? Plotinus argues that evil as such does exist and he identifies it with matter, understood as total formlessness. Being total formlessness matter is in a sense nothing, and hence evil; even if it exists, it is not an entity. In Plotinus’ view the existence of absolute evil is required by the fact that the Good exists. Matter is to be understood as the contrary of the Good in the sense that it is that which is furthest removed from it and which thus is characterized by all the opposite features. Matter, as the negation of unity and being, is absolute evil. Other things such as bodies are evil in a relative way according to the extent of their participation in matter. The goal of human life is the soul’s liberation from the body and concerns with the sensible realm and reunion with the unchanging intelligible world. In outline this seems to be approximately the doctrine of Plato’s Phaedo. But there are interesting elaborations. Plato affirms the soul’s kinship with the Ideas on the ground that without such kinship it would be unable to know them. Plotinus agrees and presents an account of the nature of this kinship which goes beyond what can be found in Plato. As we have seen the whole realm of Ideas is for Plotinus the thought of Intellect and the human soul has a counterpart in Intellect, a partial mind which in fact is the true self on which the soul depends. This has two interesting consequences for the doctrine of spiritual ascent: first, the ascent may be correctly described as the search after oneself and, if successful, as true self-knowledge, as fully becoming what one essentially is.<sup>13</sup> Second, on account of Plotinus’ doctrine about the interconnectedness of Intellect as a whole, this gain of self-knowledge and self-identity would also involve knowledge of the realm of Ideas as a whole. Plotinus’ views on classical Greek ethical topics such as virtue and happiness are determined by his general position that intellectual life is the true life and Man’s proper goal. The treatise 1.2(19) is devoted to the virtues. Plotinus’ main objective here is to reconcile apparent discrepancies in Plato’s teaching. In this case it is the doctrine of the four cardinal virtues in the Republic, the doctrine of the Phaedo according to which virtue is the soul’s purification, and the view suggested in Theaetetus that the virtues assimilate us to the divine. Plotinus distinguishes between political virtues, purgative virtues and the archetypes of the virtues at the level of Intellect. These form a hierarchy of virtues. This classification is taken up and elaborated by Porphyry in the Sententiae (see p. 376 below). The function of the political virtues (the lowest grade) is to give order to the desires. The question arises whether the political virtues can be said to assimilate us to God (which for Plotinus is Intellect), for the divine does not have any desires that must be ordered and hence, it would seem, cannot possess the political virtues. Plotinus’ answer is that although God does not possess the political virtues, there is something in God answering to them and from which they are derived. Further, the similarity that holds between a reflection and the original is not reciprocal. Thus, the political virtues may be images of something belonging to the divine without the divine possessing the political virtues as such. The first Ennead contains two treatises dealing with happiness or wellbeing (eudaimonia): 1.4(46), On Happiness and 1.5(36), On Whether Happiness Increases with Time. In the former treatise Plotinus argues against the Epicurean view that happiness consists in pleasure, a sensation of a particular sort. One can be happy without being aware of it. He also rejects the Stoic account of happiness as rational life. His own position is that happiness applies to life as such, not to a certain sort of life. There is a supremely perfect and self-sufficient life, that of the hypostasis Intellect, upon which every other sort of life depends. Happiness pertains primarily to this perfect life, which does not depend on any external good. But as all other kinds of life are reflections of this one, all living beings are capable of at least a reflection of happiness according to the kind of life they have. On account of the human soul’s ability to ascend, human beings are capable of attaining the perfect kind of life of Intellect. Plotinus holds with the Stoics that none of the so-called ‘external evils’ can deprive a happy man of his happiness and that none of the so-called ‘goods’ pertaining to the sensible world are necessary for human happiness. In the second treatise on happiness, Plotinus discusses various questions concerning the relation between happiness and time, in particular whether the length of a person’s life is relevant to his happiness. His answer is that it is not, because happiness, consisting in a good life, must be the life of real being, i.e. that of Intellect. This life is not dispersed in time but is in eternity, which here means outside time, not lasting forever. Plotinus makes several remarks on human freedom or autonomy, in particular in On Destiny (III.1), On Providence I and II (III.2–3) and in On the Voluntary and on the Will of the One (VI.8). He defines a voluntary act as one which is not forced and is carried out with full knowledge of everything relevant (VI.8.1). It appears that he had doubts that human beings, as agents in the sensible world, can be fully free in this sense, and hence they enjoy at best a limited autonomy. Nevertheless, in so far as the human soul is the agent of human actions, the person is responsible for them. Full autonomy belongs only to the soul that is entirely free from the body and lives on the level of Intellect. Thus, autonomy is possible, but it is questionable whether we are free to seek it and attain it. PORPHYRY: THE DISSEMINATOR OF NEOPLATONISM Porphyry was an exceptionally learned man and a prolific writer, whose importance as a disseminator of Neo-Platonism can scarcely be exaggerated. Not only did he write extensively on philosophy strictly speaking but he applied his philosophical approach to other areas as well. After Porphyry Neo-Platonism became a way of thought and life having applications everywhere. During Porphyry’s lifetime the Roman empire began to split into two and separate traditions began to evolve in the East and the West. Porphyry’s works were known and had impact on both sides. For the West Porphyry is particularly important because some of his writings were translated into Latin and he influenced such important thinkers as St Augustine and Boethius. Porphyry was born in Tyre in Phoenicia around AD 234. He studied first in Athens with Longinus, a learned Platonic scholar, and subsequently joined Plotinus in Rome where he stayed for six years and became a convert to Plotinus’ version of Platonism. We do not have good records of his life after this, but we know that he lived in Sicily and then in Rome again, and presumably visited his native Syria. He died in c. 305. Porphyry wrote on a vast number of different subjects: commentaries on Plato, Aristotle, Theophrastus, Ptolemy and Plotinus; philosophical and religious essays; the history of philosophy; on Homer and a work against the Christians. All in all there are some seventy-seven titles attributed to him. Only a small portion of this bulk is extant and what there is is often fragmentary. Of these writings the following are the most philosophically significant: Aids to the Study of the Intelligibles (best known under its Latin title Sententiae ad intelligibilia ducentes); Isagoge (introduction to Aristotle’s Categories); Letter to Marcella and On abstinence; excerpts of the works On the Return of the Soul and Miscellaneous questions (Symmikta zêtêmata) are preserved by St Augustine and Nemesius, respectively. Then there is an incomplete commentary on Plato’s Parmenides which is likely to be by Porphyry or someone close to him. We have Porphyry’s own words for his admiration of Plotinus as a philosopher in his Life of Plotinus. The writings we do possess and the reports of later ancient thinkers also suggest that philosophically he was essentially a follower of Plotinus, the differences consisting mainly in interests, emphasis and wording. Porphyry stresses purity of life as essential for the the soul’s ascent. He is also much interested in religion and paved the way for the intermingling of philosophy and late ancient paganism in the later Neo-Platonists. Given that most of the works in which Porphyry’s strictly metaphysical views are likely to have been explicitly stated are lost, it is difficult to present an accurate overall picture of his views and hence to assess to what extent he may have gone beyond Plotinus. Scholarly opinions here are also divided. The Sententiae, which though incomplete is the most extensive purely philosophical text we have, is essentially Plotinian. The French scholar of Neo-Platonism, Pierre Hadot, has made a strong case on Porphyry’s behalf for an elaborate system of triads at the apex of the Neo-Platonic hierarchy, consisting of Existence, Life and Intelligence.<sup>14</sup> This however involves liberal use of the Parmenides commentary and other sources whose Porphyrian authenticity is not certain (cf. 36, 737–41). Porphyry’s student, Iamblichus, accuses Plotinus and Porphyry of failing to distinguish between intellect and soul (in Stobaeus, p.365 Wachsmuth [5. 81]). In the Sententiae Porphyry often ignores the distinction, even if he is also perfectly able to uphold it. At issue here seems to be the question of the soul’s ontological status. We saw in connection with Plotinus above that he insists on the soul’s status as a genuine intelligible and not merely something intermediate between the sensible and the intelligible as the most obvious reading of the celebrated passage on the constitution of the soul in the Timaeus would suggest. On this, together with the Parmenides commentary mentioned above, Anthony Lloyd founds a thesis about Porphyrian metaphysics claiming that Porphyry tends to telescope the hypostases into one another with the result that only the One is real, everything else being appearances of it.<sup>15</sup> The idea is this: the whole Neo- Platonic hierarchy is an ordered series (or perhaps a set of ordered series with a common first member, the One). Each member (aside from the very first) is not only a mere image of a previous one, the first cause is the only real item in the series: the real man is the intelligible man, the real soul is not the soul in union with body, but the pure soul as it is in itself without consideration of its external activities and relations. In general terms we might say that each thing should be defined in terms of the internal act constituting it. The internal act of anything below the One, however, is constituted by the external act of the level above it and thus points beyond itself. So in search of the real we are forced to climb the ladder in the hierarchy so that ultimately only the One turns out to be fully real. The evidence does not permit us to claim with confidence that Porphyry systematically taught extreme metaphysical monism of this sort. Such a trend is however present in Plotinus and Porphyry may have carried it further, though neither consistently maintains this as dogma.<sup>16</sup> In this context we may raise the question of idealism: is reality mental according to the Neo-Platonism of Plotinus and Porphyry? This is a tricky question that does not permit an unqualified answer. Taking extreme metaphysical monism as just described as our standpoint, we might answer ‘no’ because the One, which alone exists, is beyond thinking. However, at least in Plotinus and Porphyry mental life is ascribed to the One in a special way: the One has an analog of mental life, some kind of superintellection (VI.8.16; V.1.7). Thus, it would be misleading to stress that the ultimate principle is void of mental life. Secondly, disregarding extreme monism, the realm of Intellect is also the realm of being, the realm containing the real archetypes of which things in the physical world are images. These archetypes are thoughts and hence mental. So Plotinus and Porphyry are idealists at least in the sense that ordinary non-mental things have a mental principle. We should note, however, that this idealism is not of the type which holds the physical world to be the product of our minds. Even if it is an appearance, even an illusion, it is to be seen as an appearance or illusion on analogy with a mirror image, not with a hallucination: what is seen in the mirror is of course not the real thing and if we take it for one we are under an illusion; nevertheless, the mirror image is not just our fancy. One unmistakable and lasting contribution Porphyry made to philosophy is his promotion of Aristotle’s logical works in the Platonic curriculum. As mentioned above, even before Plotinus there were Aristotelizing Platonists. There were even Platonists before Porphyry who dealt with Aristotle’s logical treatises. Porphyry is however the one who put Aristotelian logic to positive use within Platonic teaching. Through him Aristotle’s Organon came to serve as an introduction to philosophy—a function transmitted on to the Middle Ages and well beyond. Porphyry wrote an introduction to Aristotle’s Categories, the so-called Isagoge, which was translated into Latin by Boethius and became a standard introductory text in the Middle Ages. In fact the Isagoge not only influenced the Latin West but also the Greek East and was later translated into Syriac and Arabic. Porphyry also wrote extensive commentaries on Aristotle’s logical treatises of which all is lost except an elementary commentary on the Categories. Anybody familiar with Aristotle’s Categories will note that it contains certain anti-Platonic doctrines, for example the doctrine of the primacy of individuals over genus and species. How could ardent Platonists like Porphyry integrate such works into their philosophy? Porphyry and the later Neo-Platonists following him believed in the essential agreement between Plato and Aristotle and were predisposed to explain apparent differences away—Porphyry is said to have written a work on their agreement and another about their differences. In the case of the logic the adoption of Aristotle was much eased by Porphyry’s views on the status of the logical treatises. Plotinus, who also wrote a critical but not altogether hostile treatise on Aristotle’s Categories (VI.1–3), took the work to be about the genera of being and thus a work in ontology, containing doctrines about the structure of the world. Plotinus comes to the conclusion that a revised version of the doctrine of Aristotle’s Categories holds true for sensibles. Porphyry agrees that the categories apply to the sensible world, but denies that the treatise is a treatise in ontology, even the ontology of the sensible world: he adopts the view that the Categories (and presumably Aristotle’s logic in general) is quite independent of metaphysics and is really about significative expressions for sensible phenomena (On Aristotle’s Categories, 58). These may be primary in the order of experience, though not in the order of reality where Platonic metaphysics prevails. PROCLUS: THE SYSTEM BUILDER Proclus (c. 410–85) is the third Neo-Platonic thinker who was to have great impact on posterity. He came as a young man to Athens where he studied Platonic philosophy and eventually became the Head of the Academy. He was the most systematic expositor of Neo-Platonism and a prolific writer. He left systematic philosophical works such as the celebrated Elements of Theology, which proceeds by a strictly deductive Euclidean method such as Descartes and Spinoza were to use much later. In the Elements Proclus sets out from the apex of the hierarchy and proceeds downward. The work covers the three first hypostases, in which the sphere of theology coincides with metaphysics as the study of first causes. Another major work is the Platonic Theology, which covers the same ground as the Elements of Theology but is larger and more intractable. There is also a systematic work on natural philosophy, the Elements of Physics. He wrote extensive commentaries on Plato, a large bulk of which have survived even if much is lost. They are less interesting as a source of Proclus’s philosophical views than one might expect but a mine of information about the history of Platonism, in addition to representing late Neo- Platonic reading of Plato. Proclus also wrote on mathematics and literature and composed pagan hymns. Proclus was a pious pagan in a world were pagans were an oppressed minority, having lost all chance of victory. Proclus nevertheless had an ironic revenge against the Christians: his system is the philosophical foundation of the ‘Christian theology’ of Pseudo-Dionysius, a man who pretended to be the Dionysius mentioned in the Acts as a Christian convert of Paul. The whole medieval world was deceived by the fraud, which was not fully eradicated until the nineteenth century. The writings of Pseudo-Dionysius acquired an immense authority in the medieval Christian tradition. Systematic and influential though Proclus undeniably was, there is some doubt about the originality of his views. However that may be, the very conception of such a work as the Elements of Theology is in itself a great achievement and, for all we know, an original one. In order to assess his contributions we must briefly consider the period between Porphyry and Proclus. Two new Neo-Platonic movements in the East appeared after Porphyry. One is the so-called ‘school’ at Pergamum, whose chief representatives are Sallust and the emperor Julian (called the ‘Apostate’ by Christians). This brand of Neo-Platonism seems to have been more religious than philosophical. It was Neo-Platonism and its interpretation of pagan religion and culture turned against the Christians. The other is the Athenian school whose founder was Plutarch of Athens (died 432), succeeded by Proclus’s teacher Syrianus. Proclus represents the culmination of the Athenian school. Both these schools or trends owe much of their distinctive traits to Porphyry’s most renowned student, Iamblichus, whom many scholars regard as a second father of Neo-Platonism. We possess even less of his writings than of Porphyry’s and he is credited with this honor—in some respects a questionable honor considering the content of his teaching—on the basis of others’ evidence, not least remarks in Proclus himself. At any rate, Iamblichus’s achievements can be summarized as follows. First, he claims theurgy as the means to union with divine intellects and as in some ways superior to philosophy. This is of course a deviation from the teaching of Plotinus but was to become the received opinion. Nevertheless Iamblichus insisted on keeping theurgy and philosophy apart. Secondly, he established a standard school curriculum and proposed the principles of interpretation of Platonic dialogues that came to prevail. According to these each dialogue has one theme (skopos) which determines the interpretation of all aspects of it. Thirdly, he gave the Athenian school what is distinctive in its metaphysics: pervasive use of mathematical concepts such as triads and monads. In all this Proclus is highly indebted to Iamblichus. In outline Proclus’s system resembles that of Plotinus: we find the same principal hypostases, the One, Intellect and Soul, and their relationships are described in similar terms: process or irradiation from above and the inverse relation, participation, from below. We also find the same general assumptions about the principles, often made quite explicit in Proclus: the cause is more perfect than effect, has a fuller degree of unity, contains in some manner its effect and so forth. Proclus, however, shows a tendency towards a more extreme logical realism: he likes distinctions and every distinction is liable to turn into a difference between entities with a proliferation of entities as a result: what in Plotinus has the status of aspect or relation is apt to be reified in Proclus. As an example of this we may mention time and eternity which for Plotinus are aspects of Intellect and Soul respectively but have become substances in Proclus (cf. pp. 369–70 above and ET, props. 52–5). Thus, even if the simple ineffable One is the root of it all, it does not take Proclus long to derive an astounding multiplicity from it. Proclus’s entities frequently come in triads whose general structure is extremes connected by a middle term having affinity with both the extremes. Such triads proliferate both as reified aspects of a hypostasis and in the relations between hypostases. As concerns us, this complexity means that we must make do with mentioning a few general features and for a fuller of view of his system the reader is referred to Proclus himself and items in the bibliography. We can get a glimpse of Proclus’s system by considering the top of the hierarchy. First there is the One (the Good) itself which is entirely transcendent and unparticipated. Then, in between the transcendent One and Intellect but also belonging to the first hypostasis, is a series of unities (henads)—this doctrine of unities has no parallel in Plotinus (ET, props. 7 and 113–65). These unities are participated terms from which anything else receives its unity (ET, prop. 116; In Platonis Parmenidem 6, 148). What we have just seen exemplifies a structure that pervades the Proclean system: a distinction between an unparticipated term, a participated term and a participant. This triad reappears in a more familiar setting as a transcendent (unparticipated) Platonic Idea, an immanent participated form, and a sensible participant (In Platonis Parmenidem 3, 797). Thus there is, for example, the ideal Man, instances of Man and organic bodies that take on the human form. The doctrine of the triad of participation is of course meant to answer the question ‘Is the Platonic Idea transcendent or immanent?’ and the answer is that it is both, i.e. the Idea itself is transcendent but it has an immanent counterpart, the participated term. No less fundamental is a triad consisting of rest (monê), process (proodos) and reversion (epistrophê) (ET, props. 25–39; cf PP. 370–2 above), which is parallel or identical to another triad: limit, infinity and mixture (ET, props. 87–96). These latter are ingredients of the first unities and of everything else below them. Rest, process and return are operative throughout the hierarchy. At every level there is a first term (monad) which generates by procession and return subordinate entities of the same kind belonging to the same level. Each such monad, however, also simultaneously proceeds to generate incomplete products, i.e. products that are mere images and not the same sort of things as the monad: not every product of soul is itself a soul and not every product of intellect is an intellect, for soul is a product of intellect (cf. ET, prop. 65). In this double procession, both horizontal and vertical, as one might say, we have the analog of internal and external activity in Plotinus—the generation of the entities within each hypostasis corresponding to the internal activity. The level of Intellect is characterized by the triad Existence, Life and Thought, a special case, it seems, of rest-procession-return. There are many other triads there but this one is especially important. Existence, Life and Intelligence are in turn each implicit in one another so that each contains a triad of Existence, Life and Intelligence, the difference being a matter of predominance (ET, props. 101–3). However this is to be understood in precise terms, we can note some interesting consequences: the traditional Platonic Ideas are monads containing this triad and each Idea exists in all three modes or, alternatively, a single Idea may be participated in either existentially, vitally or intellectually (Platonic Theology, 903–4). The concrete result of this is that for instance the Idea ‘Moon’ may be represented as moon-fish or moon-stone (existential), as a lunar daemon (vital) or again as a lunar angel (intellectual). An important Proclean principle is the doctrine of the greater power of the higher causes (ET, props. 57, 71–2). This does not only mean that a higher level in the hierarchy causes a greater number of and more perfect effects than a lower one, but also that the higher causes extend further down. So the entities at the bottom of the hierarchy participate only in the highest levels: inanimate bodies, having only unity and minimal being, participate directly in Existence, and matter, having no properties of its own and hence no being, participates only in a corresponding unity in the first hypostasis. These principles, therefore, extend all the way down to the level of bodies, without the involvement of the intermediate stages. Souls by contrast participate in life (rational souls in thought as well) and through life in existence. This is illustrated in the diagram below taken from A.C.Lloyd ([11.6], 112). The arrows point from causes to effects. Even if this diagram depicts only a fraction of Proclus’s world it gives us a sense of what it looks like. It is indeed as one his theorems in the Elements of Theology states: ‘All things are in all things, but in each according to its proper nature’ (prop. 103). The same intelligible item may be instantiated by different phenomena according to its mode (existential, vital or intellectual) and all the phenomena on the same level are interconnected both via the monad of that level and via the interconnectedness of everything at the top. So Proclus’s world is a tightly knitted web. This is strange philosophy by our lights. Nevertheless, it is in many ways quite successful, intellectually speaking, in harmonizing the world-view of the late Neo-Platonists and no doubt many of their contemporaries. In the words of Dodds, Proclus’s ideal is ‘the one comprehensive philosophy that should embrace all the garnered wisdom of the ancient world’.<sup>17</sup> All the pagan Gods, the old, new and even foreign, had a place in Proclus’s hierarchy. The first participated unities mentioned above are in fact identical with the higher gods. Lesser divinities and intermediate beings all find their place in the intermediate stages between these and the world of the senses. Thus, we may choose different types of discourse to talk about the same phenomena according to our concerns on each occasion. Restprocess- return, substance-power-actuality and Cronos-Rhea-Zeus all express the same or parallel phenomena. We may approach these either through abstract philosophical reasoning or through religious practices. Occult phenomena, theurgy and mantic, which so preoccupied Proclus and his group, have their place and explanation as well. They are explained by the bonds that connect entities both horizontally and vertically in the system: a physical object such as a particular stone has invested in it higher powers which can be influenced through their manifestation in the stone. So everything worth speaking of had a place within the Athenian system and was to be made intelligible through it. Confusing though the Athenian system may be and incorporating the most bizarre elements, it nevertheless still is rational philosophy aiming at explanations on the basis of solid premisses. THE LEGACY OF NEO-PLATONISM After Proclus the Athenian school had one significant master, Damascius. He wrote a work On Principles, where he posits an ineffable principle above the One—a view also held by Iamblichus. During his term as Head of the Academy the emperor Justinian closed the school in 529. Platonism had been active in Alexandria for a long time—that is where Plotinus studied as we have seen (p.361 above)—and presumably had a very long continuous history there even if there are gaps in our knowledge of it. The school flourished in the fifth century and was still active into the seventh. There was considerable communication between the Athenians and the Alexandrians, but still a very notable difference of emphasis: the Alexandrians were less bent on metaphysical speculations than the Athenians and are best known for their commentaries on Aristotle. The Alexandrians were also less ardently pagan and included Christian members, for instance the well known commentator and notable critic of Aristotle, John Philoponus.<sup>18</sup> The Christian Latin West produced a thinker of great importance who stands with one leg in the tradition of late ancient Platonism, namely Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius (480–524). Boethius was a Catholic and a highly educated Roman statesman who served under Theodoric the Ostrogoth, an Arian king of Italy. Boethius wrote extensively on a host of subjects including the mathematical disciplines, theology and philosophy. He had great ambitions about translating all works of Aristotle and Plato into Latin and elucidating them. He succeeded in translating Aristotle’s Organon and prefaced it with a translation of Porphyry’s Isagoge. He also wrote several commentaries and logical treatises. These works became the foundation of logical studies in medieval Europe. Boethius did not live to complete his project. Accused of treason, he was imprisoned and finally tortured and executed. While in prison he wrote his masterpiece, On the Consolation of Philosophy, in which philosophy personified comes to the aid of the unjustly suffering man—it is noteworthy of course that Boethius should call upon philosophy rather than his Christian faith at this difficult time of his life. Boethius’s philosophy is fundamentally Neo-Platonic. His emphasis on logic and other traits suggest influence of the Alexandrian school. Boethius’s Consolation and his theological treatises abound in Platonic, Aristotelian and Neo-Platonic doctrines and contributed, along with the works of St Augustine and others, to rendering such ideas commonplace in medieval philosophical theology. Thus, on Boethius’s account, in addition to being one and simple God is supreme being and supreme goodness and power; God is these things themselves whereas other things only have them by participation in or imitation of God. Furthermore, goodness and being are one and same, and hence evil and lack of being (How Substances are Good in Virtue of Their Existence without Being Substantial Goods; Consolation 3, 12). God is of course eternal and in a notorious passage in the Consolation Boethius gives an account of eternity and then distinguishes between eternity and everlastingness. Eternity is defined as ‘perfect possession of endless life, all present at once’ (5, 6), a definition that reflects Plotinus (see pp. 369–70 above). This is contrasted with the created universe, which even if without beginning and end unfolds in temporal succession what exists timelessly in God’s mind. The final victories of Christianity and Islam in what once was one pagan Roman empire stretching over much of Europe, the Middle East and North Africa put an end to Neo-Platonism in the strict sense of the term. But many ideas of the Neo-Platonists’ and in some cases their works lived on and were absorbed by the new cultures. In the Christian world Plotinus and Porphyry influenced the Church fathers both Greek and Latin and we have mentioned Proclus’s great impact through Pseudo-Dionysius. If only for these reasons the whole of Christian medieval theology was thoroughly colored by Neo-Platonism. In fact there are innumerable threads that connect Neo-Platonism with the subsequent history of Europe. To mention just one interesting example: the great medieval Islamic and Jewish philosophers, who in turn were to influence European philosophy, studied and absorbed Neo-Platonic thought. In the fifteenth century pagan Neo- Platonism had a comeback in Europe that lasted into the seventeenth. It has continued to exert influence on important thinkers such as Berkeley and Hegel, who was an admirer of Proclus, and Bergson, who admired Plotinus. NOTES 1 See O’Meara [11.8]. 2 See Dillon [11.3]. 3 See Dodds [11.20]. 4 See Wallis [11.12], 160. 5 Conventionally, references to the Enneads are often given only in numerals: ‘V. 3 (49) 2, 14–16’, for instance, means ‘5th Ennead, 3rd treatise (which is number 49 on Porphyry’s chronological list of Plotinus’s writings), chapter 2, lines 14 to 16’. 6 For details see Armstrong [11.1], 15. 7 See Gurtler [11.22]. 8 See Blumenthal [11.17]. 9 See O’Brien [11.23]. 10 That Plotinus’s distinction between the internal and the external act has its roots in Aristotle’s account of actualization is suggested by Lloyd [11.6], 98– 103. Hadot [11.33], 228, n. 4. and others suppose that the two acts doctrine originates in a Stoic distinction between substantial qualities and their external effects. Plotinus may well be drawing on both kinds of sources. 11 See Emilsson [11.21]. 12 See Dodds[11.20], 145–8. 13 See O’Daly [11.24]. 14 See Hadot [11.33]. 15 See Armstrong [11.1], 287–93. 16 See Smith [11.35], 5 ff. 17 See Dodds [11.41], xxv. 18 See Sorabji [11.52]. SELECTIVE BIBLIOGRAPHY The bibliography below is mostly limited to works in English of a fairly general scope. Literature on Neo-Platonism and translations of the ancient texts in other languages, especially French and German, is abundant. In [11.5] below there are extensive bibliographies of Neo-Platonic studies to and including Porphyry. In addition to the bibliographical items [11.16], [11.19] and [11.36], item [11.5] vol. 2, 36.1 contains a bibliography on Middle Platonism by L.Deitz, ‘Bibliographie du platonisme imperial antérieur a Plotin: 1926–1986’. GENERAL 11.1 Armstrong, A.H. (ed.) The Cambridge History of Later Greek and Early Medieval Philosophy. Cambridge, 1970. 11.2 Baine Harris, R. (ed.) The Significance of Neoplatonism. Norfolk, Va, 1976. 11.3 Dillon, J. The Middle Platonists. London, 1977. 11.4 Goodman, L.E. (ed.) Neoplatonism and Jewish Thought. Albany, NY, 1992. 11.5 Haase, W. (ed.) Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt. Vols 2, 36, 1, and 2, 36, 2. Berlin, 1987. 11.6 Lloyd, A.C. The Anatomy of Neoplatonism. Oxford, 1990. A philosophically penetrating study, rewarding even if not easy reading. 11.7 Merlan, P. From Platonism to Neoplatonism. The Hague, 1968. 11.8 O’Meara, D.J. (ed.) Neoplatonism and Christian Thought. Norfolk, Va, 1982. 11.9 ——Pythagoras Revived. Oxford, 1989. 11.10 Sambursky, S. The Physical World of Late Antiquity. London, 1962. 11.11 Wallis, R.T. and J.Bregman (eds) Neoplatonism and Gnosticism. Albany, NY, 1992. 11.12 Wallis, R.T. Neoplatonism. London, 1972. This is the best general overview over the whole of Neo-Platonism. PLOTINUS 11.13 Plotinus I–VII. Trans. A.H.Armstrong. Cambridge, Mass., 1966–88. This translation, accompanied by the Greek text, is based on the authoritative editions of P.Henry and H.-R.Schwyzer. 11.14 Plotinus. The Enneads. Trans S.MacKenna, abridged with an introduction and notes by J.Dillon. Harmondsworth, 1991. 11.15 Armstrong, A.H. The Architecture of the Intelligible Universe in the Philosophy of Plotinus. Cambridge, 1940. 11.16 Blumenthal, H.J. ‘Plotinus in the Light of Twenty Years’ Scholarship, 1951– 1971’. In [11.5], 36, 1. 11.17——Plotinus’ Psychology. The Hague, 1971. 11.18 Bussanich, J. The One and Its Relation to Intellect in Plotinus. Leiden, 1988. 11.19 Corrigan, K. and O’Cleirigh, P. ‘The Course of Plotinian Scholarship from 1971 to 1986’. In [11.5], 36, 1. 11.20 Dodds, E.R. ‘The Parmenides of Plato and the Origin of the Neoplatonic “One”’, Classical Quarterly, 22 (1928), 129–43. 11.21 Emilsson, E.K. Plotinus on Sense-Perception: A Philosophical Study. Cambridge, 1988. 11.22 Gurtler, G.M. Plotinus: The Experience of Unity. New York, 1988. 11.23 O’Brien, D. Plotinus on the Origin of Matter. Naples, 1991. 11.24 O’Daly, G. Plotinus’ Philosophy of the Self. Shannon, 1973. 11.25 O’Meara, D.J. ‘Plotinus’, in F.Cranz and P.Kristeller (eds) Catalogus translationum et commentariorum, vol. 7. Washington, D.C., 1992. An overview of Plotinus’s impact. 11.26——Plotinus: An Introduction to the Enneads. Oxford, 1993. Highly recommendable as an introduction to Plotinus. 11.27 Rist, J.M. Plotinus: The Road to Reality. Cambridge, 1967. 11.28 Schroeder, F.M. Form and Transformation: A Study in the Philosophy of Plotinus. Montreal and Kingston, 1992. PORPHYRY 11.29 Life of Plotinus. In [11.13], vol. 1 and [11.14]. 11.30 The Sentences. Trans. T.Davidson, Journal of Speculative Philosophy III (1869), 46–73. 11.31 On Aristotle’s Categories. Trans. S.K.Strange. London, 1992. 11.32 Isagoge. Trans. and commentary E.W.Warren. Toronto, 1975. 11.33 Hadot, P. Porphyre et Victorinus. 2 vols, Paris, 1968. Text and French trans. of Anonymous Commentary on the ‘Parmenides’, attributed to Porphyry in vol. 2. 11.34 Porphyrios’ ‘Symmikta zetemata’. German trans. and comentary by H.Dörrie. Munich, 1959. 11.35 Smith, A. The Place of Porphyry in the Neoplatonic Tradition. A Study in Post- Plotinian Neoplatonism. The Hague, 1974. 11.36 Smith, A. ‘Porphyrian Studies since 1913’. In [11.5], 36, 1. Contains a review of the state of Porphyrian studies in addition to a bibliography. 11.37 Evangeliou, C. Aristotle’s Categories and Porphyry. Leiden, 1987. IAMBLICHUS, PROCLUS AND LATER NEOPLATONISM 11.38 Iamblichi Chalcidensis in Platonis Dialogos Commentariorum Fragmenta. With text, trans. and comm. by J.M.Dillon. Leiden, 1973. 11.39 Iamblichus, Les Mystères d'Égypte. Ed. and French trans. by E.des Places. Paris, 1966. 11.40 Iamblichus, De anima. French trans. by A.J.Festugière. In vol. 3 of La. Revelation d’Hermès Trismégiste. Paris, 1953. 11.41 Proclus, The Elements of Theology. Ed., trans and comm. E.R.Dodds. 2nd edn. Oxford, 1992. An indispensable aid both for novice as well as for the expert. 11.42 Proclus’ Commentary on Plato’s Parmenides. Trans. G.R.Morrow and J.M. Dillon with introduction and notes by J.M.Dillon. Princeton, 1987. 11.43 Proclus, Théologie Platonicienne. Ed. and French trans. H.D.Saffrey and L. G.Westerink. 4 vols of 6 have appeared. Paris, 1968–81. 11.44 Proclus, Dix Problèmes concernant la, Providence. Ed. D.Isaac. Paris, 1977. 11.45 Proclus, Providence, Fatalité, Liberté. Ed. D.Isaac. Paris, 1979. 11.46 Boethius, The Theological Tractates, trans. H.F.Stewart and E.K.Rand, The Consolation of Philosophy, trans. S.J.Tester. Cambridge, Mass. 1973. 11.47 Boethius’s De Topicis Differentiis. Trans. with notes and essays on the text by E.Stump. Ithaca, NY, 1978. 11.48 Dillon, J.M. ‘Iamblichus of Chalcis (c. 240–325 AD)’ in [11.5], 36, 2. 11.49 Blumenthal, H.J. and A.C.Lloyd (eds) Soul and the Structure of Being in Late Neoplatonism. Liverpool, 1982. 11.50 Rosán, L.J. The Philosophy of Proclus. New York, 1949. 11.51 Baierwaltes, W. Proklos, Grundzüge seiner Metaphysik. Frankfurt am Main, 1965. 11.52 Sorabji, R. (ed.) Philoponus and the Rejection of Aristotelian Science. London, 1987. 11.53 Chadwick, H. (ed.) Boethius. The Consolations of Music, Logic, Theology, and Philosophy. Oxford, 1981.
Routledge History of Philosophy. Taylor & Francis e-Library. 2005.
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