Plotinus and Epicurus: Matter, Perception, Pleasure by Angela Longo, Daniela Patrizia Taormina

By Angela Longo, Daniela Patrizia Taormina

This quantity investigates the explanations why Plotinus, a thinker encouraged by means of Plato, made serious use of Epicurean philosophy. Eminent students express that a few primary Epicurean conceptions touching on ethics, physics, epistemology and theology are drawn upon within the Enneads to debate an important notions reminiscent of excitement and happiness, windfall and destiny, subject and the function of feel belief, instinct and highbrow proof in terms of the method of information acquisition. via concentrating on the which means of those phrases in Epicureanism, Plotinus deploys subtle equipment of comparative research and argumentative techniques that finally lead him to procedure yes facets of Epicurus' philosophy as a benchmark for his personal theories and to simply accept, reject or discredit the positions of authors of his personal day. even as, those discussions demonstrate what points of Epicurean philosophy have been nonetheless looked as if it would be of important relevance within the 3rd century advert.

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III 2–3), On Providence I–II. See Aleknien´e 2012: 71–91 (I would like to thank L. Soares Santoprete for bringing this article to my attention); some considerations on the matter had already been put forward by Charrue 1978, who noted that, in Plotinus’ view, Epicurus nonetheless falls within the Greek philosophical tradition – albeit as one of its poorest expressions – whereas the Gnostics stand in open contrast to it. For some other aspects of the treatise 47, see Longo 2001: 503–28. 22 angela longo and daniela patrizia taormina other philosophical schools.

5 (Enn. 8: References to Epicureanism and the problem of pleasure in Plotinus’), who criticises the prevalent identification of the three types of men outlined in ch. 1 with the Epicureans, Stoics/Aristotelians and Platonists respectively. Based on parallels with Gnostic sources (especially the Tripartite Tractate) and Patristic literature (especially Irenaeus’ Against the Heretics), the author provides an original reading of Plotinus’ text and its metaphor of the birds, according to which what is presented here is the Gnostic division into three types of men – material, psychic and pneumatic.

54 In the Enneads, then, previous philosophies are sedimented and continue to live. Plotinus both bears witness to them (albeit with few references to actual names and hence in a far from obvious manner) and provides an original interpretation of them, going as far as to redeploy – where possible and appropriate – the conceptual and lexical repertoire of other philosophers in order to fashion his own doctrines. § 9 The connection between the denial of providence and the incitement to pleasure Finally, it is worth noting an unusual feature of Plotinus’ way of discussing Epicurean theses in tr.

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