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Temporality, Eternality, And Plotinus’ New Platonism

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Chapter Summary

Plotinus is typically tagged as the founder of a philosophical tradition known, since the later 19th Century, as Neoplatonism. Plotinus, like Aristotle, composed a sustained discussion of time, devoting an entire treatise to the topic. Plotinus' approach to the nature and reality of time, however, is far more dependent on his larger philosophical system than Aristotle's was. Some remarks on Plotinus' metaphysics are therefore unavoidable, especially of course insofar as it will pertain to his investigation of time. The simplest way to introduce Plotinus' distinction between intelligible reality and perceptible reality is by their relations to human cognition and its intentional objects. Temporal distinctions or conceptions may, for Plotinus, be applied to Soul at most indirectly - that is, insofar as they are used to denote aspects of Soul's causality directly pertinent to the temporal aspects or temporality of natural existents.

Keywords: Aristotle; nature; Neoplatonism; philosophical tradition; Plotinus; reality; temporality; time



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