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Plotinus On Act And Power

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Chapter Summary

Plotinus was a genuine Platonist who wished to extract from Plato?s writings a systematic doctrine. It is in the account of this generation of the levels from the absolutely simple One that the notions of act and power primarily become relevant. Plotinus? notion of power is a development of his Platonic and Aristotelian heritage but the result is in some ways quite original. A distinct feature of Plotinus? account of the generation of the hypostases is the notion of double activity. Allusions to double activity are to be found all over the Enneads but it is rarely an issue in its own right. The basic idea seems to be that each level in the hierarchy is characterized by a definite kind of internal activity which defines the given level. At the same time, this internal activity produces an effect outside itself. This effect is the external activity.

Keywords: Enneads; external activity; internal activity; Plato?s writings; Plotinus; power



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