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Plotinus

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Chapter Summary

Plotinus follows Plato, and, indeed, Aristotle, in identifying being, τὸ ὄν, that which is, as form. As in Plato, sensible things exist just insofar as they have and display intelligible forms. In view of the philosophical trajectory we have been considering, these references to Parmenides, Aristotle, and Plato are no mere incidental catalogue of testimonies, but an insightful recognition of the authentic background of his doctrine. The weakness of any correspondence theory of truth is that on such a theory, thought can never reach outside itself to that with which it supposedly corresponds. The disjunctive presupposition that being must be either 'mind-dependent' and thus subjective, or 'mind-independent' and thus objective, is an oversimplification which reflects the modern subject-object dualism that Plotinus rejects. As Plotinus here says "this one is two:" the unity of being and intellect cannot be a simple or absolute identity.

Keywords: Aristotle; Parmenides; philosophical trajectory; Plato; Plotinus

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