Theological interpretation of Plato's texts. Philosophy and...

Theological interpretation of Plato's texts. Philosophy and theology in Neoplatonism.

Plotinus did not write systematic works, agreeing, according to Porphyry, with Plato's thesis that speech recorded only distracts us from the true philosophical experience. Nevertheless, we can fully reconstruct his teaching on the available texts.

The first thing to focus on when speaking of Plotinus philosophy is the theologization of the Platonic heritage. Plato's works are perceived as a revelation containing the highest truth, and the inspired Divine Plato is called the "Divine". Plotinus, however, does not speak of any special practices of hermeneutics (interpretation) of Platonic texts, as will Iamblichus and Proclus, since for him the criterion of the truth of the teachings of Plato is his own philosophical and spiritual experience. There is a well-known phenomenon in the history of philosophy - the closure of the hermeneutic circle: Plotinus believes that his spiritual, experimental, experience is stimulated by the Platonic heritage and is based on it, but he himself interprets the Platonic texts through this experience (and probably through the interpretations of the academic doctrine that he has learned from Ammonius).

Ultimately, all Plato's texts are interpreted by Plotinus as evidence of First y of his creative activity and Fishery in relation to the Cosmos and human souls, as well as "recipes" spiritual ascent. This understanding has brought unexpected results. So, before Plotinus dialogue "Parmenides" was understood primarily as a logical-didactic exercise in the discussion of ideas. However, Plotinus makes this work the central text of the Platonic tradition (and such a tendency to evaluate "Parmenides" exists to the present day), treating the "hypotheses" This dialogue, not as an assumption, but as a dialectical and theological narration about the hierarchical sequence of "hypostases" existing.

Although the One (First) in Plotinus is not personified, as we see in Christianity, the very attitude to it and the narrative of it have a pronounced theological character. This trend will be further intensified, beginning with the Syrian school of Neoplatonism (and perhaps already with Porphyry), when all the ancient theology - both the normative (Olympic religion) and the esoteric or secret, "marginal" will be combined with Plato's teaching; (from Orphism to the "Chaldean Oracles").

Thus, since Plotinus, philosophy is inextricably linked with theology, which further brings Neoplatonism closer to the medieval type of Christian discourse.

Teaching about the One. The concept of emanation.

Plotinus finally realizes the Middle Platonic desire to connect the Platonic "idea of ​​Good" from States and Phileb with the concept of One/One of "Parmenides" and the same "Phileba", arguing that the One-Good is the beginning of what is. Since Plato's texts on the One and Good can be read in an apophatic manner, Plotinus considers this an argument in favor of the doctrine of the transcendence of the Principle in relation to all aspects of existence that we can perceive and think. The one in philosophical logic Plotinus is an unconditional condition for any thought act, and it is precisely because of its unconditionality that it can not be determined directly, through the presence of any conceivable attributes. The inability to detect the attributes (or predicates) of the One, strictly speaking, should lead us to the conclusion that the Primordial can not be described even through categories of being and nonexistence.

Exceeding everything, the One does not consist of parts, does not have to think anything and even know itself; it is higher than time and eternity, and is not conditioned by anything, not even by oneself. It is hardly possible to define the One and as the essence or the hypostasis (although, since we are compelled to talk about it, we have to give it names). Exceeding everything and not depending on anything, the One is everywhere. Ontologically, this presence ensures the existence of everything, in epistemological and soteriological - is a condition for the possibility of the ecstasy about which we wrote above.

The One acts eternally, and this activity is the constant creation of the Cosmos. To denote this process, Plotinus uses Greek concepts, which in the literature devoted to Neoplatonism are usually conveyed by the Latin term emanation ("expiration"). This concept is often interpreted as an indication of some physical or logical necessity that characterizes creative energy of the Beginning. However, the comparison of the One with the Sun, typical of Plotinus, and of all things with the rays emanating from it, or the One with the source, and the existing with the water pouring out of it, are nothing more than the most relevant in the context of that time metaphors whose origins to that They are in authoritative texts ("State" of Plato and, probably, "Chaldean Oracles"). It is not necessary to understand the creative activity of the Original mechanically. On the contrary, sometimes Plotinus approaches the creationist interpretations of the emergence of existence, although not consistently. Everything comes from the One, but since it does not have the creature, creation is an act of transcendence-the emergence of independent and distinctive levels of being. Therefore, on the one hand, everything is created (born) by the One, on the other - everything comes out, independently rejects from him, thus manifesting his hypostasis (in this case - identity and autonomy).

thematic pictures

Also We Can Offer!

Other services that we offer

If you don’t see the necessary subject, paper type, or topic in our list of available services and examples, don’t worry! We have a number of other academic disciplines to suit the needs of anyone who visits this website looking for help.

How to ...

We made your life easier with putting together a big number of articles and guidelines on how to plan and write different types of assignments (Essay, Research Paper, Dissertation etc)