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Plotinus' Psychology. His Doctrines of the Embodied Soul

Plotinus' Psychology. His Doctrines of the Embodied Soul

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Published by Patricia Horvat

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Published by: Patricia Horvat on Nov 26, 2011
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03/05/2015

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PREFACE
This
book
is a revised version,
with
some omissions, of a
Cambridge
doctoral dissertation
submitted
in
1963: I fear
that
it
still
bears
marks
of
its
origins.
The
dissertation
itself was
the
result
of
an
earlier scheme
to
identify
the
sources of
Plotinus'
psychological doctrines.
In
the
course of
this
work
it
soon
became
evident
that
it
was
not
sufficiently
clear
what
these
doctrines
were.
Students
of
Plotinus have tended
to
concentrate
on
the
higher
regions of his world,
and
there
is still no
satisfactory
treatment
of
his doctrines
of
the
embodied
soul.
It
is
thepurpose
of
this
book
to
provide
a fairly
extensive
survey
of thesedoctrines.
It
does
not
claim
to
be
exhaustive.
Nor
does it
claimto
add
a
large
body
of
new
knowledge, since
over
so wide a field
many
points
have
been
touched on
by
others,
if
only
in
passing.
But
I hope
that
it
may
remove
some misconceptions,
and
bring
the
details of
Plotinus'
theories
intosharper
focus.
It
had
been
my
intention
to
add
an
introduction
-
mainly
for
the
benefit
of non-specialist
readers
-
on
the
psychology of
Plotinus'
predecessors.
In
the
meantime
the
Cambridge History ot Later Greek
and
Early
Medieval Philosophy
has
appeared,
and the
reader
who
wants
information on
this
subject
may
conveniently
be
referred
to the
relevant
parts
of
the
late
Professor
Merlan's
chapters
on
the
predeces
sors
of
Plotinus.
Merlan
has
collected
most
of
the
relevant material,
and
I agree
with
most
of
what
he
says
about
it.
Though
I would wish
totake
issue
with
some
points
he has
made,
it
has
seemed
better
not to
do
so here.
To havewritten
the
introduction
I originally proposed would
merely
have
led
to
unnecessary
duplication,
and
I
have
therefore
plunged
straight into
Plotinus.
To make
as
much
as
possible of
this
book
intelligible
to
a
reader with
little
or
no knowledge of Greek, I
have
given
in
the
text
translations
of
words
and
passages
wherever
it hasnot
seemed unnecessary
or
un-
 
VIII
PREFACE
desirable
to
do so.
Thus
I
have not translated
words
whose
meaningappears
from
the
context,
and
haverestricted
the
use of
translations
where
the point
at
issue is
the
meaning
of a
particular
term
or
text,
since I felt
that
to translate
here would only obscure
the
discussion
or
anticipate
its
conclusion. As a result
parts
of
chapter
4
and the
first
half
of
chapter
8
are
left
without translations:
at
least
the
conclusionsof these sections should, however,
be
comprehensible. A few
Greek
words, which
have
no English
equivalents
and
which will
be
familiar
to
those
with
some
acquaintance
with
ancient
philosophy,
havegenerally
been
transliterated:
pneuma,
logos
-
in
Plotinus
often a
formative
principle representing higher
reality
-
and
nous,
the
latter
in
particular
because
neither
of
the
usual
renderings, intellect
and
spirit, is
adequate.On
the
whole I
have
aimed
at
clarity
and utility
rather
than
consistency.
For
Enneads
IV-VI the
translations
of passages
are
my
own:
for
I-III
they
are, unless indicated,
taken
from
the
Loeb
Edition.
I
am
grateful
to
Professor
A.
H.
Armstrong
and
the
publishers of
the
LoebClassical Library, Messrs.
Heinemann
and
the
Harvard
University
Press, for permission
to
use
this
version.
Chapter
9 of
this
book
is amodified form of
an
article published
in
Phronesis:
I
am
grateful to
the
editors of
that
journal
for allowing
me
to
re-use
it
here.
For
financial
support
while
the
original
dissertation
was being
prepared
I
have
to
thank
my
parents, the
Classical
Faculty and
General
Boards
of
the
University of Cambridge,
the
Master
and
Fellowsof
Trinity
College,
the
Haberdashers'
Company,
and
the
French
Ministry of
Education
who
made
it
possible for
me
to
spend
three
valuable
months in
Paris.My academic
debts
are numerous.
First
to
Professor
F.H.
Sandbach,
who
taught
me
most of
what
may
be
good
in
my
approach to
ancient
philosophy while I was
an
undergraduate,
and
often helped
methere
after.
Then
to
my
postgraduate
supervisors, Miss A. N.
M.
Rich
and
Professor
M.
D. Knowles,
my
Ph.D.
examiners, Professor A.
H.
Armstrong
and
Professor D.
M.
MacKinnon,
and
to
those
otherswho
read
all
or
part
of
this
work
at
various stages
and
in
various capacities,Professor
E.
R.
Dodds, Professor
].
M.
Rist
and
Professor
F. H.
Sandbach. All
made
valuable suggestions,
not
all of which I
have
followed. I need
hardly
say
that
I
am
myself responsible for
the
shortcomings of
this
book. Professor P.-M. Schuhl
and
Professor
P.Henry
helped me
in
various ways
during
my stay
in
Paris. My
greatest
debt,
however, is
to
Professor Armstrong, who
has
been a
constant

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