The Consideration of the World as an Ensouled Living Being (Plotinus)
International Journal for Philosophy and Theology, Vol. 4, (2004)
12 Pages Posted: 11 Mar 2016
Date Written: 2004
According to Emile Brehier there is not a more banal matter in ancient Greek philosophy than the concept of animism or pampsychism. Plotinus inherited this concept from his predecessors and gave to it a very essential position in his cosmology. The sensible world for Plotinus is an ensouled organised living being; all parts of it contribute to the unity of the whole and are unified to achieve a connection of all influences, a cosmic sympathy. Plotinus received the concept of a World Soul, which extends to the entire sensible world, animating and fertilizing it, mainly from the Stoics. But contrary to the Stoics he gave to his animism an unlimited extension. The spiritualization and animation of the universe is based on the solidarity of its parts, the natural sympathy. In Neoplatonism of Plotinus' universe there is a "plenum", an infinite and continuous in articulation totality, since it extends to the spiritual life which is considered as an immaterial world, and since there don’t exist empty space or gaps inside it.
Keywords: Plotinus, panpsychism, neoplatonism, theory of sympathy, soul
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