David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophy Pathways (150) (2010)
This paper challenges the traditional view that Plotinus identifies matter and evil. A rational reconstruction of Plotinus’s tenets should neither accept the paradox that evil comes from Good, nor shirk the arduous task of interpreting Plotinus’ texts on evil as a fitting part of his philosophy on the whole. Therefore, I suggest a reading of evil in Plotinus as the outcome of an incongruent interaction of matter and soul, maintaining simultaneously that neither soul nor matter are to be considered as bad or evil. When Plotinus calls matter evil, he does so metonymically denoting matter’s totally passive potentiality as perceived by the toiling soul trying to act upon it as a form-bringer. As so often, Plotinus speaks of matter per se which, as mere potentiality (and nothing else) is not nor can be evil. In short, matter is no more evil than the melancholy evening sky is melancholy—not in itself (for it isn’t), but as to its impression on us who contemplate it.
|Keywords||Plotinus evil hypostases matter Neoplatonism|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Christian Schäfer (2004). Matter in Plotinus's Normative Ontology. Phronesis 49 (3):266 - 294.
Christian Schäfer (2004). Matter in Plotinus's Normative Ontology. Phronesis 49 (3):266-294.
Jan Opsomer (2001). Proclus Vs Plotinus on Matter ("De Mal. Subs." 30-7). Phronesis 46 (2):154 - 188.
Jan Opsomer (2001). Proclus Vs Plotinus on Matter (De Mal. Subs. 30-7 ). Phronesis 46 (2):154-188.
John M. Rist (1961). Plotinus on Matter and Evil. Phronesis 6 (2):154 - 166.
John M. Rist (1961). Plotinus on Matter and Evil. Phronesis 6 (1):154-166.
Kevin Corrigan (1996). Plotinus' Theory of Matter-Evil and the Question of Substance: Plato, Aristototle, and Alexander of Aphrodisias. Peeters.
Plotinus (1964). The Essential Plotinus: Representative Treatises From the Enneads. Hackett Publishing Company Incorporated.
Jill Graper Hernandez (2010). Moral Evil and Leibniz's Form/Matter Defense of Divine Omnipotence. Sophia 49 (1):1-13.
Denis OBrien (2011). Plotinus on the Making of Matter Part I: The Identity of Darkness. International Journal of the Platonic Tradition 5 (1):6-57.
Katelis Viglas (2005). The Concept of Unbounded and Evil Matter in Plotinus and John Damascenus. Theandros. An Online Journal of Orthodox Christian Theology and Philosophy 2 (3):5.
Gary M. Gurtler (1998). Plotinus (Review). Journal of the History of Philosophy 36 (1):128-130.
Michael Gelven (1998). This Side of Evil. Marquette University Press.
Lars Fr H. Svendsen (2010). A Philosophy of Evil. Dalkey Archive Press.
Added to index2010-09-12
Total downloads33 ( #115,502 of 1,789,825 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #420,681 of 1,789,825 )
How can I increase my downloads?