Plotinus on the Seat of the Soul: Reverberations of Galen and Alexander in "Enn." IV, 3 [27], 23

Phronesis 43 (4):306 - 325 (1998)
Abstract
In "Enn." IV, 3.23 Plotinus presents a vindication of the well-known tripartition-cum-trilocation of the soul advanced by Plato in the "Timaeus." His version of the Platonic doctrine is marked by a strong spatial separation between the three parts of the soul -- reason in the brain, will in the heart and desire in the liver. This article addresses two related questions: (1) Can this position be squared with the Plotinian key doctrine that the soul is incorporeal and indivisible? (2) What are the nature and provenance of this particular version of the tripartition, which, in this form, is not warranted by the Platonic text? Plotinus enlists the support of the anatomical researches presented by Galen in his "On the doctrines of Hippocrates and Plato." At the same time he adapts the latter's demonstration in such a way as to safeguard the unity and incorporeality of the soul. The parts of the soul are not "in" the three main bodily organs in an ordinary sense -- only their activity takes place there. Plotinus arrives at this position through a clarification of the concept of archê as employed by Galen. His understanding of the soul's localisation is heavily indebted to Alexander's "On the soul" ("De anima"). Meanwhile he dissociates himself from the hylomorphism typical of both Alexander and (in a more latent fashion) Galen. Other features of his argument are explicable as motivated by the wish to emasculate the arguments used by Alexander in favour of the cardiocentric theory. The upshot is a sophisticated and improved defence of the Platonic tripartition which not only is scientifically up-to-date but coheres with some of Plotinus' most deeply held metaphysical convictions.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 12,084
External links
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
Similar books and articles
J. S. & M. Gary (2008). Plotinus on the Soul's Omnipresence in Body. International Journal of the Platonic Tradition 2 (2):113-127.
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.
Wendy Elgersma Helleman (2011). Plotinus and Magic. International Journal of the Platonic Tradition 4 (2):114-146.
Hendrik Lorenz, Ancient Theories of Soul. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2011-05-29

Total downloads

5 ( #237,535 of 1,101,880 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

3 ( #128,836 of 1,101,880 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.