Plotinus' Account of the Cognitive Powers of the Soul: Sense Perception and Discursive Thought [Book Review]

Topoi 31 (2):191-207 (2012)
Authors
Riccardo Chiaradonna
Università degli Studi Roma Tre
Abstract
This paper focuses on Plotinus’ account of the soul’s cognitive powers of sense perception and discursive thought, with particular reference to the treatises 3. 6 [26], 4. 4 [28] and 5. 3 [49] of the Enneads . Part 1 of the paper discusses Plotinus’ direct realism in perception. Parts 2 and 3 focus on Plotinus’ account of knowledge in Enneads 5. 3 [49] 2–3. Plotinus there argues that we make judgements regarding how the external world is by means of discursive reasoning. This latter claim, however, is in tension with what Plotinus argues elsewhere regarding our perceptual apprehension of the external world (3. 6 [26] 1; 4. 4 [28] 23). This puzzle is addressed in Part 3 of the paper, which investigates Plotinus’ view that there exist some sense perceptions of which we are unaware. Finally, Part 4 looks at Plotinus’ understanding of Plato’s famous wax block analogy, in 5. 3 (49). The overall conclusion of the paper is that Plotinus’ account of knowledge is radically different from that of the Cartesian tradition.
Keywords Plotinus  Sense perception  Discursive thought  Direct realism  Consciousness
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11245-011-9114-7
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 37,193
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Theaetetus of Plato.Myles Burnyeat - 1992 - Philosophical Review 101 (4):830-834.

View all 18 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Analytics

Added to PP index
2011-11-19

Total downloads
83 ( #81,039 of 2,309,030 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #448,127 of 2,309,030 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature