Elenchos 33 (2):227-258 (2012)

Authors
Filip Karfik
Université de Fribourg
Abstract
There is a remarkable difference between the accounts of time in Plotinus' Enneads vi 5 [23] 11, iv 4 [28] 15-16 and iii 7 [45] 11. In vi 5 [23] 11, Plotinus does not introduce time into soul, nor into a part or power of it because he holds that soul belongs to the sort of being which has no extension, spatial or temporal. In iv 4 [28] 15-16, he considers the thesis that time, in its very existence, is linked to the soul but he rejects the idea that there is time in the World Soul. In iii 7 [45] 11, however, he affirms that time exists only in soul, more precisely in a part or power of it, and suggests that it is first and foremost the World Soul that makes itself temporal. It seems that Plotinus' philosophy of time developed over the years. From the emphasis laid on the thesis that soul has no spatial extension, characteristic of his earlier writings, Plotinus interest shifted gradually to the question whether or not it has a temporal extension. He also seems to have changed his mind on the question of the temporality of the World Soul. Finally, while speaking, in iii 7 [45] 11, of the soul's making itself temporal, he apparently contends that just a specific part or power of soul ± be it the World Soul or the human soul - is doing so.
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DOI 10.1515/elen-2012-330203
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