In Peter Adamson & Christof Rapp (eds.), State and Nature: Essays in Ancient Political Philosophy. pp. 269-291 (2021)

Christopher Noble
Syracuse University
Plotinus, following certain Platonic cues, maintains that ‘we’ and ‘the true human being’ correspond to the rational part of the embodied human soul. This view is counterintuitive because it is natural to see ourselves and our humanity as including parts of the human organism additional to reason. In this paper, I propose that Plotinus’ view that we are our rational part is best understood as expressing a teleological claim. Since our proper end is an activity of the rational part of soul, it is appropriate to identify our nature with that part of the organism alone.
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