How Plotinus' Soul Animates his Body: The Argument for the Soul-Trace at Ennead 4.4.18.1-9

Phronesis 58 (3):249-279 (2013)

Authors
Christopher Noble
Syracuse University
Abstract
In this paper I offer an analysis of Plotinus’ argument for the existence of a quasi-psychic entity, the so-called ‘trace of soul’, that functions as an immanent cause of life for an organism’s body. I argue that Plotinus posits this entity primarily in order to account for the body’s possession of certain quasi-psychic states that are instrumental in his account of soul-body interaction. Since these quasi-psychic states imply that an organism’s body has vitality of its own , and Platonic souls are no part or aspect of any body, Plotinus draws the conclusion that the soul must be a cause of the body’s life by imparting a quasi-psychic qualification to it. In so doing, Plotinus introduces elements of hylomorphism into Platonist psychology, and addresses a problem for the animation of the body that Platonic soul-body dualism may plausibly be thought to face
Keywords hylomorphism   soul-trace   Plotinus   soul-body dualism   psychology
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DOI 10.1163/15685284-12341251
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References found in this work BETA

The Constitution of the Human Body in Plato’s Timaeus.Filip Karfík - 2012 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 12 (2):167-181.

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Citations of this work BETA

Plotinus on Consciousness.D. M. Hutchinson - 2018 - Cambridge University Press.
Plotinus on the Inner Sense.Sara Magrin - 2015 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 23 (5):864-887.

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