Christopher Noble
Syracuse University
In Ennead 3.6, Plotinus maintains that the soul is unaffectable. This thesis is widely taken to imply that his soul is exempt from change and free from emotional ‘affections’. Yet these claims are difficult to reconcile with evidence that Plotinian souls acquire dispositional states, such as virtues, and are subjects of emotional ‘affections’, such as anger. This paper offers an alternative account that aims to address these difficulties. In denying affections to soul, Plotinus is offering a distinction between the soul’s self-actuated motions (or "activities") and the passive motions (or "affections") of bodies. But this distinction does not imply the soul’s changelessness, since Plotinus regards psychic motions that culminate in the soul’s acquisition of new dispositional states as changes. As for emotional ‘affections’, these (as activities) are merely homonymous with the affections denied to soul, and so do not violate the ban on the soul’s affectability.
Keywords Plotinus  Soul  Body  Appetites  Nutritive Soul  change  activity
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References found in this work BETA

Plotinus.Lloyd P. Gerson - 1994 - Routledge.
The Assimilation of Sense to Sense-Object in Aristotle.Hendrik Lorenz - 2007 - Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 33:179-220.
Aristotle on the Goods of Fortune.John M. Cooper - 1985 - Philosophical Review 94 (2):173-196.
Sensation and Scepticism in Plotinus.Sara Magrin - 2010 - Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 39:249-297.

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Citations of this work BETA

Plotinus on Consciousness.D. M. Hutchinson - 2018 - Cambridge University Press.

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