Worldly and otherworldly virtue: Likeness to God as educational ideal in Plato, Plotinus, and today

Educational Philosophy and Theory 50 (6-7):586-596 (2018)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

In Plato, ‘Becoming like God’ constitutes the telos of the philosophical life. Our ‘likeness to God’ is rooted in the relationship of the divine paradeigma to its image established in the generation of the Cosmos. This relationship makes knowledge and virtue possible, and informs Plato’s theory of education. Related concepts preexist in Judeo-Christian and other traditions and continue to inform our thought on moral and ethical issues, particularly as regards our understanding of what it means to be human. From the idea of ‘likeness to God’, emerges the tradition of philosophical mysticism which has its roots in Plotinus, whose aim is union of the individual soul with its ultimate principle. The task of realizing virtue in daily life appears opposed to assimilation to the divine, because the latter requires a stripping away of finite determinations, and preoccupation with particular things, in order that we may escape from the multiplicity of sensible and even intelligible reality. This article considers the opposition between ‘worldly’ and ‘otherworldly’ virtue, as well as previously neglected aspects of ‘likeness to God’ and ‘becoming like God’ in Plato and Plotinus, and explores their continued relevance for pedagogical theory and practice today.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 92,227

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

The Unity of Virtue: Plato’s Models of Philosophy.Mary Margaret McCabe - 2016 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 90 (1):1-25.
Virtue and Hexis in Plotinus.Giannis Stamatellos - 2015 - International Journal of the Platonic Tradition 9 (2):129-145.
The Alleged Fascism of Plato.H. B. Acton - 1938 - Philosophy 13 (51):302 - 312.
Four Modes of Theravāda Action.Frank E. Reynolds - 1979 - Journal of Religious Ethics 7 (1):12 - 26.
Plotinus on number.Svetla Slaveva-Griffin - 2009 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Virtue, Practice, and Perplexity in Plato's Meno.William Wians - 2013 - Plato Journal (Plato 12 (2012)).

Analytics

Added to PP
2017-11-03

Downloads
42 (#380,966)

6 months
11 (#244,932)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Marie-Élise Zovko
Institute of Philosophy, Zagreb

References found in this work

Plato: Complete Works.J. M. Cooper (ed.) - 1997 - Hackett.
Cratylus. Plato - 1997 - In J. M. Cooper (ed.), Plato Complete Works. Indianapolis: Hackett. pp. 101--156.
.John Dillon - 1989 - Cambridge University Press.
The Ideal of Godlikeness.David Sedley - 1999 - In Gail Fine (ed.), Plato, Volume 2: Ethics, Politics, Religious and the Soul. Oxford University Press. pp. 309-328.
After the Ascent: Plato on Becoming Like God.John M. Armstrong - 2004 - Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 26:171-183.

View all 19 references / Add more references