Plotinus Or the Simplicity of Vision

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University of Chicago Press, Apr 28, 1998 - Philosophy - 138 pages
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Since its original publication in France in 1963, Pierre Hadot's lively philosophical portrait of Plotinus remains the preeminent introduction to the man and his thought. Michael Chase's lucid translation—complete with a useful chronology and analytical bibliography—at last makes this book available to the English-speaking world.

Hadot carefully examines Plotinus's views on the self, existence, love, virtue, gentleness, and solitude. He shows that Plotinus, like other philosophers of his day, believed that Plato and Aristotle had already articulated the essential truths; for him, the purpose of practicing philosophy was not to profess new truths but to engage in spiritual exercises so as to live philosophically. Seen in this light, Plotinus's counsel against fixation on the body and all earthly matters stemmed not from disgust or fear, but rather from his awareness of the negative effect that bodily preoccupation and material concern could have on spiritual exercises.
 

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Plotinus is one of the most intriguing voices of the classical world. A thinker in the vein of St. John of the Cross, Rumi, and Simone Weil, he's an example of what Aldous Huxley called the "perennial ... Read full review

Contents

Reading Hadot Reading Plotinus
1
Portrait
17
Levels of the Self
23
Presence
35
Love
48
Virtues
64
Gentleness
74
Solitude
97
Postface to the Third Edition
115
Chronological Biography
117
Analytical Bibliography
121
References
129
Index of Plotinian Quotations
131
Index
135
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