The Six Enneads

Front Cover
Kessinger Publishing, 2004 - Philosophy - 768 pages
But does not Likeness by way of Virtue imply Likeness to some being that has Virtue? To what Divine Being, then, would our Likeness be? To the Being- must we not think?- in Which, above all, such excellence seems to inhere, that is to the Soul of the Kosmos and to the Principle ruling within it, the Principle endowed with a wisdom most wonderful. What could be more fitting than that we, living in this world, should become Like to its ruler?

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User Review  - keithhamblen - LibraryThing

12/22/20 I own the complete set (vol 1-54) and keep them at home on the top west shelf of my office; this includes The Great Conversation (which is volume 1) and The Great Ideas (volumes 2-3, the ... Read full review

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This classic series represents the Western canon not without academic controversy. The latest volumes of the Great Books include some women writers, but they are still definitely underrepresented ... Read full review

About the author (2004)

Plotinus studied under Ammonius Sakkas and later moved to Rome, where he continued to develop his views and created a circle of faithful disciples, among them Porphyry the Phoenician (232--304), who edited Plotinus's Enneads and wrote works of his own, including The Life of Plotinus. Plotinus has been recognized as the last representative of Greek rationalism and one of the great thinkers of all times, having built a system that includes theories of reality, knowledge, ethics, esthetics, and theology. The main stock of Plotinus's ideas comes from the classical age of Greek philosophy, recast to counter problems that the winds of new doctrines ushered in along with the rising power of religious worship and the spreading expectation for salvation. Plotinus appeals to intellectual purity, an aspect often misunderstood as a concession to mysticism that lacks redeeming logical features. His philosophical system provides two ways to meet the demands of a fulfilled life. The first deals with finding one's place in a universe that is the result of the creative procession from the One, the source of all reality; the second is designed to effect the soul's "return" in a union with the One. Whereas the first way is metaphysical, the latter is ethical. The first brings understanding, the second grants blessedness. Plotinus's insights proved influential, and many of his disciples, chiefly Porphyry, sought to preserve and transmit them to subsequent generations of thinkers in other parts of the Roman world, Syria and Greece in particular. Iamblichus (died c.a.d.330), Syrianus (fl. c.431), and Proclus (410--485) worked out their own versions of Neoplatonism. The schools' activities ended when they were ordered closed in a.d. 529. Still, the ideas had taken on a life of their own and moved in new directions. Many of them already had been taken over by Christian intellectuals who were learning how to respond to the need to strengthen the rational side of their religion.

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