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  • Print publication year: 1967
  • Online publication date: March 2008

Chapter 14 - Man and reality

from Part III - PLOTINUS
Man for Plotinus is in some sense divine, and the object of the philosophic life is to understand the divinity and restore its proper relationship with the divine All. The object, then, of philosophy according to Plotinus is to attain to our true end, union with the Good, in the divine All, by waking to a knowledge of our true self and its place in reality. The moral teaching of Plotinus is, as has often been remarked, strongly influenced by Stoicism. Plotinus keeps the Stoic ideal of freedom from irrational affections and passions but because of his different conception of man it means something very different for him. The teaching of Plotinus about the human, earthly body is very much influenced by the Phaedo. However, when he considers what the philosopher's attitude should be to the material universe as a whole and its order and beauty the predominant Platonic influence is that of the Timaeus.
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The Cambridge History of Later Greek and Early Medieval Philosophy
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