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

Chapter 15 - The One and Intellect

from Part III - PLOTINUS
Plotinus was the first to work out a coherent doctrine of the One or Good clearly distinguished from and transcending its first product, the divine Intellect which is also real being in the Platonic sense. A being for Plotinus is always limited by form or essence. An absolutely formless being is impossible, and perfect or absolute being is the unified whole of all forms which is the divine Intellect. The supreme achievement of the intellect is to leave itself behind. However, for Plotinus there is no way of passing beyond intellect other than through intellect. Plotinus seems to have taken it from the Neopythagoreans, who called the dyad tolma because it was the first to separate itself from the monad. The World of Intellect for Plotinus is finite, limited and determined in its structure or pattern, but infinite in its life and power.
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The Cambridge History of Later Greek and Early Medieval Philosophy
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