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

Chapter 13 - Teaching and writing

from Part III - PLOTINUS
Summary
The part of Porphyry's description of Plotinus at Rome which is most interesting to a historian of philosophy is his account of his master's method of teaching and writing. A story which Porphyry tells gives an excellent idea of the spirit in which Plotinus met queries and objections. What Porphyry has to say about his master's knowledge and use of previous philosophers has been confirmed and amplified by recent studies of the Enneads, and is extremely helpful to people understanding of how Plotinus worked out his own philosophy. Plotinus was not the founder of Neoplatonism in the sense that he founded a school with a continuous tradition based on his teaching. Once Plotinus had begun to write he continued to do so to the end of his life, but his writings were not intended for general circulation. They were meant for a few of his close friends, and disciples, and it was not easy to get hold of copies.
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The Cambridge History of Later Greek and Early Medieval Philosophy
  • Online ISBN: 9781139055147
  • Book DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521040549
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A. H. Armstrong Was Plotinus a Magician?’, in Phronesis, 1, 1 (1955).

E. R. Dodds Tradition and Personal Achievement in the Philosophy of Plotinus’, in Journal of Roman Studies, 50 (1960).

A. C. Lloyd Neoplatonic and Aristotelian Logic’, in Phronesis, 1 (1955–6) and (also for Part IV, ch. 19).

P. Merlan Plotinus and Magic’, in Isis, 44 (1953).

J. M. Rist Plotinus on Matter and Evil’, in Phronesis, 6 (1961).

J. Trouillard Valeur critique de la mystique plotinienne’, in Revue philosophique de Louvain, 59 (1961).