Aristotle and Plotinus on the Intellect

Aristotle and Plotinus on the Intellect : Monism and Dualism Revisited

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This book emphasizes that Aristotle was aware of the philosophical attempt to subordinate divine Intellect to a prior and absolute principle. Nyvlt argues that Aristotle transforms the Platonic doctrine of Ideal Numbers into an astronomical account of the unmoved movers, which function as the multiple intelligible content of divine Intellect. Thus, within Aristotle we have in germ the Plotinian doctrine that the intelligibles are within the Intellect. While the content of divine Intellect is multiple, it does not imply that divine Intellect possesses a degree of potentiality, given that potentiality entails otherness and contraries. Rather, the very content of divine Intellect is itself; it is Thought Thinking Itself. The pure activity of divine Intellect, moreover, allows for divine Intellect to know the world, and the acquisition of this knowledge does not infect divine Intellect with potentiality. The status of the intelligible object(s) within divine Intellect is pure activity that is identical with divine Intellect itself, as T. De Koninck and H. Seidl have argued. Therefore, the intelligible objects within divine Intellect are not separate entities that determine divine Intellect, as is the case in more

Product details

  • Hardback | 278 pages
  • 157.48 x 231.14 x 25.4mm | 544.31g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 0739167758
  • 9780739167755

Review quote

The philosophical ambitions of this study are wonderful...Nyvlt tries to avoid broad strokes and boldly strides into the scholarly controversies concerning his historical study...Nyvlt's study will be a for scholars interested in the philosophy of God and in ancient philosophy. Let us look forward to his future work. Review of Metaphysics The strength of Nyvlt's book lies in its discussion of Nous in the larger context of the first principles of ancient metaphysics, and the extensive analysis of the historical influences on Plotinian Nous. Journal of the History of Philosophy When Hegel and Heidegger said of a book or play that it is an impressive technical achievement, but we are not changed by experiencing it, they claim we encounter an Erlebnis, a mere entertainment or an interlude. When they say we have been transformed by a work, we experience an Erfahrung. Plotinus and Aristotle on the Intellect is more than a highly original and insightful study of a foundational metaphysical principle, an Erlebnis. This work is among those surprising books which forces us to rethink traditional explanations of Aristotle, Alexander, and Plotinus. The author compels us to examine Nous and the One within the history of ancient philosophy and beyond. What follows from such a request is a significant transformation of our understanding of Intellect's metaphysical significance. It is in this sense that this book is an Erfahrung. -- Robert M. Berchman, Dowling College and Senior Fellow at Bard College Nyvlt's opus provides us with new, creative insights into the Ancient metaphysics of the first principle. An advocate of the Aristotelian position of the supremacy of the Nous, Nyvlt's comparative approach of Aristotle and Plotinus remains always fair and non partisan. His reading is scrupulous and intelligent and if one may not agree with all his conclusions, one cannot but acknowledge the solidity and subtlety of his argumentation. -- Bernard Collette, Universite Lavalshow more

About Mark J. Nyvlt

Mark J. Nyvlt is an assistant professor at the Dominican University College, more

Table of contents

Foreword by Klaus Brinkmann Acknowledgements Introduction Part I Chapter One: Aristotle On The Platonic Two-Principles Doctrine: The One and The Indefinite Dyad Chapter Two: Speusippus and Aristotle Chapter Three: Aristotelian Henology Chapter Four: The Anatomy of Aristotle's Metaphysics Chapter Five: The Unmoved Mover and The Simplicity and Priority of nou:V: Metaphysics L 7, De Anima III.4-5, and Metaphysics L 9 Part II Chapter Six: The =Epistrofhv of the One and The Derivation of nou:V Chapter Seven: Plotinus On Phantasia: Phantasia As The Home Of Self-Consciousness Within The Soul Chapter Eight: Alcinous and Alexander On The Intelligibles Within nou:V Chapter Nine: Plotinus On The Simplicity of nou:V: An Appropriation And Critique Of Aristotle's Noetic Doctrine Conclusionshow more