Aristotle and Plotinus on the Intellect

Aristotle and Plotinus on the Intellect

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This book emphasizes that Aristotle was aware of the philosophical attempt to subordinate divine Intellect (nou: V) 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 Plotinus."
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Product details

  • Electronic book text | 278 pages
  • Lexington Books
  • MD, United States
  • English
  • 0739167766
  • 9780739167762

Review quote

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"
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About Mark J Nyvlt

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