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Plotinus on Consciousness

$99.99 (C)

  • Date Published: May 2018
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108424769

$ 99.99 (C)
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  • Plotinus is the first Greek philosopher to hold a systematic theory of consciousness. The key feature of his theory is that it involves multiple layers of experience: different layers of consciousness occur in different levels of self. This layering of higher modes of consciousness on lower ones provides human beings with a rich experiential world, and enables human beings to draw on their own experience to investigate their true self and the nature of reality. This involves a robust notion of subjectivity. However, it is a notion of subjectivity that is unique to Plotinus, and remarkably different from the Post-Cartesian tradition. Behind the plurality of terms Plotinus uses to express consciousness, and behind the plurality of entities to which Plotinus attributes consciousness (such as the divine souls and the hypostases), lies a theory of human consciousness. It is a Platonist theory shaped by engagement with rival schools of ancient thought.

    • Argues that the concept of consciousness existed in the ancient world and can be disentangled from Descartes and the Post-Cartesian tradition
    • Proposes a new interpretation of Plotinus' philosophy of mind
    • Examines Plotinus' theory of consciousness in dialogue with Plato, Aristotle, and the Stoics
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Hutchinson faces squarely the challenge that the single word ‘consciousness’ as it is used today is not adequate for translating the Plotinian tetrad of Concepts: antilêpsis, parakolouthêsis, sunaisthêsis, and sunesis … [It is a] book that ought to be recognized as an important contribution to the historical background of contemporary consciousness studies.' Lloyd P. Gerson, Bryn Mawr Classical Review

    '… the book is a valuable contribution to Plotinus scholarship and will be of interest to any student of ancient philosophy and of the history of the philosophy of consciousness.' Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2018
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108424769
    • length: 218 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 158 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.44kg
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction
    1. Self
    2. Consciousness terms
    3. First layer: the soul-trace
    4. Second layer: the lower soul
    5. Third layer: the higher soul
    6. Self-determination
    7. Conclusion.

  • Author

    D. M. Hutchinson, St Olaf College, Minnesota
    D. M. Hutchinson is an Associate Professor in the Philosophy Department of St Olaf College, Minnesota.

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