|Summary:||In the Tought of Plotinus the central metaphysical problems are: (i) the ontological derivation of reality from the Transcendental Absolute, the One or Good, which is beyond Being and all limitation; (ii) the function of the One as the ultimate object and goal of human aspiration. The aim of this study is to investigate the many facets of the relation of the One and Intellect, its first product.
The study comprises a critical and philosophical commentary on Plotinus' most comprehensive and problematic discussions of this theme: Enneads V.4(7).2; V.1(10).7.1-26; V.6(24).5.1-6.11; III.8(30).8.26-9.40, 10.1-11.26; V.5(32).7.31-8.27; VI.7(38).16-17, 35.19-36.27; VI.8(38).16; and V.3(49).11. Questions concerning the development and consistency of Plotinus' views on the One and Intellect are addressed in considering the texts in the chronological order of their composition.
Careful attention to context, the nuanced use of terminology, textual problems, and chronology illuminates Plotinus' speculative, metaphorical, and subtly varied accounts of the realtion between the One and Intellect. The author advances several distinctive interpretations: (a) the One possesses a rich inner life of self-reflexive activities which make it both source and goal of all reality; (b) the consecutive phases of Intellect represent fragmented aspects of the One's monistic reality; and (c) the mystical return of Intellect to the One culminates in a total, absorptive unification with the One.|