Plotinus: towards an ontology of likeness (On the One and Nous)

International Journal of Philosophical Studies 13 (1):53 - 68 (2005)
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Abstract

Plotinus? thesis of the relationship between the One and Nous (Intellect) is central to his thought. In dealing with this relationship, he concentrates far more on what makes the One and Nous alike than on what makes them different. This is because by preference he envisages the One as the ?causal principle of everything?, in what might be termed a ?top?down? model of metaphysics in which first cause (the One) leads downwards to second cause (Nous). Plotinus is obliged to present the distinction between the One and Nous as relative, not as absolute, precisely because he wants to show that Nous is firmly grounded in the One. The One differs from Nous to no more than the degree, and in no more than the manner, that are necessary for there to be created a Nous which is as like as possible to the One Itself

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