Plotin. Traité sur la liberté et la volonté de I 'Un [Ennéade VI, 8 (39)]

Review of Metaphysics 45 (2):407-408 (1991)


Scholarly work on Plotinus has now reached the point where serious philosophical evaluation of his writings can develop on a sound basis. Many of the tasks presupposed by such an evaluation have been completed: a critical edition of the Greek text, a complete lexicon, reliable translations. Other tasks are rapidly advancing, in particular the publication of commentaries on individual Plotinian treatises. We can now consult commentaries on Enneads III.7; III.8, V.8, V.5, II.9; IV.3, 1-8; V.1; VI.6; VI.7; and now the present work on VI.8. Leroux provides a long introduction in which the structure, content, philosophical interest, and historical importance of Ennead VI.8 are discussed; a Greek text of the treatise ; a facing French translation; a long commentary; indices and a bibliography. Leroux's Greek text is conservative and makes no new contribution. He prefers Henry-Schwyzer's original readings in fifteen cases and adopts the reading of another editor at 7, 49. The translation appears in general to be sound and clear. The commentary includes brief introductions to each of the chapters of the treatise and explanation of individual passages: Leroux indicates Plotinus' sources, provides further references to Plotinus, and sets passages in a larger context. At times one could wish for more help, for example at 13, 1-5, where Plotinus announces a change in approach: what precisely is this change? Are there comparable changes elsewhere in the Enneads? [[sic]] The commentary sometimes refers back to the introduction to which we should turn for Leroux's overall interpretation of the treatise.

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