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The Nature of LovePlato to Luther$
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Irving Singer

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780262512725

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262512725.001.0001

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Plotinus and Merging

Plotinus and Merging

(p.111) 6 Plotinus and Merging
The Nature of Love

Irving Singer

The MIT Press

This chapter discusses the life of Plotinus and his ideas on love and friendship. It is important to note that the philosophy of Plotinus is heavily based on a disdain for material being, hunger for spiritual purity, belief in a divinity that transcends the world and yet appears to it, and identification between man and God by penetrating into the ultimate recesses of oneself. Plotinus believed that philosophic love was a kind of introspection. To a large extent, Greek ideas about love were transmitted through Plotinus. The Middle Ages may have revered Aristotle, but Neoplatonists such as Plotinus exerted an equal influence at the time. Modifying Plato and Aristotle, Plotinus creates a new synthesis. Where Aristotle idealized friendship as a circumscribed relation between special individuals, Plotinus reverts to the Platonic search for infinite goodness.

Keywords:   Plotinus, philosophic love, introspection, Neoplatonists, friendship, Platonic, infinite goodness

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