Διαδικτυακή Διάλεξη

Plato in Ennead III 4
On Our Allotted Guardian Spirit

21 Φεβρουαρίου, 2024

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7-9μ.μ. (ώρα Αθήνας)

Image: Relief Depicting Cybele (4th c. BCE) found in the so-called “House of Proclus” in 1955. Acropolis Museum NA 1955 NAM 11 © Acropolis Museum, 2018, photo: Yiannis Koulelis

Abstract

In Ennead III 4 [15] On Our Allotted Guardian Spirit, which Porphyry (VPlot 10, 14-30) associates with the episode of the conjuration of Plotinus’ guardian spirit (δαίμων) in the Isaeum, Plotinus exposes his views on the nature of the companion spirits allegedly presiding over our activity. While the testimony preserved by Porphyry may be understood as pointing to an attempt to provide some empirical support for Plotinus’ doctrine, Plotinus’ main concern in this treatise is to ground his demonology not in ritual practice, or in experience more generally, but in Plato’s authority. For this purpose, Plotinus endeavours to reconcile relevant Platonic references drawn from various dialogues (Timaeus, Republic, Phaedo, Phaedrus, Cratylus, Symposium). Yet, as I shall argue, Plotinus is not simply interested in showing that the views expressed in these passages are consistent with one another and that his doctrine stems from them. Rather, he ponders that the philosopher’s task is to combine Plato’s excerpts in the right way in order to reconstruct the master’s authentic teaching, which, in reality, reflects Plotinus “expansive psychology” (Kalligas 2014, 486) and anticipates his anthropology in the sixth chapter of Ennead VI 7 [38] How the Multitude of the Forms Came into Being and on the Good as well as in Ennead I 1 [53] On What is the Living Being, and What is Man.

Irini-Fotini Viltanioti (University of Crete & IMS-FORTH)

Irini-Fotini Viltanioti is an associate professor of ancient philosophy at the University of Crete. She holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy (2010) and a D.E.A. in Philosophy and Culture (2006) from the University of Brussels (ULB) as well as a Ptychion/B.A. in Classics, History and Archaelogy from the University of Athens (2004). Before coming to Crete (2019), she has spent portions of her career at the F.R.S.-FNRS in Brussels, the University of Oxford, the KU Leuven, and Harvard’s CHS in Washington, D.C. She is the author of L’harmonie des Sirènes du pythagorisme ancien à Platon (De Gruyter 2015; d’Alviella Prize of the Royal Academy of Belgium 2016) and the editor (or co-editor) of Divine Powers in Late Antiquity (Oxford University Press 2017); Logic and Exegesis: The Logical Reconstruction of Arguments in the Greek Commentary Tradition (History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis 24, 2021); New Light. Neoplatonic Studies in Honour of the Twentieth Anniversary of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina (International Journal of the Platonic Tradition 18.1, 2024).