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Form and Transformation: A Study in the Philosophy of Plotinus [Hardcover]

Frederic M. Schroeder

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Book Description

April 13 1992 McGill-Queen's Studies in the History of Religion (Book 16)
The Platonic Form is often presented as an instrument of explanation and as a cause in ontology, epistemology, and ethics. As such, it is usually approached from the perspective of its relations to the particulars of the sensible world. Frederic Schroeder contends that Plotinus argues for the sovereignty of the Platonic Form both as a ground of being and as an intrinsically valuable object of intellective and spiritual vision. These two aspects coalesce in the thought of Plotinus, for whom the Form is, apart from its philosophical uses, an object of enjoyment. Schroeder argues also that the particular must be seen as having an intrinsic character, distinct from its relationship to the Form or to other particulars. The particular thus becomes a window on the world of Form. In the course of his exploration of the sovereignty of Form, Schroeder examines the themes of illumination, silence, language, and love. He undertakes an immanent interpretation of the Plotinian text, showing how Plotinian vocabulary displays intricate internal connections and genetic relationships. Schroeder shows that Plotinus' thought is not susceptible to organization into a closed, linear synthesis but has its own order, centred on the conviction that Form is of intrinsic value and that it is only from the perspective of this intrinsic value that we can understand its uses and significance in explanation and causation. Rather than trying to construct such a synthesis, Schroeder, starting from this basic insight into Plotinus' understanding of the Platonic Form, leads the reader to a greater understanding of Plotinus' manner of philosophizing.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: McGill-Queen's University Press (April 13 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0773510168
  • ISBN-13: 978-0773510166
  • Product Dimensions: 23.8 x 16.3 x 1.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 295 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,083,243 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"This is certainly the best introduction to the philosophy of Plotinus in English, or perhaps in any language, which I have seen. The scholarship is exact and up-to-date ... The book has a properly contemplative element, springing from the author's, and Plotinus', deep conviction that the Platonic Form is valuable and delightful in and for itself and not only as a cause or explanation, which brings out the originality of the thought of Plotinus and its perennially stimulating quality." A.H. Armstrong, Professor Emeritus, Department of Classics, Dalhousie University. "L'auteur possède une rare intuition des interrelations entre les termes imagés, et il fait intervenir avec une remarquable acuité les symétries conceptuelles qui investissent la langue." Georges Leroux, Département de philosophie, Université du Quebec à Montréal.

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