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Select Works and Studies on Plotinus (10 vols.)

Overview

Gain a deeper understanding of philosophy through the ages by studying Plotinus—the founder of Neoplatonism.

Plotinus explored the nature of virtue, happiness, reason, body, and soul. His philosophical investigations developed a complex spiritual cosmology, which centers upon a creator-being whom he refers to as the One. According to his theory, all of life engenders from the One—including the One himself, which Plotinus describes as “the light before the light.” Ultimately, he believed that human beings should reject the material world and seek the higher realm of spirituality, culminating in a reunion with the One. Today, we know of Plotinus’ philosophy through the Enneads, a collection of his writings which his student Porphyry compiled and edited.

Through reading Plotinus, you'll gain insight into the development of philosophy in the western world. Neoplatonism influenced many great thinkers, including Augustine of Hippo, Boethius, Thomas Aquinas, Moses Maimodides, and Hegel.

Logos allows you to study Plotinus with unparalleled depth and efficiency. See Greek gloss and morphology with a click. Gather further clarification by instantly jumping to lexicons and dictionaries. Compare the Enneads’ Greek text and English translations, scrolling side by side in sync. Logos applies the most advanced tools to the best texts, so you get the most out of your study.

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  • Presents Plotinus’ Enneads in Greek
  • Includes two English translations of the Enneads
  • Offers two analyses of Plotinus’ philosophy and wisdom
Plotinus’s philosophy stands out as one of the major cultural accomplishments of the late antiquity.

—Paul Kalligas, assistant professor of ancient philosophy, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens

The Enneads are the primary and classical document of Neoplatonism.

Adolf von Harnack, theologian

  • Title: Select Works and Studies on Plotinus
  • Volumes: 10
  • Pages: 2,524
  • Language: English and Greek
  • Resource Type: Monographs
  • Topic: Ancient Philosophy

The Ethical Treatises: Being the Treatises of the First Ennead

  • Author: Plotinus
  • Translator: Stephen MacKenna
  • Series: The Library of Philosophical Translations
  • Publisher: The Medici Society
  • Publication Date: 1917
  • Pages: 176

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Plotinus addresses the nature of virtue, happiness, and beauty. He also reveals how Plato’s dialectic (analyzing one’s perceptions) can improve one’s understanding of reality.

Contents

  • Porphyry’s Life of Plotinus
  • The Books of the First Ennead
    • The Animate and the Man
    • On Virtue
    • Dialectic (or The Upward Way)
    • On Happiness (or The Authentic Good of Life)
    • On Happiness and Extension of Time
    • On Beauty
    • On the Primal Good and its Secondary Forms
    • On Evil, Its Nature and Source
    • On The Reasoned Dismissal
  • Bibliography and Explanatory Matter
  • The Preller-Ritter Conspectus of the Plotinian System
[MacKenna’s translation is] worthy . . . to take its place among the masterpieces of English prose.

—W.B. Yeats, poet

It is one of the very few great translations of our day.

—E.R. Dodds, former Regius Professor of Greek, University of Oxford

Psychic and Physical Treaties; Comprising the Second and Third Enneads

  • Author: Plotinus
  • Translator: Stephen MacKenna
  • Series: The Library of Philosophical Translations
  • Publisher: The Medici Society
  • Publication Date: 1921
  • Pages: 264

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

In the Second Ennead, Plotinus discusses the nature of matter and the relationship between potentiality and actuality. In the Third Ennead, he investigates providence and free will, and also describes the nature of time and eternity.

Contents

  • The Books of the Third Ennead
    • Fate
    • Providence: First Treatise
    • On Providence: Second Treatise
    • Our Tutelary Spirit
    • On Love
    • The Impassivity of the Unembodied
    • Time and Eternity
    • Nature Contemplation and the One
    • Detached Considerations
  • The Books of the Second Ennead
    • On the Kosmos or on the Heavenly System
    • The Heavenly Circuit
    • Are the Stars Causes?
    • Matter in its Two Kinds
    • On Potentiality and Actuality
    • Quality and Form-Idea
    • On Complete Transfusion
    • Why Distant Objects Appear Small
    • Against Those that Affirm the Creator of the Kosmos and the Kosmos Itself to be Evil: [Generally Quoted as “Against the Gnostics”]
  • Note on the Order of the Tractates of the Third and Second Enneads
  • Acknowledgements

On the Nature of the Soul, Being the Fourth Ennead

  • Author: Plotinus
  • Translator: Stephen MacKenna
  • Series: The Library of Philosophical Translations
  • Publisher: The Medici Society
  • Publication Date: 1924
  • Pages: 178

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Here Plotinus addresses the immortality of the soul and the relationship between the body and the soul.

Contents

  • The Books of the Fourth Ennead
    • On the Essence of the Soul (I)
    • On the Essence of the Soul (II)
    • Problems of the Soul (I)
    • Problems of the Soul (II)
    • Problems of the Soul (III)
    • Perception and Memory
    • The Immortality of the Soul
    • The Soul’s Descent into Body
    • Are All Souls One?
  • Acknowledgements

The Divine Mind, Being the Treatises of the Fifth Ennead

  • Author: Plotinus
  • Translator: Stephen MacKenna
  • Series: The Library of Philosophical Translations
  • Publisher: The Medici Society
  • Publication Date: 1926
  • Pages: 124

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

In the Fifth Ennead, Plotinus identifies underlying principles of reality: “the One,” the Intellectual Principle, and the soul.

Contents

  • The Books of the Fifth Ennead
    • The Three Initial Hypostases
    • The Origin and Order of the Beings Following on the First
    • The Knowing Hypostases and the Transcendent
    • How the Secondaries Rise from the First: And on The One
    • That the Intellectual Beings are not Outside the Intellectual Principle: And on the Nature of The Good
    • That the Principle Transcending Being has no Intellectual Act. What Being has no Intellectual Act. What Being has Intellection Primally and What Being has it Secondarily
    • Is there an Ideal Archetype of Particular Beings?
    • On the Intellectual Beauty
    • The Intellectual-Principle, the Ideas and the Authentic Existence
  • Acknowledgements

On the One and Good: Being the Treatises of the Sixth Ennead

  • Author: Plotinus
  • Translator: Stephen MacKenna and B.S. Page
  • Series: The Library of Philosophical Translations
  • Publisher: The Medici Society
  • Publication Date: 1930
  • Pages: 272

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

In the Sixth Ennead, Plotinus delves into the kinds of being established by the Intellectual Principle and the diverse ideas which may be found in the intellect; concluding with a discussion of the good—“the One’s” moral nature.

Contents

  • The Books of the Sixth Ennead
    • On the Kinds of Being (1)
    • On the Kinds of Being (2)
    • On the Kinds of Being (3)
    • On the Integral Omnipresence of the Authentic Existent (1)
    • On the Integral Omnipresence of the Authentic Existent (2)
    • On Numbers
    • On the Origin of Multiplicity in the Ideal Realm and on the Good
    • On Free-Will and the Will of the One
    • On the Good, or The One
  • Acknowledgements

Stephen MacKenna (1872–1934) was born in Liverpool, England. He worked as a European correspondent for the New York World. While in St. Petersburg, Russia he read the Enneads. He decided that to translate Plotinus was “worth a life” and thus devoted two decades to the task.

Select Works of Plotinus

  • Author: Plotinus
  • Translator: Thomas Taylor
  • Series: Bohn’s Philosophical Library
  • Publisher: George Bell and Sons
  • Publication Date: 1895
  • Pages: 458

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Translator Thomas Taylor holds the distinction of being the first to translate Plotinus’ works into English. This volume presents his translation of a select group of Plotinus’ tractates, comprising:

  • On the Virtues
  • On Dialectic
  • On Matter
  • Against the Gnostics
  • On the Impassivity of Incorporeal Natures
  • On Eternity and Time
  • On the Immortality of the Soul
  • On the Three Hypostases that Rank as the Principles of Things
  • On Intellect, Ideas, and [Real] Being
  • On the Essence of the Soul
  • A Discussion of Doubts relative to the Soul
  • On the Generation and Order of Things after the First
  • On Gnostic Hypostases, and That Which Is beyond Them
  • That the Nature Which Is beyond Being Is Not Intellective, etc.
  • On the Good, or the One

This wonderful genius and profound philosopher devoted his whole life to the elucidation and propagation of the Platonic philosophy. By his arduous labors modern times became acquainted with many of the works of Plotinus . . .

—Thomas Moore Johnson, editor, The Platonist

Thomas Taylor (May 15, 1758–November 1, 1835) was an English translator. He holds the distinction of being the first to translate the works of Aristotle and Plato into English.

Plotini Opera, Recognovit, vol. 1

  • Author: Plotinus
  • Editor: Adolphus Kirchhoff
  • Publisher: B.G. Teubneri
  • Publication Date: 1856
  • Pages: 435

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

This volume includes the Greek text of Enneads 1 through 3 as well as a Latin introduction.

Plotini Opera, Recognovit, vol. 2

  • Author: Plotinus
  • Editor: Adolphus Kirchhoff
  • Publisher: B.G. Teubneri
  • Publication Date: 1856
  • Pages: 435

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

This volume includes the Greek text of Enneads 4 through 6.

Adolphus Kirchhoff (January 6, 1826–February 26, 1908) was professor of classical philology at the University of Berlin. His other works include Die Homerische Odyssee, Die Fränkischen Runen, and Studien zur Geschichte des Griechischen Alphabets.

The Philosophy of Plotinos: His Life, Times, and Philosophy

  • Author: Kenneth Sylvan Guthrie
  • Publisher: Luzac & Co.
  • Publication Date: 1910
  • Pages: 64

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Kenneth Sylvan Guthrie provides an analysis of Plotinus’ philosophy in relation to the following subjects:

  • Platonism
  • Aristotelianism
  • Stoicism
  • Emanationism
  • Ammonius Sakkas, Plotinos, and their Relation to Christianity
  • Mikrokosm and Makrokosm
  • The First Realm, the God
  • The Second Realm, God, Cosmic Mind
  • The Third Realm, the Soul
  • The Fourth Realm, Reason
  • The Fifth Realm, Sense
  • The Sixth Realm, Vitality
  • The Seventh Realm, Matter
  • Reincarnation
  • Ethics
  • Aesthetics
  • Plotinos and Paganism

Kenneth Sylvan Guthrie (1871–1940) received a PhD from Tulane in 1893 and an AM from Harvard in 1894. Additionally, he qualified as an MD, with three gold medals from Medico Chiurgical College in 1903 and received a second PhD at Columbia in 1915. Guthrie is best known for his translations of the works of Proclus, Numenius of Apamea, and Plotinus.

The Wisdom of Plotinus: A Metaphysical Study

  • Author: Charles Joseph Whitby
  • Edition: 2nd
  • Publisher: William Rider and Son, Ltd.
  • Publication Date: 1919
  • Pages: 144

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

In this text, Charles J. Whitby provides an overview of Neoplatonism and Plotinus’ teachings.

Contents

  • Dedication
  • Preface
  • Sonnet: Plotinus
  • Life of Plotinus
  • Ancient and Modern Methods
  • Neoplatonism
  • Matter
  • The Universe
  • Individuality
  • The Problem of Evil
  • Providence and the Individual
  • Demons and the Demonic Faculty
  • Concerning Love and the Emotions
  • Substance or Corporeal Essence
  • Time and Eternity
  • Doctrine of the Soul
  • Individuality
  • Incarnation or Descension
  • The World-Soul as Basis of Movement
  • Intelligence, and the Intelligible World
  • Primal Categories or Elements of the Notion
  • Universal Number
  • Number and Unity
  • Time and Space in Eternity
  • Ideal Functions of Time and Space
  • Universal Differentiation
  • Intelligence and the One
  • The Cause of Beauty
  • The One
  • Potential Import of the Doctrine of Unity

For the professed student of philosophy, Plotinus still remains the most important of the Neoplatonists, and his theories cannot be neglected. Mr. Whitby has presented them in an admirably concise and lucid form, and for metaphysicians his little volume will be indispensable.

Globe

Charles Joseph Whitby is also the author of Makers of Man: A Study of Human Initiative, The Doctor and His Work, with a Hint of His Destiny and Ideals, and The Logic of Human Character.

Plotinus (204–270 AD), the founder of Neoplatonism, was born in Lycopolis, Egypt. In his 20s he travelled to Alexandria where he studied philosophy under Ammonius Saccas until 242. For the next two years, he studied Persian and Indian philosophy. Plotinus then traveled to Rome where he established a school of philosophy and taught for 20 years. His work influenced many great thinkers including Augustine of Hippo, Boethius, Thomas Aquinas, Moses Maimodides, and Hegel.

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