Plotinus, Self and the World addresses the question of the individual subject in its relationship with the world, the ‘all’. It traces the self through its experience of memory and forgetfulness, looks at whether the idea of the subconscious exists in Plotinus, and notes the probable impact of Plotinus’ thought on the development of the autobiography, in the form of Augustine’s Confessions. Augustine historicises the Plotinian individual self. The book reinterprets the idea of to oikeion in Plotinus and places great emphasis on the importance of the idea of ‘having’, and the ability to possess is itself linked to being: thus we are close to the idea of personal authenticity. Lastly the book examines Plotinus’ view of images and art, and notes his respect for the beauty of the human face. His positive view of the physical world is stressed.
- Addresses new questions about Plotinus’ view of self in its environment
- Reflects on Plotinus’ positive view of the world, thereby helping to stimulate a reappraisal of his otherworldliness
- Emphasises Plotinus’ respect for the beauty of the human face, thereby allowing him to be placed in his social and artistic context