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Contemporary Encounters with Ancient Metaphysics$
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Abraham Jacob Greenstine and Ryan J. Johnson

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781474412094

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474412094.001.0001

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Plotinus’ “Reverse” Platonism: A Deleuzian Response to the Problem of Emanation Imagery

Plotinus’ “Reverse” Platonism: A Deleuzian Response to the Problem of Emanation Imagery

Chapter:
(p.305) Chapter 17 Plotinus’ “Reverse” Platonism: A Deleuzian Response to the Problem of Emanation Imagery
Source:
Contemporary Encounters with Ancient Metaphysics
Author(s):

Gina Zavota

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474412094.003.0017

Gina Zavota’s “Plotinus’ ‘Reverse’ Platonism: A Deleuzian Response to the Problem of Emanation Imagery” attempts a radical rethinking of the Plotinian question of emanation through the lens of Deleuze’s account of ontological individuation and actualization. Zavota notes that, despite its widespread acceptance as a Plotinian concept, Plotinus himself acknowledges the inadequacy of the language of emanation. Rather, just as Deleuze’s virtual Idea does not impose order upon the plane of consistency but instead simply indicates divergent lines of generation, Plotinus’ One does not predetermine the organization of things from above. Instead, the variety of generated objects, from the Intellect down to the barest material particulars, self-organize through the inherently generative operation of contemplation or turning towards the One. Thus contemplation is an act of differentiation, and Plotinus’ philosophy can be read as a counter-Platonism or divergent-Platonism.

Keywords:   Enneads, Plotinus, Deleuze, Individuation, The One, Emanation, Virtual

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