Plotinus’ Flight from ‘Confinement’


  • Sonja Weiss



Plotinus’ Flight from ‘Confinement’


The paper examines Plotinus’ ambivalent attitude to the physical. On the one hand, the Platonist tradition argues for the perfection of the universal order, which includes the universal ‘body’, that is, the perceptible world. At an individual (i.e. human) level, however, body and soul enter a different relationship than at the universal level. This stems from the weakness of the individual soul rather than from its body: the body is matter animated by form, and is as such the offspring and fosterling of the soul. Plotinus’ aversion to living in the body, and his consequent lifestyle as evident in Porphyry’s Vita Plotini, results from present inability to accept a natural necessity. The union between body and soul remains sacred even at the moment of mystic ecstasy, and any attempt to end the life of the body by violence is unnatural and harmful.


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31. 07. 2015



Scholarly Articles

How to Cite

Weiss, Sonja. 2015. “Plotinus’ Flight from ‘Confinement’”. Keria: Studia Latina Et Graeca 17 (1): 45-60.