Plotinus First Ennead 8th Tractate Analysis

Lindsay Chafizadeh and Olivia Citro
Theology : The Problem Of Evil
Shams Inati

Plotinus, Enneads, First Ennead, 8th Tractate

Our presentation was on Plotinus, Enneads, First Ennead, 8th Tractate. The Enneads which is fully The Six Enneads, is the collection of writings of Plotinus, edited and compiled by his student Porphyry. We focused on the First Ennead and the 8th Tractate, which is "On the Nature and Source of Evil".

The part that I, Lindsay Chafizadeh, focused mainly on throughout the presentation was the background information and history of Plotinus and The Enneads. First, I researched Plotinus, who was a major Greek-speaking philosopher of the ancient world and a strong influence on Ibn Sina. He followed three principles in
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After researching the term Treatise, I can define it as a formal and systematic written examination of a certain subject that is written to expose the principles of that subject. Plotinus’s student, Porphyry, edited Plotinus’s writings into 54 different Treatises, which were then separated into groups of 9 Enneads. Most information on Plotinus comes from Porphyry's preface to his edition of Plotinus' Enneads. We focused on the 8th Tractate, and later is the presentation define what each section in the Tractate means. Plotinus’s metaphysical writings have acted as a significant inspiration to Pagan, Islamic, Jewish, Christian, and Gnostic metaphysicians and …show more content…
In the first Ennead, 8th Tractate, Plotinus creates twelve sections to discuss the nature and source of evil. Beginning with tractate 8 section 1, Plotinus discusses how humans know evil in the same way as we know the good in the world. In tractate 8 section 2, Plotinus defines goodness as the self-sufficient source and measure of all things. The good is beyond beautiful, beyond the highest and beyond the most intellect. Plotinus goes on to explain that the “... Good is that on which all else depends, towards which all Existences aspire as to their source and their need, while Itself is without need, sufficient to Itself, aspiring to no other” (Plotinus). Intellect circles good, and soul circles intellect, and through it sees good. If this were all, then evil would not exist. Next, I looked at tractate 8 section 3 where Plotinus discusses how Evil has to be a source of non-being and must be removed from being. Plotinus goes on to say that,“The Non Being we are thinking of is, rather, an image of Being or perhaps something so further removed than even an image” (Plotinus). In tractate 8, section 4 Plotinus stated how the Body is evil because it resists orderly movement while the Soul is what is good. Plotinus states, “In their ceaseless flux, they are always slipping away from Being” (Plotinus). Plotinus explains in this section that

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