This study continues and completes my research on the contemplation in Plotinus and on the Neo-platonic tradition.
Given that my research of Plotinian texts concerning contemplation were carried out in the most complete possible way in a preceding publication, the thorough critical analysis on the Plotinus’ “theoria” in this case does not concern a deep textual study, but a critical evaluation of the tendency in the studies on this theme in a large and significant period of time, that is starting from the fifties of the twentieth century.
The first chapter therefore is an analysis of the studies on contemplation in the years fifty-seventy of the last century. At that time scholars were particularly interested in contemplation from an anthropological and mystical points of view, without however ignoring the Plotinian system as a whole. At that time we have interpretations of scholars like R. Arnou, V. Eborowicz, V. Cilento, P. Prini, E.R. Dodds, E. Coreth, J.N. Deck.
In the second chapter I outline the most important elements of the doctrine of Plotinus “theoria” starting from the seventies, emphasizing two phases in the research.
After the years eighty-ninety during which the doctrine of contemplation was studied in a more articulate and systematic way with attention to all aspects of Plotinian thought and the philosophical tradition preceding it, a new phase followed in which specific studies on the “theoria” diminished. There was then a return to the anthropological question as the systematic one was more or less exhausted, or to new aspects which emerged in late-antique research, as for example the problem of politics.
The conclusions that follow also refer to themes discussed in my book on Plotinus “metaphysics of contemplation”. Here it becomes clear that for Plotinus “all is theoria” and “ all derives from ‘theoria’”, in hypostasis and in the cosmos, and in man. A bibliography follows which allows a further analysis of the works and themes presented.
Therefore, I went back to my studies on the problem of “theoria”, able to add much deeper and updated points to my booknpublished in 1996. The question of contemplation such as the “theoretic number” of Plotinus thought and of Greek thought in general is here clarified thanks to a critical analysis of the most significant interpretation of this doctrine starting from the fifties of the twentieth century.
|Translated title of the contribution||[Autom. eng. transl.] "Theoria" and philosophy. Interpretations of Plotinus' doctrine on contemplation from the 1950s|
|Number of pages||105|
|Publication status||Published - 2012|