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  • Generally speaking, Plotinus is equivocal on the nature of the descent of human souls. At times he suggests that the soul’s descent is voluntary, at others involuntary. Dodds (1965, 24–26) thinks that Plotinus changed his mind after his break with the Gnostics and moved from viewing the descent as voluntary to seeing it as involuntary. O’Brien (1977) suggests that the two terms need not be mutually exclusive; this is borne out by IV.3.13, 17 “Souls go down neither voluntarily nor because they are sent; at least, such volition is not like a choice, but like a natural jump such as the urge for sexual intercourse or for noble action.” Other passages in Plotinus are inconclusive and it is perhaps less profitable to seek for a single definite doctrine than to attend to the discussion in this treatise. Atkinson (1983, 6) concludes: “I am not convinced that Plotinus’ views of the awkward problem of the descent of the soul ever showed any real development.” Plotinus deals more fully with this issue in chapter 5.

  • Remarques de l'éditeur
  • Luciana Santoprete
    • Contexte
    • Commentaire au Traité 6 (IV, 8), 2, 1-14
    • Page
    • 96
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  • Sources anciennes
  • Mots-clefs français
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  • Liens
  • Appartenances
  • Traité 6 (IV, 8), 2, 14