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Plotinus and His Theory of Beauty - Essay Example

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It is everything and nothing, everything and nowhere. The One is the source of all beings and, as the Good, the goal of all aspirations, human and non-human." (Bussanich, 1996, p. 38). According to Plotinus, everything that exists in the world flows out of the One and it is the One which emanates the divine Intellect. In turn, the Intellect originates the Soul, which incorporates the world soul, the human and other souls, and it is the Soul which produces the nature and matter in the universe. To Plotinus, one of the most striking features of the One is that it remains ever-complete and undiminished, in spite of the emanation and the idea of emanation of the One indicates that reality is structured in a hierarchical order, stretching from the uplifting source down to corporeal matter. Plotinus' theory of beauty can be realized in relation to his overall metaphysical psychology. As Binita Mehta maintains, the perception of beauty, according to Plotinus, dumbfounds the soul and fills it with love. ...
It is a phenomenological fact that an experience of rapturous delight that beauty evokes creates an appetite in us for further similar experiences For Plotinus, even a purely sensuous beauty can serve as a starting point of the quest for higher beauty." (Mehta). According to Plotinus, even the beauty in the material world should be realized as the reflection of the intelligible beauty. Therefore, there is an essential power for beauty as the apprehension of sensible beauty can very well propel the soul to realize the source of this lower form of beauty in the intelligible realm. In other words, beauty in every form and element can lead one to the ultimate source of beauty which is the source of everything in the world. Essentially, a reflective analysis of the theory of beauty according to Plotinus confirms that beauty is closely connected to the Divine or the One who is the ultimate source of all beings, and the concept of beauty has a great role in the ascent of the Soul to the One or the Divine.
The notion of beauty has an essential role in the metaphysics of Plotinus who develops his theory of beauty in the I.6 and V.8 of his book the Enneads and a reflective analysis of these sections of the book can greatly offer the basics of notion of beauty according to the author. In the I.6 section of the book, Plotinus maintains that "Beauty addresses itself chiefly to sight, but there is a beauty for hearing too, as in certain combinations of words and all kinds of music, for melodies and cadences are beautiful; and minds that lift themselves above the realm of sense to higher order are aware of beauty in the conduct of life, in actions, in character, in the pursuit of the intellect; and there is beauty of the virtues. What loftier beauty there may be, yet, our ...Show more


One of the most essential aspects of Plotinus' metaphysics is his theory of beauty which has given rise to immense commentary and interpretations in philosophical studies and Plotinus designates the One as "beauty beyond beauty," as "superabundance of beauty," which indicates that for him the inspiring reality is eminently beautiful…
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Plotinus and His Theory of Beauty
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