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Plotinus on the Daemon as the Soul’s Erotic Disposition towards the Good

Plotinus on the Daemon as the Soul’s Erotic Disposition towards the Good AbstractThe idea that the soul has a guardian daemon was a common topic among Platonists, informed by different readings of Plato, especially Symp. 202e and Resp. 620e. In his philosophically dense interpretation, Plotinus describes the daemon as the ‘pole of attraction’ or the erotic disposition that keeps the core of one’s personality directed towards the Good. In this way, the daemon promotes the soul’s ascent to higher levels of reality through a transition from unconsciousness into consciousness that, across different incarnations, will eventually flow into the disembodied self. In order to unpack this view, this article brings together Enn. III.4 and III.5 with Enn. VI.7, where Plotinus discusses the difference between soul (ψυχή) and the expressed principle (λόγος) belonging to soul. This difference if fundamental to fully understand the role of the guardian daemon in the soul’s πρόοδος and ἐπιστροφή. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Elenchos de Gruyter

Plotinus on the Daemon as the Soul’s Erotic Disposition towards the Good

Elenchos , Volume 44 (2): 19 – Dec 1, 2023

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Publisher
de Gruyter
Copyright
© 2023 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston
ISSN
0392-7342
eISSN
2037-7177
DOI
10.1515/elen-2023-0016
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

AbstractThe idea that the soul has a guardian daemon was a common topic among Platonists, informed by different readings of Plato, especially Symp. 202e and Resp. 620e. In his philosophically dense interpretation, Plotinus describes the daemon as the ‘pole of attraction’ or the erotic disposition that keeps the core of one’s personality directed towards the Good. In this way, the daemon promotes the soul’s ascent to higher levels of reality through a transition from unconsciousness into consciousness that, across different incarnations, will eventually flow into the disembodied self. In order to unpack this view, this article brings together Enn. III.4 and III.5 with Enn. VI.7, where Plotinus discusses the difference between soul (ψυχή) and the expressed principle (λόγος) belonging to soul. This difference if fundamental to fully understand the role of the guardian daemon in the soul’s πρόοδος and ἐπιστροφή.

Journal

Elenchosde Gruyter

Published: Dec 1, 2023

Keywords: Plotinus; guardian daemon; reincarnation; eros; freedom of agency

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