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Volume 14, 2016

La Médiation Discursive dans le Néoplatonisme

Anca Vasiliu
Pages 59-87

Penser l’Un ou la limite de la médiation selon Plotin

Trying to reconstruct the specific definition of the noetic act from some excerpts of the fifth and seventh Treatises (Enneads, V, 9 and 4), one manages to circumscribe the operations by which Plotinus establishes in the context the unity between the intellect, the act of thinking, some form of «prime intelligibility» and the other, multiple, intelligibilities. Plotinus is striving to avoid several pitfalls in order not to endanger the unity of the noetic hypostasis and consequently to imperil the only possible way of thinking the One. At least four ways of bypassing possible impediments detectable in the context mentioned can be summarised : (i) averting the idea that the noetic act can be identified to the form and can thus be defined as «the thinking of forms» ; (ii) establishing that the precession of being as an «object of thought» is an a posteriori act of thought, and not the actual and necessary preeminence of the being on the noetic act ; (iii) debunking any temptation of considering thought as a mediation between the first and the second hypostasis ; and finally (iv) avoiding a definition of the noetic act through a sine qua non recourse to power, by establishing a specific statutary order of the noûs according to which the act and the power determine, or not, the possibility of intellection. An analysis of the texts will bring us to reconsider the so‑called theory of the two complementary acts and its Aristotelian origins, and also to recall the debates around Plotinus’ «idealism», demonstrating the appositeness and the specificities of that conception.

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