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Volume 14, 2016

La Médiation Discursive dans le Néoplatonisme

Francis Lacroix
Pages 105-125

Logismos et dianoia chez Plotin

The use of the terms λογισμός and διάνοια in the writings of Plotinus has already been discussed by H. J. Blumenthal in his book entitled Plotinus’ Psychology (1977). Blumenthal here defended the thesis that the terms were used as synonyms in the Enneads. Indeed, though some passages seem to indicate a difference between λογισμός and διάνοια, in the majority of cases Plotinus nonetheless seems to use these words interchangeably. We propose to analyze in detail the terms λογισμός and διάνοια by referring, inter alia, to Treatise 49 [V 3], 2‑3, where the terms seem indeed to be used synonymously, as well as other treatises such as Treatise 28 [IV 4], where Plotinus seems to give each word a different sense. Other scholars, namely E. K. Emilsson, think that we can establish a clear distinction between logismos and dianoia, by a thorough study of the World‑Soul, which has the dianoia, but not the logismos. After a review of Emilsson’s thesis, we will finally propose that Plotinus employs the word διάνοια when he refers to the soul’s capacity to store data for judgement, while he employs the term λογισμός to describe the process of judging this content, which may be distinguished from other processes.

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