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Volume 15/16, 2017/2018

Le Principe du Bien: Platon, Aristote et leur postérité

Sylvain Roux
Pages 545-564

Quel nom pour le Principe ? Un problème chez Plotin et Proclus

The question to know which name to attribute to the First principle is a difficult question in the Neoplatonic tradition. Indeed, as this one is situated beyond being, no term can apply to him and thus it is only in a negative way that it can be described. But the problem also settles about another aspect because, as first term, it performs a causal function. Thus it is advisable to know if certain terms turn out more appropriate than others to indicate this function. By what name to indicate the First one as being a principle ? We would like to show that this question is approached and answered differently throughout the Neoplatonic tradition. If Plotinus admits the existence of different names, he does not really consider that they indicate different causal functions. For Proclus, in particular in the Platonic Theology, different names refer to different manners in which the principle manifests.

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