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Volume 18/19, 2020/2021

Ousia: Essence ou Substance?

Riccardo Chiaradonna
Pages 487-500

Essere e vita in Plotino (VI, 2 [43]; III, 7 [45]).

This paper focuses on Plotinus’ account of life and being in treatises VI, 2 [43] On the genera of being and III, 7 [45] On eternity and time. Life and being play a key role in Plotinus’ ontology since they characterise incorporeal realities as such (life and being cannot be drawn from the analysis of bodies). Therefore, focusing on these items makes it possible to attain an account of intelligible reality according to the principles appropriate to it. Three issues are considered: (1) the cognitive process through which the soul grasps being and life when it turns its cognitive activity away from the bodies and reverts to itself (VI, 2, 4‑6); (2) the status of being and life as genera of the intelligible reality (life is equivalent to intelligible motion: VI, 2, 7); (3) Plotinus’ account of life as the way of being typical of intelligible realities (III, 7); (4) his gradualist account of the hierarchy of life (III, 8 [30], 8; VI, 3 [44], 7; I, 4 [46], 3).

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