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Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy

Volume 23, Issue 2, Spring 2019

Danielle A. Layne
Pages 445-460
DOI: 10.5840/epoche2019131132

The Value of the Present Moment in Neoplatonic Philosophy

In the spirit of Pierre Hadot’s analysis of the value of the present moment in Hellenistic philosophies on happiness, the following argues that the Neoplatonic tradition heralded a similar view about the soul’s well-being. Primarily, the value of the present moment in Plotinus focuses on his arguments regarding the immortal soul’s desire for eternity that is lived in the ‘actuality of life’ right now. In contrast, the following analyzes the later Platonists and argues that Proclus offers a more practical and thick understanding of human happiness in relation to the present. Overall, for Proclus the good is revealed in the connective nature of the present moment, a good discovered in the soul’s temporal activities.