Plotinus, Porphyry and Iamblichus

Smith, Andrew
Date published: 
January 2012

These essays are devoted to Neoplatonism and especially to Plotinus and Porphyry. They deal with Plotinus' development of the Platonic Forms, and include a lengthy assessment of Porphyry's contribution to the Platonic tradition. Topics covered include the importance of practical ethical activity, Plotinus' speculations on time and eternity as well as his observations on human consciousness. A closer examination of the role of religion, magic and myth in the life of the philosopher reveals a much richer and more nuanced appreciation of their importance and highlights the contribution of Iamblichus.