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Plotinus on Number$
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Svetla Slaveva-Griffin

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195377194

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195377194.001.1

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Number and the Universe

Number and the Universe

(p.95) 5 Number and the Universe
Plotinus on Number

Svetla Slaveva-Griffin (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the relationship of Substantial Number and all intelligible entities: Absolute Being as “unified number;” Intellect as “number moving in itself”; beings as “unfolded number;” and the Complete Living Being as “encompassing number.” A closer examination reveals that the four aspects of substantial number correspond to Plato’s primary kinds of rest, movement, otherness, and sameness respectively. The chapter concludes that the properties of substantial number enact the above four primary kinds, while the fifth primary kind, that of being, is the common denominator which represents them all. This conclusion also elucidates the relationship of substantial number with the One and Soul, as Plotinus does not identify them with a particular property of number. Since the properties of substantial number order Intellect on the inside and since both the One and Soul stand on the outside of Intellect, they do not inherit a particular property of number. Substantial number is an ontological expression of the One “beyond Being,” which does not possess any particular characteristic. Soul, however, as an image of Intellect, possesses all the properties of substantial number.

Keywords:   Substantial Number, The One, Monad, Soul, Being, Intellect, Beings, Complete Living Being, Plato’s Primary Kinds

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