by Danielle A. Layne
Parmenides Publishing, 2023
Paper: 978-1-7335357-4-8
Library of Congress Classification B693.E52E5 2023
Dewey Decimal Classification 185

In Ennead I.5 Plotinus attempts to navigate a well-trodden path of inquiry by directly responding to a wide spectrum of popular theories on human flourishing, and insisting emphatically that well-being belongs to the present moment. Indeed, Aristotle—with his insistence that well-being be measured by “a complete life” (Nicomachean Ethics 1098a16–20) or a life measured by virtue, a modus vivendi sustained via the development of appropriate habits (hexis) and the avoidance of misfortunes—is one of Plotinus’ central targets. Nevertheless, it is also obvious that the Hellenistic schools, with their almost evangelical insistence that happiness is available to practitioners in the immediacy of the “now,” take pride of place in Plotinus’ short treatise on the subject. Layne analyzes in depth Plotinus’ unique conception of the value of the present moment by highlighting his dialogue with Aristotle and Hellenistic conceptions of the soul, pleasure and pain, time and eternity, and so forth.

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