I Cheated


Plotinus on Sense Peception is so densely written I find I can only read it for about twenty minutes before the text just becomes a meaningless blur.

Last night when the blurring set in I skipped to the closing chapter and the last couple of pages.

In its closing words a different text is mentioned one that seeks to examine ‘descartes myth’ i.e the mind body problem.  E.K. Emilsson suggests that Plotinus has a relationship with Descartes, Cartesain notion of mind is not simply a single historical accident.

i.e. Descarte is not the foundation legend and source of a ‘myth’

I can’t asses that claim but it does in part explain why I found the text and some of the methods unusual, it seemed as in parts as if it was an attempt at a historical reconstruction (or a philosophical reconstruction), becoming absorbed in the text, trying to get inside the situation (plotinus thinking about sensation). An attempt to work out what was the most logical way for Plotinus to move through the subject.

Seemed to be almost an element of self experimentation at some points in the text.

I can’t say the methods are now clear, but they are starting to come into focus and make some sense.

Emilsson is searching for a means of exploring an idea which is not a basic human intuition nor one linked to one particular moment in time. This is his thesis.

His method of analysis and conclusion seem related. Appears to be a somewhat organic working method.

In conclusion Emisson presents Plotinus as making an antimaterialst argument. He also appears to be countering contemporary historical arguments through a historical revision which makes a case for complexity and an expansion of inflection from one mind (Descarte as origin and repetition) to many.

Its still an examination of ‘great minds’ but the thinking alike part is undergoing an alteration by placing the subject in muliple and very different contexts. No unity, no single method for arriving at the door of the mind body problem.

In terms of modern thought Emisson views no shared single perspective among thinkers drawn to the issue, the shared situational factor he sees, is a discontent with materialism.


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