Online Lecture on «Plato in Ennead III 4 On Our Allotted Guardian Spirit» by Irini-Fotini Viltanioti

With the kind support of the A. S. Onassis Foundation (2023 grant), the research project “Between Athens & Alexandria. Platonism, 3rd-7th c. CE” (2022-2024), in collaboration with the Alexandria Center for Hellenistic Studies of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, organise a lecture series on late antique Neoplatonism. The meetings take place on Zoom at 7.00 pm (Athens time). The Spring 2024 lectures focus on Neoplatonic commentaries on Plato’s dialogues, which, together with Aristotelian hypomnemata, form the main way of philosophising in Late Antiquity, and beyond. 
All welcome!

Οn Wednesday Feb. 21, at 19:00 (Athens time) Αssociate Professor of Ancient Philosophy Irini-Fotini Viltanioti (University of Crete & IMS-FORTH) will give a lecture on «Plato in Ennead III 4 On Our Allotted Guardian Spirit».

In Ennead III 4 [15] On Our Allotted Guardian Spirit, which Porphyry (VPlot 10, 14-30) associates with the episode of the conjuration of Plotinus’ guardian spirit (δαίμων) in the Isaeum, Plotinus exposes his views on the nature of the companion spirits allegedly presiding over our activity. While the testimony preserved by Porphyry may be understood as pointing to an attempt to provide some empirical support for Plotinus’ doctrine, Plotinus’ main concern in this treatise is to ground his demonology not in ritual practice, or in experience more generally, but in Plato’s authority. For this purpose, Plotinus endeavours to reconcile relevant Platonic references drawn from various dialogues (Timaeus, Republic, Phaedo, Phaedrus, Cratylus, Symposium). Yet, as I shall argue, Plotinus is not simply interested in showing that the views expressed in these passages are consistent with one another and that his doctrine stems from them. Rather, he ponders that the philosopher’s task is to combine Plato’s excerpts in the right way in order to reconstruct the master’s authentic teaching, which, in reality, reflects Plotinus “expansive psychology” (Kalligas 2014, 486) and anticipates his anthropology in the sixth chapter of Ennead VI 7 [38] How the Multitude of the Forms Came into Being and on the Good as well as in Ennead I 1 [53] On What is the Living Being, and What is Man.

You can register in advance to our seminar meetings using the following LINK.