Man’s Intellectual and Intuitive Knowledge of the One and the One’s Knowledge of Himself and other than Himself in Plotinus’ Philosophy
: Philosophical thoughts in ancient Iran
The present paper explores whether, based on Plotinus’ view, man can have a demonstrative and inferential knowledge of the One. It also tries to provide answers to the questions of whether he can describe and explain Him, whether he is capable of having an intuitive and presential knowledge of the One, what kind of knowledge the One has of Himself, and, finally, whether this knowledge is of an intellectual demonstrative nature or of an intellectual-intuitive type. Plotinus believes that man is not capable of attaining a theoretical concept and intellectual-demonstrative knowledge of the One. Therefore, he cannot provide a description and explanation for Him. Nevertheless, he will be able to have intuitive knowledge and presential knowledge of the One under certain conditions. In this case, he will become one with the One in some way. Demonstrative thinking, which is concomitant with plurality in its essence, has no way into the essentially simple and pure One. Accordingly, He is intuitively self-conscious, and since He is the Origin of everything, and since everything is present in Him, He is aware of other than Himself in the same way that He is aware of Himself.
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