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The point of view put forth in the following pages differs greatly from the common perspective according to which the treatises 30 to 33 constitute a single work, a Großschrift, and this single work, Plotinus’ essential response to the Gnostics. Our perspective is that of an ongoing discussions with his “Gnostic”—yet Platonizing—friends, which started early in his writings (at least treatise 6), developed into what we could call a Großzyklus (treatises 27 to 39), and went on in later treatises as well (e. g. 47-48, 51). The prospect of an ongoing discussion with the Gnostics bears an additional virtue, that of allowing for a truly dynamic understanding of the Plotinian corpus.
In: The International Journal of the Platonic Tradition

Abstract

Taking as a starting point a crucial passage of Aristotle’s Poetics where poetical technique is declared to be different from all other disciplines in human knowledge (25, 1460b8–15), I try to determine in what sense and up to what point poetry can be seen as an autonomous or sui generis creative activity. On this path, I come across the so-called “likely and necessary” rule mentioned many times in Aristotle’s essay, which might be seen as a limitation of the poet’s literary freedom. I then endeavour to show that this rule of consistency does not preclude the many means by which the poet can astonish his or her audience, bring them into error, introduce exaggerations and embellishments on the one hand (and viciousness and repulsiveness on the other), have the characters change their conduct along the way, etc. For Aristotle, the poetic art—and artistic activities in general—is concerned not with what in fact is or what should be (especially ethically), but simply with what might be. Accordingly, one can see him as historically the very first theorist fiction, not only because he states that poetry relates freely to the possible, but also because he explains why poetry is justified in doing so.

In: Proceedings of the Boston Area Colloquium in Ancient Philosophy
In: Plotinus in Dialogue with the Gnostics
In: Plotinus in Dialogue with the Gnostics
In: Plotinus in Dialogue with the Gnostics
In: Plotinus in Dialogue with the Gnostics