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Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy, Volume 55$
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Victor Caston

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198836339

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198836339.001.0001

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Leaving Nothing to Chance: An Argument for Principle Monism in Plotinus

Leaving Nothing to Chance: An Argument for Principle Monism in Plotinus

Chapter:
(p.185) Leaving Nothing to Chance: An Argument for Principle Monism in Plotinus
Source:
Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy, Volume 55
Author(s):

Isaac Noble Christopher

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198836339.003.0005

Plotinus maintains that there is a single first principle, the One (or the Good), from which all other things derive. He is usually thought to hold this view on the grounds that any other thing’s existence depends on its participation in a paradigm of unity. This paper argues that Plotinus has a further, independent argument for adopting a single first principle, according to which principle pluralism is committed (unacceptably) to attributing good cosmic states of affairs to chance. This argument exhibits similarities to ancient design arguments, but is used to draw the more radical conclusion that there is only one non-derivative existent.

Keywords:   Plotinus, Neoplatonism, metaphysics, cosmology, principles, monism, chance

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