The Plotinus’ Abstraction Theology

Document Type : Research Paper


Professor of Western philosophy


The article presents an explanation and analysis of Plotinus’ abstraction theology. In his theology he tries to get some knowledge of God, however negative. “Negative” here means neither pure negation, nor privation but it is rather based on abstraction, which purifies and abstracts a concept to the extent of gaining precise and real meaning. Accordingly, this method of theolog is rather rational abstraction which deletes the additional qualities of the One in order to arrive rationally to the pure unity of the One. In this manner, based on Plotinus’ viewpoint, we say what the One is not, and not what it is. Speculatively speaking, two subjects could be regarded for the abstraction theology: first, the critical negation of all the positive affirmations of God. And second, the critical negation of our negations that never cease. In this theology, we have no knowledge or conception of the One; we only know about that, which comes from it. Then, we do not speak of the One, but we speak about it.


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