The Society for Ancient Greek Philosophy Newsletter

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How did Plotinus conceive of the relation existing between the human soul and the human body? Plato did not give the impression of being vitally concerned about this question. Although Plotinus professes to be a follower of Plato, he is much more profoundly influenced in this instance by Aristotle. Besides owing much to Aristotle, Plotinus' account of sensation, pleasure and pain, and the emotions in general clearly shows the influence of the medical theories of Galen.

Plotinus' belief in reincarnation shows the more Platonic strain in his approach to the body-soul problem.


A. N. M. Rich presented “Body and Soul in the Philosophy of Plotinus” to the Society for Ancient Greek Philosophy at its meeting with the Eastern Division of the American Philosophical Association in Atlantic City, 1961. It was published in Journal of the History of Philosophy I.1, 1-15, and reprinted in John P. Anton & George Kustas, eds. 1971. Essays in Ancient Greek Philosophy vol. 1, SUNY, 620-636.

Ms. Rich taught at the University of Bristol subsequent to her time at Swarthmore.