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Plotinus ENNEADS - THE SIXTH ENNEAD Complete

Translated by Stephen MacKenna and B. S. Page.

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SECOND TRACTATE.

ON THE KINDS OF BEING (2).

1. We have examined the proposed “ten genera”: we have discussed also the theory which gathers the total of things into one genus and to this subordinates what may be thought of as its four species. The next step is, naturally, to expound our own views and to try to show the agreement of our conclusions with those of Plato.

Now if we were obliged to consider Being as a unity, the following questions would be unnecessary:

Is there one genus embracing everything, or are there genera which cannot be subsumed under such a unity? Are there first-principles? Are first-principles to be identified with genera, or genera with first-principles? Or is it perhaps rather the case that while not all genera are first-principles, all first-principles are at the same time genera? Or is the converse true? Or again, do both classes overlap, some principles being also genera, and some genera also principles? And do both the sets of categories we have been examining imply that only some principles are genera and some genera principles? or does one of them presuppose that all that belongs to the class of genera belongs also to the class of principles?

Since, however, we affirm that Being is not a unity — the reason for this affirmation is stated by Plato and others — these questions become imperative, once we are satisfied as to the number of genera to be posited and the grounds for our choice.

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Reference address : https://www.ellopos.net/elpenor/greek-texts/ancient-greece/plotinus/enneads-6.asp?pg=53