Everything is Flat: The Transcendence of the One in Neoplatonic Ontology
Date of Graduation
Doctor of Philosophy in Philosophy (PhD)
Second Committee Member
Philosophy, religion and theology; Dionysius the Areopagite; Eastern Christianity; Greek philosophy; Neoplatonism; Ontology; Plotinus
My dissertation research addresses the relationship between the One and everything else in Neoplatonic metaphysics. Plato is vague in describing this distinction and thus much of late antiquity attempts to fill in the gaps, as it were. The potential difficulty, however, is that the hierarchy of existence in late antiquity is susceptible to being understood as postulating a being that is "beyond being." To avoid this difficulty, I propose an interpretation of Dionysius the Areopagite to show that being is, by definition, intelligible and thus finite and limited. Since the first principle is that which is infinite it therefore cannot be a being. I argue that the essence/energies distinction in Eastern Christianity helps to alleviate any worries of not postulating the first principle as a being.
Packwood, Joshua, "Everything is Flat: The Transcendence of the One in Neoplatonic Ontology" (2013). Theses and Dissertations. 679.
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