The World Explored, the World Suffered Education Issue Nr. 32 July 2020 - Page 26

was primarily an answer to those who saw in life nothing but ceaseless change that made effort vain, and progress became only a synonym for the process. For Plotinus, the supersensible is the spiritual world of the mystic...... The mysticism of Plato ends with an insight into the reality of life: the mysticism of Plotinus begins from that point, abstracts the reality from life and views existence as a state from which man strives to flee that he may depart from it and be with God." The mystic state for Brett, combined with the term "subjective" minimises the role of theory in both Plato and Plotinus. The term "subjective", for example, is loaded with scientific materialistic assumptions to the effect that Being is material, concrete objective reality best "discovered" by the scientific method and its activities of observation, measurement, and experiment. Modern Science, that is, retreated from philosophical description and explanation and reversed the polarity of Platonic and Aristotelian theorising on the grounds of the reduction of Being to the two Aristotelian categories of existence, namely, "Quantity" and "Relation": ignoring the two other fundamental categories of judgment namely Substantive Judgments and Qualitative judgments which are about substantial and qualitative aspects of Being respectively. Qualitative change we know was later in History to be in its turn reduced by empirical and analytical Philosophy to primary and secondary qualities in the spirit of the reversal of the polarity of Platonic and Aristotelian Philosophy. Primary qualities were "objective" essentially quantitatively and relational and secondary qualities were "subjective". It is not, however, beyond the realms of possibility that this process of the abandonment of Platonic and Aristotelian theorising about Being was compromised by Plotinus' tendency to focus on the state of contemplation in abstraction from the "activity" of the soul in both its thinking and acting. Brett also wishes to place some of the responsibility for Plotinus' drift toward mysticism and subjectivism on the shoulders of Plato: "The change hinges upon the interpretation of Plato. If the emphasis is laid upon Plato's idea of the body as the tomb of the soul: if contemplation is valued before action; if the whole process of education is regarded exclusively as the liberation of the soul, the origin of Neo- Platonism can be seen at once. The divergence of Neo-Platonism lies mainly in the metaphysical view of intellect s a cosmic reason. The Stoic doctrine of universal reason had been really veiled materialism: nevertheless, its "pantheism" only required a fresh interpretation of reason to emerge as a theory of all-embracing intellect."