The World Explored, the World Suffered Education Issue Nr. 32 July 2020 - Page 30

Aristotelian and with the exception of Brett's points relating to the brain, self-consciousness, and introspection, there seems to be little that is new. There is no doubt that Plotinus probably acknowledged that we humans have an awareness of what we are doing and thinking but this awareness must have taken the form of knowing what one is doing and this knowledge must surely have been non-observational. Introspection, of course, has been many things to many theorists but in all its non- Cartesian forms, it has been connected to some kind of internal observation of the self(which possesses the kind of unity, principle or form that cannot be observed). The modern Scientific subjectiveobjective distinction is also often introduced into the debate with no awareness of its reliance on a materialistic and relational assumption. This in its turn is anathema to the implication of Platonic and Aristotelian positions which maintain that principles on the thought end of the chain of Being are responsible for explanations of the kinds of change and activity associated with human Souls. In the metaphysical terms embraced by Plotinus, it is clear that the oneness and goodness of Being is the cause and explanation of the Intellect and its creative activity in relation to the forms. This intellect or Demiurge, in turn, is the cause or explanation of life forms such as Souls that are embodied and organised materially in various ways. The Soul is therefore obviously related in various ways to matter, the last entity in the chain of Being. In other words, matter is the least organised and most chaotic of all the entities in this chain for which the oneness and goodness of Being is the source of all explanation. Science, of course, as we have noted, reverses the polarity of explanation and locates the source of description and explanation in the events of the external material world. This in spite of the fact that the very idea of what constitutes an event is in question even within the scientific community.