Plotinus is considered the founder of Neoplatonism . Following the example of Plato, Plotinus managed to develop a complex spiritual cosmology that involved three fundamental elements: the One , the Intelligence and the Soul . According to Plotinus, the productive unity of these three beings was the basis for all existence to emanate. The principle of emanation is not simply causal, but it was also contemplative . In his system, Plotinus elevates intellectual contemplation to the state of a productive principle; and it is by virtue of contemplation that all existing beings are said to be united as a single and omnipresent reality .

  • When was he born:  204 AD. C.
  • Where he was born:  Lycopolis, Egypt
  • When he died:  270 AD. C.
  • Where he died:  Campania, Italy

Who was Plotinus?

Philosopher of Alexandria who debated Pythagoras and Plato and with respect to asceticism and managed with his impressions to free slaves and give fortune to the poor. Founder of Neoplatonism who created a spiritual cosmology based on the one, the intelligence and the soul.

  • Biography of Plotino
  • Plotinus thought
  • Contributions
  • Plotinus works
  • Phrases

Biography of Plotino

Plotinus was born in 205 AD in Egypt . He was born into a very distinguished family and his first name was Malco, which meant king. There are not many data about his life as a child, but it is known that when he was twenty years old, Plotinus moved to live in Alexandria, where he attended the conferences of various philosophers, without finding satisfaction with any of them until he discovered the teacher. Ammonius Saccas or Ammonium. He remained with Ammonio and was his ward until the moment when he joined the Gordian Emperor on an expedition to Persia, with the purpose of involving the famous philosophers of that country in the search for wisdom.. The expedition never reached its destination, because the emperor was assassinated in Mesopotamia, and Plotinus returned to Rome to establish a school of philosophy , where classes were given free of charge and were open to everyone. He dedicated himself to teaching in Rome before the arrival of Porphyry , who was his most famous disciple. It was at this time that Plotinus, prompted by Porphyry, began to compile his treatises in a systematic way, and to compose new ones. He was a person who cared about orphaned children and womenHe was very calm and celibate and he did not like the arts because he thought that they were things that only sought to imitate reality. Plotinus died in 270 AD . in Campania because of a serious illness in his stomach for which he never wanted to take any type of medicine.

Plotinus thought

Generally the thought of Plotino is interpreted like a system that includes the one like a set that is governed by the metaphysical law of the unit . His doctrine sought a way to explain in concepts the system of the whole , everything that the universe had, the way it encompassed it and the way it ran through it. For Plotinus, the unique being had three beings: the one , the nous and the universal soul . He sought to teach a way that would lead man to God . The one was regarded as the main unitIt was simple and it was the reason for all the multiplicity in the universe. The nous , he saw it as the spirit , he interpreted it as a similarity between the sun and the light and was related to the one. The function of the nous was to guide us to see ourselves, it was the image of the person, the door that united us with the one. Finally, he believed in the soul , which he saw with a double nature , linked to both the nous and the one.


Plotinus’s most important contributions to all religious thinkers were the Enneades on which his theory is based that all evil exists in the absence of good . Gnosis gave him strength, a religious doctrine that mixed Greek and Eastern philosophical ideas . His theory of the process of emanation of the real as “one” founded the ethical aspects of Neoplatonism .

Plotinus works

His most recognized works are the Enneadas, which were a set of books compiled by Porfirio . It meant ” The nine “ in Spanish, as the word comes from ancient Greek. In the Enneadas there were six different books :

  • Book I: Good and Evil
  • Book II: Motion and Matter
  • Book III: Providence
  • Book IV: The Soul
  • Book V: Intelligence
  • Book VI: The One


Some of his most recognized phrases are:

  • Everything is beautiful to the one who has a beautiful soul .
  • To die is to change your body as the actor changes his suit.
  • Our desire is not to be free from sin, but to be God .
  • The beauty and interest to be found along the same path.
  • The intelligence is a light that illuminates the symmetry of the symmetry rather than the same things.

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