Make Up Your Minds: What Exactly Does the Noesis of the Procline Soul Look Like and What Does It Think?
Proclus is among those Neoplatonists who - against Plotinus - assert the full descent of the soul. The soul has the universe in it, though everything appropriately. Likewise, Proclus, following his master Syrianus, posits that the very essence of the soul (and her objects) are intelligible logoi. However, he also insists, at times, that the soul when it uses its intellection (noesis) it has different objects. This raises questions about what the soul is and how it works when it employs its higher cognitive powers. Is this noesis simply discursive, as some have argued? Or are these simply 'superior logoi', as others have argued? These attempts to resolve the question cover over what I believe are systematic problems in Proclus and the Neoplatonic world view.
David Butorac is an assistant professor of Greek philosophy at Fatih University in Istanbul. He defended his dissertation on Proclus’ interpretation of the Parmenidean dialectic at the Higher Institute of Philosophy of KU Leuven under the direction of Carlos Steel. He also wrote two Masters theses, one at Leuven and one at Dalhousie University, on Philo, Plotinus and Gregory of Nyssa on matter and on the Neoplatonic prehistory of Augustine’s doctrine of the Trinity. He is presently revising his dissertation to be published and is working on a comparison of the late ancient and early modern systems of Descartes and Spinoza. He is organising a conference, Arxai: Proclus Diadochus of Constantinople and his Abrahamic interpreters, December 12-16, 2012 in Istanbul. His website is, www.arxai.org.