Alexandrine Schniewind: L'Ethique du Sage chez Plotin. Le paradigme du spoudaios.
Classical Review, 55 (1).
The focus of this monograph is, as its title suggests, the ethical stance of the spoudaios in Plotinus' Enneads. Schniewind, hereafter S, provides in her introduction an accurate summary of the work of previous writers on Plotinus' ethical theory. This summary demonstrates that there is some disagreement as to whether or not Plotinus provides an ethic that is applicable to the ordinary man, as opposed to the spoudaios. A number of writers, this reviewer included, have found it difficult to see what practical ethical guidance is available to the ordinary man in the egoistic behaviour of the Plotinian spoudaios. Yet Porphyry's Life presents Plotinus, whom one must assume was a spoudaios, as a figure deeply involved with the life of the community and not the austere figure that the Enneads seem to conjure up. S claims that this dichotomy can be resolved upon examination of the figure of the spoudaios, and in the seven chapters that make up this monograph, she argues her case in a thorough and scholarly manner.
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