What is it about?

This article is an analysis of the theory of language expressed in the writings of Plotinus, the founder of Neoplatonism. It is concerned with language and mysticism, and how Plotinus' theory provides a means of describing or "pointing to" transcendent metaphysical realities in an "approximate" manner which strictly speaking are not able to be conceptualized in language. It is argued that Plotinus' theory provides a way out of the contemporary philosophical modern/postmodern impasse.

Featured Image

Why is it important?

Arguably, contemporary postmodern Western culture is beset by the problem of nihilism. Neither of the two dominant philosophical traditions, analytic philosophy and continental philosophy, provide much optimism that a way out of this quagmire is possible, and in fact, provide good reasons against the possibility of such an opening. Both modern and postmodern thought, as expressed in the schools of analytic and continental philosophy, share common assumptions about language and discursive reason that may be brought into question. A re-examination of the thought of Plotinus enables us to uncover where contemporary philosophy has gone wrong, and how a way forward may be forged that shifts to a renewal of a more mythological and mystical foundation.

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Dialectic as Ostension Towards the Transcendent: Language and Mystical Intersubjectivity in Plotinus’ Enneads, The International Journal of the Platonic Tradition, February 2022, Brill, DOI: 10.1163/18725473-bja10016.
You can read the full text:



The following have contributed to this page