Contraposição entre a retórica e a verdadeira sabedoria, entre o direito da justiça e o da força. Faz ressaltar a sobriedade da dialética contra os excessos da retórica. (Vale mais sofrer a injustiça que cometê-la. Contraste entre o prazer e a virtude. Hedonismo imoral de Polos e Calicles. Utilitarismo socrático. Aparece o mito sobre a imortalidade da alma. Tem uma finalidade prática e moral, apresentando a Retórica como uma arte da mentira, funesta para os indivíduos e o Estado.
: 1) conhecimento; 2) gnose; 3) gnosticismo. O termo grego ganhou na história das religiões uma forte conotação de conhecimento portando sobre realidades divinas e celestes e conduzindo por aí à salvação. gnôrimon: cognoscível, inteligível.
Plotin Traités 30-37. Dir. Trad. Luc Brisson e Jean-François Pradeau. GF-Flammarion, 2006
Plotin Traités 7-21. Dir. Trad. Luc Brisson e Jean-François Pradeau. GF-Flammarion, 2003
Segundo Ullmann, em quatro níveis podemos escalonar a teoria do conhecimento de Plotino: 1 - o autoconhecimento; 2 - o conhecimento do mundo sensível; 3 - o conhecimento do mundo inteligível; 4 - o conhecimento místico. (Excertos de "Plotino, um estudo das Enéadas", de R. A. Ullmann)
Repeating, therefore, what we have said, since all knowledge [gnosis] and deliberate choice [proairesis] aspires after a certain good [agathon], let us show what that is which we say the political science [politike] desires, and what the supreme good is of all actions [praktike]. By name, therefore, it is nearly acknowledged by most men; for both the vulgar and the learned calls it felicity [eudaimonia]. But they conceive that to live [zen] well [eu] and to act [prattein] well [eu], are the same thing as to be happy.
It will, however, be discussed sufficiently, if it is rendered perspicuous according to its subject matter. For accuracy must not be similarly investigated in all discussions, as neither in all the works of art. Things beautiful, however, and just, with which the political science is conversant, possess so great a difference, and are involved in so much ambiguity, that [to some persons] their subsistence appears to be from law only, and not from nature. What is good, likewise, possesses a certain ambiguity of this kind, because it happens that many persons are injured by it.
To seek our divinity merely in books and writings, is to seek the living among the dead: we do but in vain seek God many times in these, where His truth too often is not so much enshrined as entombed: — no; intra te quaere Deum, seek for God within thine own soul; He is best discerned noera epaphe as Plotinus phraseth it, — by an intellectual touch of Him — we must see with our eyes, and hear with our ears, and our hands must handle the word of life, that I may express it in St. John's words.
Cebes added : Your favorite doctrine, Socrates, that knowledge is simply recollection, if true, also necessarily implies a previous time in which we learned that which we now recollect. But this would be impossible unless our soul was in some place before existing in the human form ; here, then, is another argument of the soul’s immortality.
But tell me, Cebes, said Simmias, interposing, what proofs are given of this doctrine of recollection ? I am not very sure at this moment that I remember them.
But if this is true, O my friend, then there is great hope that, going whither I go, I shall there be satisfied with that which has been the chief concern of you and me in our past lives. And now that the hour of departure is appointed to me, this is the hope with which I depart, and not I only, but every man who believes that he has his mind purified.
Certainly, replied Simmias.
And when they consider all this, must not true philosophers make a reflection, of which they will speak to one another in such words as these : We have found, they will say, a path of speculation which seems to bring us and the argument to the conclusion that while we are in the body, and while the soul is mingled with this mass of evil, our desire will not be satisfied, and our desire is of the truth.