The paper aims to show how Plotinus, in a perspective that remains essentially Platonic, interprets the notion of noeîn in Parmenides, especially in the light of the well known Fr. 3 DK, on the identity of being and thought. It needs to point out that Plotinus, with Clement of Alexandria, is our source of this fragment. The plotinian interpretation is essential to understand the nature and the ontological-metaphysical function of Plotinus’ hypostasis Nous. The Parmenidean conception of the identity of eînai and noeîn is profoundly reshaped by Plotinus and integrated into a perspective compatible with the Platonic and Neoplatonic ontology. According to the plotinian theory, in the hypostasis of Noûs, i.e. in the intelligible reality as a whole, being and thought are connected to each other in a dynamic and not motionless identity, which characterizes the nature of Noûs as uni-multiplicity (hen pollá). In accordance with what Plato states in Sophist, Plotinus conceives the intelligible reality as something intrinsically living and alive. Plotinus’ conception of Noûs and his interpretation of Parmenidean noeîn in Fr. 3 DK appear to be central in the whole Neoplatonic tradition and in particular in Proclus’ reflection on the nature of intelligible world.
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