chapter
2 Pages

Conclusion

The relationship of thought and language is a perennial philosophical issue. Plotinus addresses problems common to the other Alexandrian figures, although he does so with far greater metaphysical sophistication. For these other Alexandrians, meanings are thoughts, immaterial meanings which are transferred to other minds in bodily vehicles. They do not work out a comprehensive scheme explaining how language relates to immaterial entities. They take their cue from the divine being, conceived as a God whose word is creative goodness. Human linguistic function is an image of this ultimate divine perfection, retaining a power to articulate thoughts in words. Plotinus argues for the presence of the intelligible, when vocal sound commands the air in such a way as to be accessible for auditory perception. This chapter argues that Philo is a valuable witness to the blend of Platonist and Stoic ideas concurrent in his age.