can anyone answer these 3 questions in 30 min 1 paragraph for each answer. 1. What are the three entities that correspond to Plato’s E, D and C levels of the divided line? How are Plotinus’s three “hypostases” related to one another? 2. What is the difference between Arius’s and Augustine’s Christian interpretations of Plotinus’s three “hypostases”? 3. Why does Augustine’s perspective on the human mind signify his understanding of the image of God?
1. The three entities that correspond to Plato’s E, D, and C levels of the divided line are respectively the intelligible realm (E), the rational soul (D), and the visible realm (C). In Plato’s philosophy, the intelligible realm represents the highest level of reality, consisting of unchanging and eternal Forms or Ideas. These Forms are apprehended through reason and are immutable. The rational soul is the intermediate level between the intelligible realm and the visible realm, serving as a bridge between the eternal and the temporal. It possesses rationality and intellectual capacity, allowing humans to reason and contemplate the Forms. Finally, the visible realm denotes the realm of sensory perception, representing the world of physical objects and appearances. It is characterized by constant change and impermanence, as opposed to the eternal nature of the intelligible realm.
Plotinus, an influential Neoplatonist philosopher, developed the concept of the “hypostases” to describe the different levels of existence. According to Plotinus, the three hypostases are the One, the Intellect, and the Soul. The One is the highest hypostasis and represents the ultimate source from which all existence emanates. It is beyond any form of differentiation and is characterized by unity. The Intellect, as the second hypostasis, is the realm of pure thought and contemplation. It is the source of knowledge and the realm of intelligible forms. The Soul, the third hypostasis, serves as the link between the Intellect and the visible realm. It is associated with the world of becoming, change, and multiplicity.
The relationships between Plotinus’s three hypostases can be understood in terms of emanation. The One, as the ultimate source, emanates the Intellect, which in turn emanates the Soul. This process of emanation signifies a descending hierarchy of reality, with each successive hypostasis being a less perfect reflection of the ultimate unity of the One. Thus, the Intellect derives its existence and qualities from the One, and the Soul relies on the Intellect for its own existence and characteristics. This hierarchical structure illustrates the interdependence and interconnectedness of the hypostases in Plotinus’s metaphysical framework.
2. Arius and Augustine offer different Christian interpretations of Plotinus’s three hypostases. Arius, a fourth-century Alexandrian presbyter, drew upon Neoplatonic concepts, including Plotinus’s hypostases, to formulate his understanding of the Trinity. According to Arius, the Father is the first hypostasis, representing the ultimate source of divinity. He argued that the Son (Jesus Christ) was created by the Father and belonged to a lower hypostasis. Arius believed that the Son, being created, was not of the same substance or essence as the Father and thus did not share in the Father’s divinity to the same extent. This view resulted in a hierarchical understanding of the Trinity, with the Father being superior to the Son.
Augustine, on the other hand, presented a theological interpretation that deviates from Plotinus’s hypostases. Augustine, a fifth-century Church Father, integrated Neoplatonic concepts into his Christian theology. However, he emphasized the unity of the Trinity rather than hierarchical distinctions. Augustine identified the three hypostases with the three persons of the Christian Trinity: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. He argued that these three persons are co-eternal and co-equal, sharing the same substance or essence. Augustine’s interpretation rejected the idea of a subordinate Son and emphasized the equality and unity of the Trinity.
3. Augustine’s perspective on the human mind signifies his understanding of the image of God. According to Augustine, the human mind, or the rational soul, bears the image of God. He argued that just as the Trinity consists of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, the human mind has three faculties that reflect this divine image: memory, understanding, and will. Memory enables humans to retain and recall information, understanding allows for the contemplation of truth, and will empowers individuals to make choices based on reason and conscience. These faculties, in Augustine’s view, mirror the Trinitarian nature of God.
Additionally, Augustine believed that the mind’s ability to grasp and seek truth reflects the innate human desire for union with God. Since God is the ultimate truth and perfection, the human mind’s inclination towards seeking truth signifies its longing for communion with the divine. Augustine argued that this quest for truth is influenced by the divine grace that guides individuals on a spiritual journey towards God. Thus, the human mind, as a reflection of the divine image, plays a crucial role in Augustine’s understanding of humanity’s relationship with God.