CONTEMPLATION AND WONDERMENT: LIMITS OF CAUSALITY IN PLATO; HAPPINESS AND PLEASURE IN ARISTOTLE, TRANSCENDENCE AND EMANATION IN PLOTINUS
Authors: Jean Felipe de Assis
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Different understandings of the relationships between philosophical, mystical, and religious discourses are possible in the varied historical and intellectual contexts wherein the term contemplation (theoria) appears in the ancient world. The investigation of causes and the things themselves - ousia – are in the core of the contemplative attitude in selected authors. Therefore, important philosophical implications related to term theoria are under scrutiny in some specific texts of Plato, Aristotle, and Plotinus]. In the first, relationships between the senses and the idea permeate the most varied epistemai, having the contemplation as a solid argumentative ground as well as manifesting and expressing the Good – according to the Allegory of the Cave in the Republic and the inexpressibility of ousia in letter Vii. In the Aristotelian corpus, contemplation is a unifying principle, by which knowledge, pleasure, happiness and ethical demands integrate intellectual foundations. In the thought of Plotinus, the desire for transcendence, towards the contemplation of the Good and through the emanation of the one, is present in all beings. The principle of causality, implicit and explicit in the metaphysical discussions of these three authors, has in itself something evasive, which can only be evaded by a feeling that integrates human intellectual ambitions beyond their technical results. This, therefore, emphasizes the imperative investigation of wonder for human thought.