Memory and Imagination



Memory is the first psychic activity that takes place without a simultaneous affection of the body. It is, however, concerned with the changes that the body undergoes and the information obtained by the senses, as well as with ideas and reasonings which have no immediate relation to the body. This position on the frontiers of two realms of experience, which for Plotinus are strongly differentiated, leads to certain special difficulties which do not present themselves in connection with the other functions of the soul except imagination with which, as we shall see, memory is linked. The problem, in the framework of Plotinus’ system, is to find some way of combining sensible and intellectual functions, or rather the after-effects of such functions, when the two are in fact quite different.


Lower Faculty Sensitive Faculty Double Faculty Intuitive Thought Imaginative Faculty 
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© Martinus Nijhoff, The Hague, Netherlands 1971

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