Talk:Neoplatonism and Gnosticism

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Single book[edit]

This is a useful article title that is now taken up by a single book. Is this right?--shtove 23:32, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

I agree. While the book most likely does deserve a mention, it shouldn't be the only thing on this page. And there is no need for a complete table of contents from the book. M Alan Kazlev 02:10, 17 February 2006 (UTC)


I don't see anything here worth saving or merging. Maybe the topic is worthy of an article. If someone wants to start from scratch immediately, then keep it. Otherwise, it should be deleted. FloNight talk 16:27, 19 February 2006 (UTC)

I came to this link expecting an article on the relationship between neoplatonism and gnosticism, but found a discombobulated book review. Does wikipedia have a book review section? This 'article' doesn't seem to belong here. Zeusnoos 20:42, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

You're not alone - the entire talk page addresses that point. Up until recently, Plotinus was full of it too. Don't know about book review section.--21:06, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

Zeusnoos if you can find any other source about Neoplatonicism and Gnosticism please add it to the references in this article and help develope this article. The reason I created the article in this way was that the book the source I could find documenting such a movement idea or thing. The book is the documentation of the acedemic community attempting to create a movement and committee based on this idea exclusively. If you know of any other source more specific about the movement once again please add it. LoveMonkey 12:23, 6 April 2006 (UTC)


Hello LoveMonkey! If you can develop Neoplatonism and Gnosticism into an article, I would be happy. I don't like deleting. That's the reason that I use PROD. I gives someone a chance to fix it and take off the PROD. FloNight talk 17:07, 20 February 2006 (UTC)

LoveMonkey, I understand where you are going with this now. I moved some of information to the top to explain why this book is significant. I'm going to wikify some of the table of content, (hopefully some will be links!) FloNight talk 17:21, 20 February 2006 (UTC)

Might want to kill the bold type. Kinda looks like your making the letters bigger to take up more space (cheaters!) 0) Cyclops.

--DanielCD 18:50, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

My editing[edit]

For a keep, it might be beneficial to explain the significance of the work and/or the authors. Has this book had a major impact on research/history of Neoplatism scholarship? Such an addition would probably strengthen the article enough to make a sprint for a possible keep. I'd like to read more, but I'd also like to have the importance spelled out. --Shadow Puppet 14:51, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

Sources I'm seeing say that R. T. Wallis and J. Bregman were the editors. Who is Armstrong and how does he relate to this?

Can't really find anything to add as far as the significance of the book. I tried, but not much immediately available. --Shadow Puppet 20:21, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

It's useful to visit the Plotinus article, where User:LoveMonkey contributes at length to the talk page on this very topic. Plotinus is a biog of a late Greek philosopher, with a lengthy description of his supposed criticisms of Gnosticism, and I expect that a lot of that will eventually be transferred to this title as a separate article. But I don't think an article should stand as an advert for a single, unremarkable book.--shtove 20:30, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
Well, I'm happy to AGF that this conference and the book were a turning point in research of Neoplatonism? IMO, this editor (and others) should have some time to develop this article on the book. Most articles aren't hatched full-grown. It is possible to have another article with the same name, if needed. WP does it all the time. I'm leaning toward taking off the PROD tag and keeping it. FloNight talk 20:46, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
Even if it's focused on the book now, we can always morph it into something new in time. As long as the information there is accurate, I'd say it weakly leans to the "keep" side of things. Let's leave it up and see if this little wallflower grows.
BTW, I've been to Plotinus. Way too much material (for me at least) to plow through. I left a suggestion about trimming it a bit.
shtove are you saying that all the material in debate (the Plotinus and Gnosticism material) should get it's own article? I think we might move a lot of it here. (??) Still, I haven't read it all, I just noted that there was an argument or something there. --Shadow Puppet 21:00, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
There was a suggestion a few weeks ago on Plotinus talk page to separate the philosophical points (gnosticism is only one of the many) from the biographical material, and transfer them to their separate, respective articles. I disagreed, saying that Plotinus be kept intact, with a view to transferring the philosophical stuff later, because the article was only beginning to mature. Since then, the gnostic controversy has sprouted, and the title of this article (which would have been perfect for a transfer of a substantial part of the biog article) has been reserved for LoveMonkey's pillow book. talk says it's possible to have another article with the same name - not sure about that - but this article should be filled out with the Plotinus substance, and not left in its current form. It is late, and I have to go to the One. Goodnight from shtove 01:42, 22 February 2006 (UTC)
  • "Another was to try and clarify the extent to which Plotinus' work followed directly from Plato and how much influence Plotinus had on the religions of his time. "

I reworded this, but is it supposed to say the influence of Plotinus on religions, or vice versa? --Shadow Puppet 21:05, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

...and FloNight: i stole your dove picture and put it on my page...


I was really, from the offset trying to create an article along the lines of Decline of the Roman Empire. Only the article including the book this time as a spring board.LoveMonkey 20:25, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

The deletion request of this article is disruptive. I have been working with a professor and member of the international neoplatonic society. What is posted has been reviewed and ok'ed by Profesor Moore, it is the best peer review I can come up with.LoveMonkey 04:34, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

Where is the dialog on the reasons why the article is up for deletion? LoveMonkey 12:13, 6 April 2006 (UTC)


It has been suggested that this article is not sufficiently notable, as it is or was based on a single book that presumably had a small print run, and in any case is out of print (I was intrigued enough by the contents listed in an early version of this page to want to order it from Amazon, but discovered it is not (or no longer) available there).

While I do agree that not every book needs a wiki page about it (even if some do!), the subject matter covered here would be of interest to the study of the finer academic details of Gnosticism, Neoplatonism, and for that matter Esotericism of the late Hellenistic period. I also think LoveMonkey has been doing a good job at improving the content of this page, changing it from a page about a book to a page about subjects discussed at a Conference. A Conference, although obscure to anyone not specialising in these subjects, is still worthy of inclusion in Wikipedia. After all, if we have detailed pages here on every planet and fictional character in the Star Wars or Star Trek universe (something I as a self-professed geek fully support btw), then there is no reason why we can't have detailed pages on serious academic conferences on this or any other subject, provided they are in keeping with wikipedia guidelines (NPOV, no original research, etc).

So perhaps it is that the problem is not the content on this page, but that the title is too broad for the current page content, and hence inappropriate and misleading.

So how about the following idea:

(a) The current page is moved to / renamed as "First International Conference on Neoplatonism and Gnosticism"
(b) A new page be written on "Neoplatonism and Gnosticism" which can cover:
o the general historical relationships between these two great Western esoteric traditions (and other traditions as well; during the Late Hellenistic period there was a lot of intermixing)
o Neoplatonist criticisms of Gnosticism (Plotinus, who else?)
o Gnostic adaptions of Neoplatonic ideas and cosmology (this is especially the case in later Sethian Gnosticism but I assume can be found elsewhere as well.

That way all the work on the current page isn't wasted, and at the same time a new page more appropriate to the subject title can be started. Also, the material on Plotinus and the gnostics which really takes up much too much space on the Plotinus page can be transferred to the new Neoplatonism and Gnosticism page. Or even better, it can be given a new page of its own. What does everyone think? M Alan Kazlev 09:26, 8 April 2006 (UTC)

Yep. That's pretty much what I was hoping for from the beginning. But I'm in no position to contribute - just an interested reader. Now, who's going to take it on?--09:31, 8 April 2006 (UTC)
I've given my reservations about this proposal on the deletion page. Lucidish 20:57, 8 April 2006 (UTC)

Really? The deletion page doesn't do it for me - although I didn't contribute. What I'd like to see:

  • One line definition of Neoplatonism (not Neoplatonicism)
  • One line definition of Gnosticism
  • One paragraph description of the historical contention
  • One paragraph description of the philosophical contention

Then let the article be fleshed out, preferrably with the substance of the relevant section in Plotinus, which can be transferred here with a link. And then Love Monkey's best loved book can have its title and ISBN inserted into the reference section, while its concepts are set out in the text. Why is this so difficult?--shtove 01:53, 9 April 2006 (UTC)

Because the material of the book which is covered so far (and presumably, also that which is to be written) offers direct insight upon the very topics you want the wiki to explore. Lucidish 03:55, 9 April 2006 (UTC)
But the article should treat of the concepts discussed in the book, not the book itself.--Shtove 12:55, 28 May 2006 (UTC)
Have you read the article recently? Lucidish 18:06, 28 May 2006 (UTC)
Yup - it's still an advertisment, not an encyclopedia article. Describe the substance, and let the conference/book be covered by an article about the conference/book.--Shtove 22:58, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

Lets try it[edit]

OK since this was fought a while ago and no one has tried, I'll start working on an attempt. My user space has drafts of each of these two sub-pages. I'll work on them a little and anyone else can too, and when we think they are OK we'll replace the current page with them.

user:bmorton3/First International Conference on Neoplatonism and Gnosticism
user:bmorton3/Neoplatonism and Gnosticism

Bmorton3 20:55, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

Removal of source quotes from AH Armstrongs translation of Plotinus[edit]

It seems that what is stated in AH Armstrong's translation of the Enneads must be censured and or suppressed. Why is that? Also Dan do you have a copy of this 1980s edition of AH Armstrongs Enneads of so then you know that he literally stated what was posted and then sourced. The term unhellenistic heretic is in the introduction notes they were written by AH Armstrong not me. I copied and posted them word for word. LoveMonkey 02:19, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

Again, you make it look like Plotinus used the word "heretic". And if I didn't remove it, I probably don't want to remove it. I deleted one of the long quotes, replacing it with a reference to the previous quote, because they had the same page number citation and the second one seemed redundant. Dan 17:32, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

???? You deleted the comment heretic and made some reference that the word did not exist in Plotinus' time as justification to remove it. You also removed "took all of their truths over from Plato" [1]. This is blanket deletion. LoveMonkey 18:02, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

As it has in the past, your own link disproves your claim. Dan 03:17, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

Post here how it does. LoveMonkey 12:07, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

The part about Plato clearly still exists in the linked version of the article - the article, not the footnotes - with a citation containing the same Armstrong page numbers and a quote that touches on the point at hand. Dan 17:17, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

The information removed[edit]

Dan wrote... As it has in the past, your own link disproves your claim. Dan 03:17, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

This link are the edits you did [2]. You removed the word heretic and then the source to heretic that in the quote stated that "Plotinus thought of the gnostics as heretics.

Introductory Note This treatise (No.33 in Porphyry's chronological order)is in fact the concluding section of a single long treatise which Porphyry, in order to carry out the design of grouping his master's works, more or less according to subject, into six sets of nine treatise, hacked roughly into four parts which he put into different Enneads, the other three being III. 8 (30) V. 8 (31) and V .5 (32). Porphyry says (Life ch. 16.11) that he gave the treatise the Title "Against the Gnostics" (he is presumably also responsible for the titles of the othersections of the cut-up treatise). There is an alternative title in Life. ch. 24 56-57 which runs "Against those who say that the maker of the universe is evil and the universe is evil.The treatise as it stands in the Enneads is a most powerful protest on behalf of Hellenic philosophy against the un-Hellenic heresy (as it was from the Platonist as well as the orthodox Christian point of view) of Gnosticism. A.H. Armstrong introduction to II 9. Against the Gnostics Pages 220-222"

You also removed the line "took all of their truths over from Plato" and then also removed the sourcing to it that stated

"The teaching of the Gnostics seems to him untraditional, irrational and immoral. They despise and revile the ancient Platonic teachings and claim to have a new and superior wisdom of their own: but in fact anything that is true in their teaching COMES FROM PLATO, and all they have done themselves is to add senseless complications and pervert the true traditional doctrine into a melodramatic, superstitious fantasy designed to feed their own delusions of grandeur. They reject the only true way of salvation through wisdom and virtue, the slow patient study of truth and pursuit of perfection by men who respect the wisdom of the ancients and know their place in the universe. A.H. Armstrong introduction to II 9. Against the Gnostics Pages 220-222"

Please explain how what was sourced does not validate what was written in the article? You have yet to do that Dan. LoveMonkey 19:03, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

Dan I think we need to maybe get an administrator or two involved. You removed specific statements from the article and then also the sourcing information and then claim that the two don't validate one another. You claim that I keep doing this and yet I am not even sourcing entire sentences or passages. I am now down to sourcing, the use of single words in the article and you still ignore the evidence given and instead make unsubstantiated accusations. And Blanket delete. LoveMonkey 19:18, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

Get an admin? Please do. You continue to claim I removed something that I did not remove (see my previous comment). Dan 19:28, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

Yes between the comments taken from here (AKA heretics) and the blanket deletion of an entire section (with a summary of this articles content) from Plotinus an Rfc might be just the thing. LoveMonkey 11:43, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

So, will you actually do anything? Should I go ahead and get a RFC for you? Dan 20:10, 25 October 2007 (UTC)
Sure go ahead. I would like to suggest DDG.

LoveMonkey 02:27, 26 October 2007 (UTC)
Re: 'Plotinus considered his opponents "heretics"'. Please provide the proof of this statement. The disputed deletion contains the phrase "a most powerful protest on behalf of Hellenic philosophy against the un-Hellenic heresy". This phrase is a modern opinion about actions of Plotinus, not what he "considered his opponent to be". Or am I missing something here? `'Míkka 20:48, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

What you are quoting is word for word from A.H. Armstrong's introduction to the enneads is not opinion. It is sourced in the introduction as is noted.

LoveMonkey 02:27, 26 October 2007 (UTC)
I could also add apostate to the article since Christos Evangelous refers to the text and Plotinus' opinion of the gnostics as Apostates (neoplatonism and gnosticism pg114 through 115). In specific Adelphius and Aquilinus. I only sourced the Enneads but I could add even more if you like. Armstrong specifically uses the word heretic though. Armstrong edition is the Cambridge edition so if you know of another scholar that states that Armstrong is wrong please post them. LoveMonkey 03:01, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

Please re-read carefully what I am writing. We are not discussing what Armstrong said. We are discussing what Plotinus said. Now, again, where is the proof that Plotinus considered his opponents "heretics"? Please pay attention: "un-Hellenic heresy" is the expression of Armstrong, not of Plotinus. From what you provide we may only state that "in Armstrong's opinion Plotinus fought/argued/etc. against non-Hellenic herecy". You did not provide quotations that someone said that 'Plotinus considered or called his opponents "heretics"'. This is your conclusion based on Armstrong's quote. Your conclusion does not follow from Armstrong's quote. It may follow from some other statements, but not from the given quote. One may think that heresy and apostasy are synonyms, but other may be more discriminating. So why don't you replace "heretics" by "apostates" (with the quote you mention) and done with this point. `'Míkka 03:36, 26 October 2007 (UTC)
But Mikka we are discussing the works of Plotinus and specifically then the Enneads. We are discussing the tract of the Enneads by Plotinus called "Against the Gnostics". We are discussing A.H. Armstrongs introduction to that as well. No this is not my opinion no I have not drawn any conclusion as such from Plotinus' Enneads. If you Mikka can show a scholar that states that Armstrong is wrong post it. I have followed Wikipedia:Verifiability the quote is in print. If you wish to qualify what Armstrong put in the introduction as opinion please clarify how this is my conclusion, when it is what is in print 'Armstrong used the word not me. When it is what is in introduction to the Enneads. As for the confusion if you would like I can quote Plotinus stating that the Gnostics are outside the tradition of Hellenic philosophy this is multiple scholars Mikka not me. If you have Neoplatonic sources that say otherwise post them here we can add it to the article.

Again this statement is incorrect-

This is your conclusion based on Armstrong's quote. Your conclusion does not follow from Armstrong's quote.

Incorrect Armstrong's quote is..Word of word from the Enneads not my opinion. Here is the quote from the book.
"The treatise as it stands in the Enneads is a most powerful protest on behalf of Hellenic philosophy against the un-Hellenic heresy(as it was from the Platonist as well as the orthodox Christian point of view) of Gnosticism. A.H. Armstrong introduction to II 9. Against the Gnostics Pages 220-222"

LoveMonkey 11:43, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

First, "as it was from the Platonist as well as the orthodox Christian point of view" is not the same as "Plotinus'" point of view. Second, once again, you are quoting Armstrong, who may have used modern term which was not used by Plotinus. Therefore you cannot say that "Plotinus considered his opponents "heretics". This is your conclusion. You can only say "In opinion of Armstrong, gnosticism was heresy from platonist p.o.v". `'Míkka 15:56, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

This is not so, Armstrong is peer-reviewed. Therefore he is not the only one making the statement. I have not made any conclusion, I have only posted what is in print. It is you who have decided that Armstrong and Loeb are not informed enough in the text to not properly represent the Plotinus text. It is you who are now stating that Armstrong was not good enough in his translation to make a statement and qualify it as opinion rather then fact. You are in essences second guessing Armstrong. You are stating that he as a translator was misinterpreting and misrepresenting Plotinus. Again I am not concluding anything I am only posting what is in Armstrong's translation of Plotinus Enneads. It is you who are concluding that I and also Armstrong are stating opinion as fact. Please show how me posting that in the introduction to the Enneads "Against the Gnostic" Armstrong qualifies his statements as opinion. Please show me another scholars work in the field of Plotinus that states that Armstrong was stating opinion rather then fact. If you can not do this then you are making an allegation and are engaging in Original Research. There is no reason to believe that Armstrong is wrong and or stating opinion in his introduction. It also appears that you requiring such a critieria is not normal of wikipedia articles and is not within the policies as already stated by wikipedia this is instead an innovation and is not the standard as established by the policy of verifiablity. LoveMonkey 16:24, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

If there is lack of clarity on the policy this is not on my end. I have not made an opinion I have stated what is in print. I have posted what can be sourced and sourced according the the criteria of verifiablity. I have not then went back and then tried to qualify in any scholars text what is opinion and or what is fact, unless the scholar did so themselves within the text of the source I have posted. LoveMonkey 16:53, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

Obviously you fail to comprehend what I wrote. I am not questioning Armstrong. I am questioning your reading of Armstrong. This topic is not a very common knowledge and more srtict demands to the text are natural. Let me clarify one more problem with you text. A birch is a tree. Trees have roots, leaves, branches, bark, etc. Now what whould you think if you see the article about birch will write: "Birches have leaves and bark". Here we have the same logic. The statement that "Plotinus considered them heretics" without further explanation serves no useful purpose. A purpose could be is as part of the proof by example that "hellehists considered them heretics", but in this not the case. Another purpose is an introduction of a quotation to confirm this statement. `'Míkka 18:01, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

A.H. Armstrong and the his copy of the Enneads published by the Loeb Classical Library[edit]

Plotinus. Enneads, 7 vols., translated by A.H. Armstrong, Loeb Classical Library.

Shortcut: WP:SOURCES See also: Wikipedia:Neutral point of view and Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons. Articles should rely on reliable, third-party published sources with a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy. Sources should be appropriate to the claims made: exceptional claims require exceptional sources. All articles must adhere to Wikipedia's neutrality policy, fairly representing all majority and significant-minority viewpoints that have been published by reliable sources, in rough proportion to the prominence of each view.[4]

In general, the most reliable sources are peer-reviewed journals and books published in university presses; university-level textbooks; magazines, journals, and books published by respected publishing houses; and mainstream newspapers. As a rule of thumb, the greater the degree of scrutiny involved in checking facts, analyzing legal issues, and scrutinizing the evidence and arguments of a particular work, the more reliable it is.

Academic and peer-reviewed publications are highly valued and usually the most reliable sources in areas where they are available, such as history, medicine and science. Material from reliable non-academic sources may also be used in these areas, particularly if they are respected mainstream publications. The appropriateness of any source always depends on the context. Where there is disagreement between sources, their views should be clearly attributed in the text."

Armstrong's edition of Enneads mets these requirements. If what Armstrong has expressed is outside the academic consensus of his field of study AKA Hellenic Philosophy please post where this has been called by the academic community into quesion because I have not seen any such articles and if I am ignorant of them I apologize. LoveMonkey 12:15, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

I was asked to comment (by Love Monkey): The Loeb Classical Library is of course the standard bilingual English edition for classical authors, and has a general reputation for translations which keep fairly close to the wording of the text. The edition was published between 1966 and 1989; the translator here appears to be an authority , as would be expected. He has published 7 other academic books on the general subject from 1940 to 1986. But that does not necessarily mean it is the only possible translation of the material--and the actual Greek text is of course more authoritative than any translation. As for notes and interpretation, certainly Armstrong is a reliable secondary source. But presumably there are also others, and there may be several decades of more recent work to consider. I'm not going to go looking for this--I personally have a total lack of interest in Neoplatonism. That's up to the rest of you. But in general at WP all responsible academic views should be represented; if there are multiple sourced interpretations, I see no need to quarrel--just present them all. If anyone wants to write a personal essay explaining and presenting his own views, however, WP is not the place. DGG (talk) 14:15, 26 October 2007 (UTC)
You missed the point: Armstrong is not questioned. A wikipedian's interpretation is questioned. `'Míkka 18:03, 26 October 2007 (UTC)
What are we talking about here? The current version makes it look like Plotinus used the word "heretic". He did not. (I suspect Lovemonkey's talk of Armstrong's "translation" or the phrase "Word of word from the Enneads" has misled you, DGG, since he's actually citing Armstrong's introduction. Technically even Armstrong does not appear to use the word in quotation marks, but that seems like a minor point.) And unlike the charge of blasphemy -- which you may notice I mentioned in my version, citing Armstrong -- "heresy" implies doctrines about the Church or the body of Christ that Plotinus clearly did not hold. Unless someone wants to claim that Armstrong disagreed with the facts here (he did not), everything Lovemonkey has said seems irrelevant. Meanwhile, he continues to make false claims about what I did and attack people's motives. He even refuses to use a different Christian/Abrahamic term here (not a good compromise in my view). Dan 19:15, 26 October 2007 (UTC)
To put the main issue another way, Lovemonkey reverted my edit containing the word 'blasphemy' and insisted on a version that contained both 'blasphemer' and 'heretic'. If we assume he meant to do this, it suggests he wanted to include the more specific meanings of the word 'heretic' even though they do not apply here and nobody claims that they do. But in fact, it seems to me that he just doesn't understand what the revision history says, and refuses to believe me when I say that I didn't remove everything he claims I removed. Dan 20:37, 26 October 2007 (UTC)
I was addressing only the narrow issue of the reliability of that particular translation and its commentary, not the content of he article. As I said, i am not knowledgeable or interested in the Neoplatonist tradition. if everyone agrees he is a RS, then quote whatever it is he did say. DGG (talk) 04:27, 29 October 2007 (UTC)
Um, again, I did quote him and I'd just like you to confirm for Lovemoneky the objective facts of what the revision history says. Dan 04:40, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

DGG when I was speaking of the deleting that Dan did I was speaking of his removal of parts I added to Plotinus that he deleted [3] as well as parts to this article. LoveMonkey 13:09, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

Professor John D. Turner[edit]

Professor Turner wrote this about Plotinus' commentary in Against the Gnostics.
"Although the Platonists initially regarded the Sethians as friends, soon they too, like the heresiologists of the church, began writing pointed and lengthy attacks upon them for distorting the teaching of Plato which they adapted to depict their own spiritual world and the path toward assimilation with it."
LoveMonkey 17:10, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

I do need to say , though , that this is not a statement that Plotinus considered the Sethians heretics, just that those (unnamed) Christian writers who were writers about heresy, considered the Sethians distorters of Plato. DGG (talk) 04:30, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

But DGG Plotinus never used the word distorted, that is your opinion. Since the word heresy is at least as old as Irenaeus which would make the word older then Plotinus. Armstrong used the word. Tell me how to "properly" express Plotinus' sentiments? Since if I just post from Armstrong I get criticisized as engaging in copyright infringement. Or if I write the article with a Philosophy Professor from Indiana University the article is then just an essay. Is this not a most impossible criteria? What sources have either of these two editors posted? What neoplatonic works by peer reviewed scholars have they based there objections upon? LoveMonkey 13:02, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

right, that is Armstrong's summary. DGG (talk) 18:33, 30 October 2007 (UTC)
Once again, my reverted edits leave what I consider a clearer statement of what Armstrong says in the quotes, along with a citation and enough of a quote to confirm that he does say something like this. I removed the literal screenful of quotes in the other article because I don't understand what purpose they serve and I have a hard time believing that copyright law allows it. Seriously, why do you want them there? Dan 19:21, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

All of this has already been addressed. LoveMonkey 13:32, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

How? Where do you address my argument about clearer word choice? (See define:heretic and define:blasphemer for a sense of English meanings.) Adding the word heretic serves no obvious function except as a hook for a long quote. So, why does that quote need inclusion when the quote I left in the article seems to get the point across fine by itself? And why on Earth would you think we need more than a full screen of repetitious, copyrighted quotes in footnotes over at Plotinus? Dan 18:06, 30 October 2007 (UTC)
I just took a look there--though I the quotes technically come within fair use, they're stretching it, unless it was absolutely necessary to explain the subject. It is not the style of WP to have material such as that, and when it appears, I usually start thinking of WP:POINT or SOAPBOX. (Not that i am saying that this is necessarily the case here). But this is a 21st century encyclopedia, not a learned monograph, and should be written accordingly. And, without commenting on the merits of these two terms here, most such quarrels over single words are in my experience highly unproductive. DGG (talk) 18:32, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

Well Armstrong thought so, so did Evangleu also so did Turner above. This intensity that Plotinus is critical of the gnostics is what is being documented. Plotinus and then other Neoplatonists had a great distain for the gnostics that is the weight of the vocabulary. The Neoplatonist were very explicit in their critical stance toward the "gnostics". Hence such numerious statements as the one below.

"Although the Platonists initially regarded the Sethians as friends, soon they too, like the heresiologists of the church, began writing pointed and lengthy attacks upon them for distorting the teaching of Plato which they adapted to depict their own spiritual world and the path toward assimilation with it."

Again this is not Armstrong this is Professor John D Turner one of the translators of the Nag Hammadi. Also Evangelou used the word apostate although when Armstrong addressed and rebuttaled to Evangelou in Armstrong's intro to Plotinus' Against the Gnostics he stated that the Gnostics in origin were Pre Christian and outside of the Hellenistic schools of philosophy so they could not really apostate. Do either of you guys have any other Neoplatonic scholars and or their work published in journals online that can refute what Armstrong stated? Or Turner or Evangelou. I can name other scholars that used the same type of verbage in their depiction of the Neoplatonic stance against Gnosticism then even these three scholars.
I mean when this whole argument started on the Plotinus page. I tried to even educate (though I am not a scholar) the poster who was posting original research saying all kinds of crazy innovations on the subject of Neoplatonism and Gnosticism. I even enlightened him to the two source I found that objected to the gnostics being anything other then just another Greek Christian denomination. And how this was addressed by scholars in the Neoplatonic communitee. But that and this has caused me to have to narrow what the article and what I can say since now even when it is in print and a scholar says it administrators and posters can find justification to change and or reinterpret what is in print because they object to it. And if they are not objecting then what are they doing? LoveMonkey 13:01, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

Well, I explained that I think the shorter version gets your point across just as well or better, and nobody else seems to like these long footnotes either (or quotes or references or whatever you want to call them). For the most part I couldn't care less what Plotinus said about 'Gnostics', the original groups having long since died out (except maybe the one facing genocide in Iraq due to their pacifism). I only object to the content of your edits when they make Plotinus look more Christian and distort his philosophy in the process, like the argument you made back when I came in. Do you have any reason for keeping all the long quotes, aside from claims about users I don't know who might have mistreated you in the past? You've already linked to my preferred version of the article introduction, and I've given my reasons for those edits. Dan 21:53, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

Again this has been addressed. As for Plotinus and more Christian or not this too, is historical (see the originator of neoplatonism and teacher of Plotinus Ammonius Saccas)and not an innovation on my part. It is a matter of documented history. I have already argued that Plotinus never mentions Christianity nor Christ. As for your misunderstanding of what I previously stated take a look at my response to you again here [4] and my recent edits to the article henosis that you requested sourcing on. LoveMonkey 23:36, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

Quick response: I really don't know why you think this addresses anything that I've said, and I suggest you just quote Plotinus in the henosis article rather than trying to summarize him. Your summaries invariably make less sense. Dan 05:13, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

Again it being addressed means no one is denying your right to criticise. What is the problem is, is that we have to work together with one another from reputable sources. If a reputable source is used it does nothing for wiki's credibility to then try and second guess that source. It is even worse when those doing the second guess have no connection to that community that they are now criticizing. I myself need to go back and look at all of it again just so that I can confirm (since I too have no direct connection). As for the henosis I did just quote Plotinus that is the sourcing I added to the article so you seemed to have missed the point. As for Plotinus I will say that his works are not easily understood and to take parts of them and quote them can make a bigger mess since he was writing more from a traditional and deeply intellectually informed perspective. You might if you could (since Professor Morton has left) put a section in the henosis article dedicated to the Valentinian and other gnostic nomenclatures. I apologize if I have angered you it was not my intention. LoveMonkey 14:09, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

Look, I still have no clue what you just said. Go back and look at what? What community do you mean, and who criticized it? Second-guess what? What does this have to do with justifying tons of quotes, or a word that serves no purpose except to hang a long quote on? What does Saccas have to do with any of the issues we've discussed? See also Talk:Henosis. Dan 04:32, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

How to improve the article[edit]

This subject is very obscured by being imbedded in technical jargon. It would very good for readers to see the evolution of the Neoplatonic movement in it's understanding with Neoplatonism. In a more modern wording. LoveMonkey 13:25, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

Grammar and syntax[edit]

The article is rather badly written, perhaps the result of re-editing without consolidating. Sentences such as this (quoted in full), "Since a high aptitude would be a necessary qualification to understand and grasp the teachings of the academy", are typical throughout. The article is about an significant subject, so the failings of presentation become even more important. I will leave the task of amend and rescue to others, because of the time certain to be wasted (the article's chief architect I find to be rather obstinate and obdurate, though assiduous). -The Gnome (talk) 07:02, 25 November 2007 (UTC)


— Preceding unsigned comment added by LoveMonkey (talkcontribs) 14:26, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

Summary & shortening[edit]

This article can be summarized as follows: Gnosticism was influenced by (Middle) Platonism, but neo-Platonism rejected Gnosticism. I've trimmed the text, to put forward this summary. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 08:46, 8 March 2017 (UTC)