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Last Updated September 5, 2023.

The Enneads, a collection of the works and musings of the Greek philosopher Plotinus, is a group of 54 writings that are separated into six sections, the six Enneads. Each of these writings deal with different subject areas and are essentially a collection of his major ideas of philosophy.

Each of The Enneads takes a different subject to discuss, summarizing Plotinus's viewpoints on that subject. The first group of writing is dedicated to human and animal existence, as well as the nature of virtue and good and evil. He reasons that virtues and morals separate us from animals. He continues this section with discussions of good and evil, happiness, and how to live an upright life.

The second Ennead is a discussion of physical reality. In this text, he sets about discussing the existence and workings of the cosmos, including stellar motion, his ideas on star formation, the nature of physical matter, and the ideas of perspective (titled "Why distant objects appear small").

The third Ennead is more of a discussion of spiritual matters on the human scale. His sections are related to ideas such as Fate, the human spirit, love, and eternity, among other things. He relates this section closely to the previous one—physical reality, because he believes the two are intimately interwoven.

The fourth Ennead is a deep discussion of the soul and its existence. He discusses how the soul is united with the body, its immortality, the nature and purpose of its existence (linking the soul to the idea of morals and therefore how it separates us from beasts), and much more.

The fifth Ennead follows lines of reasoning about the nature of knowledge, good, and truth. He makes arguments about how the intellectual and rational being thinks and what conclusions can rightly be made. He also stipulates that there is, in fact, universal truth, and that all truth that humans come to understand stems from this.

The final Ennead is a conglomeration of his remaining ideas. He discusses immortality, number theory, the omnipotence and omnipresence of God, and free will, among other things. This Ennead is something of a catch-all, to organize things that didn't fall into the remaining subgroups.

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