Worldly and Otherworldly Virtue: Likeness to God as Educational Ideal in Plato, Plotinus and Today

Zovko, Marie-Élise (2017) Worldly and Otherworldly Virtue: Likeness to God as Educational Ideal in Plato, Plotinus and Today. In: Educational Philosophy and Theory. Taylor & Francis, Routledge.

[img] Text
9-Worldly and otherworldly virtue Likeness to God as educational ideal in Plato Plotinus and today.pdf - Published Version
Restricted to Registered users only

Download (990kB)
Official URL:


In Plato, the doctrine of “Becoming like God” (homoiosis theoi) constitutes the telos of the philosophical life. Our ‘likeness to God’ is rooted in the relationship of the divine paradeigma or archetype to its image established in the generation of the Cosmos. The same relationship makes knowledge and virtue possible, and informs Plato’s theory of education. Related concepts preexist in Judeao- Christian and other traditions and continue to inform our thought on moral and ethical issues, particularly as regards our understanding of what it means to be human. From the idea of ‘likeness to God’, emerges the tradition of philosophical mysticism which has its roots in Plotinus, whose aim is union of the individual soul with its ultimate principle (henosis, unio mystica). The task of realizing virtue in daily life, i.e. civic virtue, appears opposed to the goal of assimilation to the divine, because this higher level of virtue requires a stripping away of finite determinations, and preoccupation with particular things, with the aim of escaping from the multiplicity of sensible and even intelligible reality. This paper considers the inherent opposition between ‘worldly’ and ‘otherworldly’ virtue, as well as previously neglected aspects of "likeness to God" and "becoming like God" in Plato and Plotinus, and explores their continued relevance for pedagogical theory and practice today.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Depositing User: Maja Šoštarić
Date Deposited: 25 Jan 2018 13:03
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2021 11:37

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item