Version: v1, Published online: 1998
Retrieved May 19, 2022, from https://www.rep.routledge.com/articles/thematic/nous/v-1
Commonly translated as ‘mind’ or ‘intellect’, the Greek word nous is a key term in the philosophies of Plato, Aristotle and Plotinus. What gives nous its special significance there is not primarily its dictionary meaning – other nouns in Greek can also signify the mind – but the value attributed to its activity and to the metaphysical status of things that are ‘noetic’ (intelligible and incorporeal) as distinct from being perceptible and corporeal. In Plato’s later dialogues, and more systematically in Aristotle and Plotinus, nous is not only the highest activity of the human soul but also the divine and transcendent principle of cosmic order.
Long, A.A.. Nous, 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-A075-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis, https://www.rep.routledge.com/articles/thematic/nous/v-1.
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