Modes of Knowledge and the Transcendental
An introduction to Plotinus Ennead 5.3 
The philosophy of Plotinus is usually depicted as a quest for the absolute, outside and beyond the world of human knowledge and experience. Yet in the late treatise <i>Ennead</i> 5.3 , Plotinus shows himself a philosopher of the transcendental, rather than of the transcendent. Starting from a critical analysis of the idea of self-knowledge, he develops a world-view in which central notions of his metaphysics are represented, not as different “hypostases” or transcendent beings, but as limiting cases of reality as we human beings know it. Fundamental to this world-view is Plotinus' assumption that a close analogy can be established between the psychological and the physical description of man.