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Short description: Definition and usage of the Greek word Metaxy

Metaxy (Greek: μεταξύ) is a concept used by the contemporary political philosopher Eric Voegelin, philosopher Simone Weil, and Neoplatonists like Plotinus.

Metaxy as used by Voegelin refers to the permanent place where man is in-between two poles of existence.

One example is the infinite (apeiron) and the finite (the divine mind or nous) reality of existence. Another example is between the beginning of existence (apeiron) and the beyond existence (epekeina).

Voegelin defined metaxy as the connection of the mind or nous to the material world and the reverse of the material world's connection to the mind as "consciousness of being".

Under Voegelin's definition it can also mean a form of perception in contrast to consciousness; a template of the mind (or nous) in contrast to the dynamic and unordered flow of experiential consciousness; or as a form of reflectiveness in-between two poles of experience (the finite and the infinite, or immanent and transcendent).

The whole of existence is expressed as the cosmos. Metaxy is man's connection to the material world as the ground of being.[1][additional citation(s) needed]

Neoplatonists like Plotinus used the concept to express an ontological placement of Man between the Gods and animals.[2]

The concept is also used by Simone Weil. She believed that compassion must act in the area of metaxy.[3]


  1. Eric Voegelin, “Reason: The Classic Experience,” in Voegelin, Published Essays, 1966-1985, vol. 12 of The Collected Works of Eric Voegelin, ed. Ellis Sandoz (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1990), 289-90; Order and History, Volume IV: The Ecumenic Age, vol. 17 of The Collected Works of Eric Voegelin, ed. Michael Franz (Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press, 2000), 408.
  2. Rise and Decline of the Roman World By Hildegard Temporini, Wolfgang Haase pg 706 Text Enneads 3, Verse 8 line 4 "But humanity, in reality, is poised midway between gods and beasts, and inclines now to the one order, now to the other; some men grow like to the divine, others to the brute, the greater number stand neutral."
  3. Athanasios Moulakis, Simone Weil and the Politics of Self-denial, University of Missouri Press, 1998, p. 141.


  • Navia, Luis E., Socrates, the man and his philosophy, pp. 30, 171. University Press of America ISBN:0-8191-4854-7.
  • Cooper, John M. & Hutchinson, D. S. (Eds.) (1997). Plato: Complete Works, Hackett Publishing Co., Inc. ISBN:0-87220-349-2.
  • Micael P. Federici, Eric Voegelin The Restoration of Order (2002) ISI Books ISBN:1-882926-74-9
  • Steel, Sean. (2014). The Pursuit of Wisdom and Happiness in Education: Historical Sources and Contemplative Practices. New York: SUNY Press. ISBN:978-1-4384-5213-5

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