Platonism and the Platonic Tradition - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Philosophy

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Ancient Platonism

Modern scholars customarily divide Platonism in the ancient world into four main periods by using a mixture of ancient and modern terminology.

The "Old Academy" (347–267 BCE) is what Cicero called the original succession of philosophers within the Academy itself. The first of these philosophers was Speusippus (the scholarch, or "head of the school," 347–339 BCE), whose written works do not survive but whose doctrines can be reconstructed somewhat from later reports. Apparently Speusippus was influenced by the Pythagoreans into advocating as the first principles of reality, the One and the Dyad, the former transcending being, goodness, and intellect and the latter coinciding with matter. Speusippus abandoned Plato's own doctrine that the Forms were Ideal Numbers, yet emphasized Plato's teaching regarding the mathematicals intermediate between intelligibles and sensibles. He also explained the various levels of being as resulting from the relation between the...

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This section contains 9,071 words
(approx. 31 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Platonism and the Platonic Tradition Encyclopedia Article
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Platonism and the Platonic Tradition from Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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