Category: Plato in 80 entries

Plato in Modern Philosophy

After its growth in Renaissance Florence, where the platonic texts were revisited in the 15th c., Platonism thrived in England in the 17th c., particularly among the Cambridge Platonists. At the same time, in continental Europe, Leibniz (Gottfried Wilhelm, 1646-1716) admitted to the necessity of distinguishing Plato from Neoplatonism, and emphasized on the demand to study the platonic corpus for itself. This request was met gradually along with the appearance of the modern editions of the platonic corpus.

In the 18th c., French Enlightenment hovered between the proclamation of (the platonic) Socrates as a hero of Reason, and the denouncement of platonic metaphysics. Similar ambivalence characterized Kant's view of Plato. Nevertheless, the philosopher roughly approved Plato's thought, where he recognized elements of his own moral philosophy. Against the Romantic perception of Plato as a philosopher of sentiment, Hegel proposed a historical approach of the platonic texts. The accuracy and profoundness of this approach is not arrested by the philosophical postulates and presuppositions of Hegel's own systematic philosophy. Beyond the particular critical assaults, Hegel recognized in platonic dialectics a draft of his own dialectical method.

While Hegelianism declined, Kierkegaard (Søren, 1813-1855), on the one hand, was attracted by the persona of Socrates alone, and Nietzsche (Friedrich, 1844-1900) described Plato's work as the source and crystallization of all the distortions incurred by western metaphysics. Martin Heidegger (1889-1976) partly conceded to the same view.

Plato's work was met with the highest degree of distinction during the 20th c., for it became an essential correspondent of every significant school of theory: analytical philosophy, political theory, hermeneutics, deconstruction, feminism, and psychoanalysis.

Author: Panagiotis Thanassas
The Neo-Platonic curriculum

The Neo-Platonic curriculum

The curriculum followed by the Neo-Platonic schools in...

The Cambridge Platonists

The Cambridge Platonists

The Cambridge Platonists represent a peculiar philosophical...

Plato and the sciences of his time

Plato and the sciences of his time

Plato, during the fifty years he was active as an author,...

Ammonius, son of Hermias

Ammonius, son of Hermias

Neoplatonist philosopher, who held the public chair of...