Turning now to the other side, we have evidence, not only from tradition but from his writings, that he was acquainted with Plato and the mystical Platonists; but he had the sagacity to perceive that Aristotle was the great representative of philosophy, and that his writings contained the best results and method which the natural reason had as yet attained to.
In the 17th century mysticism is represented in the philosophical field by the so-called Cambridge Platonists, and especially by Henry More (1614-1687), in whom the influence of the Kabbalah is combined with a species of christianized Neoplatonism.
As a philosophical idealist, however, he transmutes the whole contents of the faith of the church into ideas which bear the mark of Neo-Platonism, and were accordingly recognized by the later Neo-Platonists as Hellenic. 4 In Origen, however, 1 There are, however, extensive fragments of the original in existence.
Though this narrative is a mixture of truth and fiction, it may be said with certainty that a thorough study of the philosophy of Peripatetics and Pythagoreans, Stoics and Platonists, brought home to Justin the conviction that true knowledge was not to be found in them.
Biog.; Bigg, Christian Platonists of Alex.
Occam reproaches the " modern Platonists " for perverting the Aristotelian doctrine by these speculations, and claims the authority of Aristotle for his own Nominalistic doctrine.
With the exception of a Preface to the Sermons of Dr Whichcote, one of the Cambridge Platonists or latitudinarians, published in 1698, Shaftesbury appears to have printed nothing himself till 1708.
With its character largely determined by Jewish elements, and even more by contact with the dogmas of Christianity, this second Alexandrian school resulted in the speculative philosophy of the Neo-Platonists and the religious philosophy of the Gnostics and early church fathers.
At the same time that the Neo-Platonists, like Ficino and Pico de la Mirandola, and the pantheists, whose God was little more than a reverential conception of the universe at large, and the purely worldly humanists, like Celtes and Bebel, were widely diverging each by his own particular path from the ecclesiastical Weltanschauung of the middle ages, Ulrich von Hutten was busy attacking the Curia in his witty Dialogues, in the name of German patriotism.
The Platonists include F.
Kritiken (1832); Jean Reville, La Religion a Rome sous les Severes (1886); C. Bigg, The Christian Platonists of Alexandria (1886) and Neoplatonism (1895); Rufus M.
Throughout this mystic religious world it was above all the influence of the late Greek religion, derived from Plato, that also continued to operate; it is filled with the echo of the song, the first note of which was sounded by the Platonists, about the heavenly home of the soul and the homeward journey of the wise to the higher world of light.
We have seen how anxious Aristotle was to be considered one of the Platonists, how reluctant he was to depart from Plato's hypothesis of forms, and how, in denying the separability, he retained the Platonic belief in the reality and even in the unity of the universal.
He gradually became a logician out of his previous studies: out of metaphysics, for with him being is always the basis of thinking, and common principles, such as that of contradiction, are axioms of things before axioms of thought, while categories are primarily things signified by names; out of the mathematics of the Pythagoreans and the Platonists, which taught him the nature of demonstration; out of the physics, of which he imbibed the first draughts from his father, which taught him induction from sense and the modification of strict demonstration to suit facts; out of the dialectic between man and man which provided him with beautiful examples of inference in the Socratic dialogues of Xenophon and Plato; out of the rhetoric addressed to large audiences, which with dialectic called his attention to probable inferences; out of the grammar taught with rhetoric and poetics which led him to the logic of the proposition.
The commentators themselves were doubtful about the order: Boethus proposed to begin with Physics, and some of the Platonists with Ethics or Mathematics; while Andronicus preferred to put Logic first as Organon (Scholia, 25 b 34 seq.).
He had in this respect many points of similarity with the Cambridge Platonists of the 17th century, and with F.
Further, it is necessary to distinguish from the Neopythagoreans a number of Eclectic Platonists, who, during the ist century of our era, maintained views which had a similar tendency (e.g.
His most important book, Rational Theology and Christian Philosophy (1872), is one in which the Cambridge Platonists and other leaders of dispassionate thought in the 17th century are similarly treated.
Whittaker, The Neo-platonists (Cambridge, 1901); E.
As Zeller points out, however, there is reason to think that his doctrines were rather those of the earlier Platonists than those of Plotinus.
Whittaker, The Neo-platonists (Camb., 1901); Eusebius, Hist.
Varro also studied at Athens, especially under the philosopher Antiochus of Ascalon, whose aim it was to lead back the Academic school from the scepticism of Arcesilaus and Carneades to the tenets of the early Platonists, as he understood them.
His favourite reading was poetry and mystical philosophy: Shakespeare, Dante, George Herbert, Goethe, Berkeley, Coleridge, Swedenborg, Jakob Boehme, Plato, the new Platonists, and the religious books of the East (in translation).
In default of direct evidence, it remains for us to compare these scattered notices of Speusippus's teaching with what we know of its original, the teaching of Plato, in the hope of obtaining at least a general notion, firstly, of Speusippus's system, and, secondly, of its relations to the systems of Plato, of contemporary Platonists, such as Aristotle, and of the later Academy.
' In abandoning the theory of ideas - that is to say, the theory of figures and numbers, the possessions of universal mind, eternally existent out of space and time, which figures and numbers when they pass into space and time as the heritage of finite minds are regarded as things - Speusippus had the approval, as of the Platonists generally, so also of Aristotle.
In thus reverting to the crudities of certain Pythagoreans, he laid himself open to the criticisms of Aristotle, who, in his Metaphysics, recognizing amongst contemporary Platonists three principal groups - (1) those who, like Plato, distinguished mathematical and ideal numbers; (2) those who, like Xenocrates, identified them; and (3) those who, like Speusippus, postulated mathematical numbers only - has much to say against the Xenocratean interpretation of the theory, and in particular points out that, if the ideas are numbers made up of arithmetical units, they not only cease to be principles, but also become subject to arithmetical operations.
In the extent of his knowledge, in keenness of observation, in variety of style, in his literary output, he has been compared to Voltaire; but it is perhaps as the forerunner of the great Renaissance Platonists that he will be chiefly remembered.
Philo's distinction between God and His rational power or Logos in contact with the world was generally maintained by the eclectic Platonists and Neo-Platonists.
They were also discussed by the Platonists, so much so that they became known as the " Platonic solids."
Carrying out, it may be, the principles of the Neo-Platonists, they kept the sanctuary of the Deity securely guarded, and interposed between him and his creatures a spiritual order of potent principles, from the Intelligence, which is the first-born image of the great unity, to the Soul and Nature, which come later in the spiritual rank.
It is not surprising that this somewhat complicated and delicately balanced view of the relations of " good " and " pleasure " was not long maintained within the Platonic school, and that under Speusippus, Plato's successor, the main body of Platonists took up a simply anti-hedonistic position, as we learn from the polemic of Aristotle.
When a student passes from Plato to Aristotle, he is so forcibly impressed by the contrast between the habits of mind of the two authors, and the literary manners of the two philosophers, that it is easy to under stand how their systems have come to be popularly conceived as diametrically opposed to each other; and the uncompromising polemic which Aristotle, both in his ethical and in his metaphysical treatises, directs against Plato and the platonists, has tended strongly to confirm this view.
Revulsion from the dogmatic temper of the Presbyterians, and the unreasoning enthusiasm of the Independents favoured sympathy afterwards with Cambridge Platonists and other liberal Anglican churchmen.
Cudworth; the Cambridge Platonists), or else polemical learning--Bishop Bull (against Petavius's innovating views of history), D.
CAMBRIDGE PLATONISTS, a school of philosophico-religious thinkers which flourished mainly at Cambridge University in the second half of the 17th century.
In spite of inaccuracy and the lack of critical capacity in dealing with their authorities both ancient and modern, the Cambridge Platonists exercised a valuable influence on English theology and thought in general.
Their chief authorities were Plato and the Neo-platonists (between whom they made no adequate distinction), and among modern philosophers, Descartes, Malebranche and Boehme.