Xenocrates Sentence Examples
The view of Xenocrates is based on the same ideas.
He was a fellow-pupil of Polemo in the school of Xenocrates at Athens, and was the first commentator on Plato.
The appointment of Plato's nephew, Speusippus, to succeed his uncle in the Academy induced Aristotle and Xenocrates to leave Athens together and repair to the court of Hermias.
Indeed, according to Ammonius, Plato too had talked as he walked in the Academy; and all his followers were called Peripatetics, until, while the pupils of Xenocrates took the name " Academics," those of Aristotle retained the general name.
But Heracleides and Hestiacus, Speusippus and Xenocrates were also present and wrote similar reports.Advertisement
What is more, both Speusippus and Xenocrates founded their own philosophies on this very Pythagoreanism of Plato.
Xenocrates as president from 339 onwards taught that the one and many are principles, only without distinguishing mathematical from formal numbers.
Moreover, the successors of Plato in the Academy, Speusippus and Xenocrates, showed the same belief in the essentiality of virtue.
Xenocrates took the tolerant view that it is the possession of appropriate virtue and noble actions, requiring as conditions bodily and external goods.
Aristotle was opposed to Speusippus, and nearly agreed with Xenocrates.Advertisement
It is probable that when, after Plato's death and the accession of Speusippus in 347, Aristotle with Xenocrates left Athens to visit his former pupil Hermias, the three discussed this moderate system of Ethics in which the two philosophers nearly agreed.
The main merit of his account of ancient art, the only classical work of its kind, is that it is a compilation ultimately founded on the lost textbooks of Xenocrates and on the biographies of Duris and Antigonus.
At the age of eighteen he went to Athens, where the Platonic school was flourishing under the lead of Xenocrates.
Neither Theophrastus at the Lyceum, nor Xenocrates and Polemo at the Academy, nor Stilpo, who was drawing crowds to hear him at Megara, could be said to have inherited much of the great reformer's intellectual vigour, to say nothing of his moral earnestness.
He was succeeded by Xenocrates.Advertisement
Xenocrates indeed, identifying ideal and mathematical numbers, sought to ' That Plato did not neglect, but rather encouraged, classificatory science is shown, not only by a well-known fragment of the comic poet Epicrates, which describes a party of Academics engaged in investigating, under the eye of Plato, the affinities of the common pumpkin, but also by the Timaeus, which, while it carefully discriminates science from ontology, plainly recognizes the importance of the study of natural kinds.
In 339, Aristotle being then in Macedonia, Xenocrates succeeded Speusippus in the presidency of the school, defeating his competitors Menedemus and Heracleides by a few votes.
Soon after the death of Demosthenes in 322, resenting the Macedonian influence then dominant at Athens, Xenocrates declined the citizenship offered to him at the instance of Phocion, and, being unable to pay the tax levied upon resident aliens, was, it is said, sold, or on the point of being sold, into slavery.
Xenocrates's earnestness and strength of character won for him universal respect, and stories were remembered in proof of his purity, integrity and benevolence.
Xenocrates, however, failing, as it would seem, to grasp the idealism which was the metaphysical foundation of Plato's theory of natural kinds, took for his principles arithmetical unity and plurality, and accordingly identified ideal numbers with arithmetical numbers.Advertisement
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.
Xenocrates's theory of inorganic nature was substantially identical with the theory of the elements which is propounded in the Timaeus, 53 C seq.
With this Platonic philosopheme Xenocrates combines the current theology, identifying the universe and the heavenly bodies with the greater gods, and reserving a place between them and mortals for the lesser divinities.
If the extant authorities are to be trusted, Xenocrates recognized three grades of cognition, each appropriated to a region of its own - viz.
Of Xenocrates's logic we know only that with Plato he distinguished auro and rejecting the Aristotelian list of ten categories as a superfluity.Advertisement
Valuing philosophy chiefly for its influence upon conduct, Xenocrates bestowed especial attention upon ethics.
Meagre as these statements are, they suffice to show that in ethics, as elsewhere, Xenocrates worked upon Platonic lines.
Xenocrates was not in any sense a great thinker.
It is found in the theories of Speusippus, Xenocrates, and also to some extent in those of the Peripatetics.