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date: 05 March 2021

Neoplatonismlocked

  • D. O'Meara

Extract

Neoplatonism, a modern term for *Plotinus' renewal of Platonic philosophy (see plato(1)) in the 3rd cent. ce. It became the dominant philosophy of the ancient world down to the 6th cent. The following phases may be distinguished in its history. (a) After the Sceptical period of Plato's *Academy, philosophers in the 1st cent. bce, notably *Antiochus (11) and *Posidonius (2), initiated a revival of dogmatic Platonism. This revival (called today ‘Middle *Platonism’) became widespread in the 2nd cent. ce when such writers as *Albinus (1) (Alcinous) and *Numenius, having recourse sometimes to Aristotelian and Stoic ideas, drew from Plato's dialogues a systematic philosophy. (b) Working in this intellectual context, Plotinus developed an unorthodox, compelling interpretation of Plato, a philosophy containing profound metaphysical and psychological ideas which provided his successors with a fruitful basis of reflection. Plotinus' Enneads (published posthumously, c.

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