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date: 19 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The chapter describes and analyzes the formation of Neoplatonism (flourished 3rd to 6th centuries ce). Philosophers include Plotinus, Porphyry and Iamblichus, and later heads of philosophy schools Proclus and Ammonius. The Neoplatonists believed that true knowledge is ultimately founded in unity. They considered their new ideas as a return to Plato and his sources, particularly Pythagoreanism. They used earlier philosophical sources in a nuanced, selective manner that they called “harmony” of Aristotle and Plato. The Neoplatonists accommodated the Aristotelian and Platonic philosophies. Aristotle is accurate when things are known by sense perception and discursive reasoning, and addressed by ordinary language, whereas Plato prevails when things are conceived in their causes and principles. Plotinus discussed specific topics rather than giving an account of nature. He drew selectively from Aristotle and Plato, with a complex reaction to the Stoics. The Neoplatonic studies included mathematics, physics, and astronomy both theoretical and practical.

Keywords: Ammonius, Aristotle, astronomy, Iamblichus, mathematics, physics, Plato, Plotinus, Porphyry, Proclus, Pythagoras, Simplicius

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