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Plato and Platonism   By: (1839-1894)

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Walter Pater's "Plato and Platonism" is a captivating exploration of the philosophy and ideas of one of the greatest thinkers in history. Pater's deep appreciation for Plato's works is evident throughout the book, as he delves into the intricacies of his philosophy and provides insightful analysis.

One of the strengths of this book is Pater's ability to make Plato's complex ideas accessible to readers of varying backgrounds. He breaks down Plato's philosophical concepts, such as the theory of Forms, the allegory of the cave, and the concept of the soul, into digestible explanations. Through his clear and concise writing style, Pater presents these ideas in a way that engages the reader and allows them to fully grasp the depth and significance of Plato's thinking.

In addition to explaining Plato's philosophy, Pater also explores the impact of Platonism on subsequent generations and its relevance in the modern world. He discusses how Plato's ideas influenced other philosophers, such as Plotinus and Nietzsche, and how they continue to shape our understanding of truth, beauty, and the nature of reality. Pater's exploration of Platonism's lasting impact showcases his own deep knowledge and understanding of the subject matter.

Moreover, Pater's book is not a mere regurgitation of Plato's works; it is a critical examination and interpretation of his philosophy. Pater brings his own unique perspective and insights to his analysis, offering fresh interpretations and opening up new avenues of thought. By interweaving excerpts from Plato's dialogues with his own commentary, Pater invites readers to engage in a thoughtful and stimulating intellectual dialogue.

However, it must be noted that Pater's writing style can be quite dense at times, making the book more suitable for readers with a genuine interest in philosophy or a background in the subject. Furthermore, while Pater's admiration for Plato is apparent, some readers may have preferred a more balanced approach that acknowledges the criticism and flaws within Plato's philosophy.

Overall, "Plato and Platonism" is an enlightening read that sheds light on the profound ideas of Plato and their enduring influence on Western thought. Pater's passion for the subject matter and his ability to effectively communicate complex ideas make this book a valuable resource for both scholars and enthusiasts of philosophy. Whether readers are seeking an introduction to Plato's philosophy or a deeper understanding of its implications, Pater's "Plato and Platonism" is a masterful work that deserves recognition.

First Page:

This etext was produced by Alfred J. Drake, Ph.D.



1. Plato and the Doctrine of Motion: 5 26 2. Plato and the Doctrine of Rest: 27 50 3. Plato and the Doctrine of Number: 51 74 4. Plato and Socrates: 75 98 5. Plato and the Sophists: 99 123 6. The Genius of Plato: 124 149 7. The Doctrine of Plato I. The Theory of Ideas: 150 173 II. Dialectic: 174 196 8. Lacedaemon: 197 234 9. The Republic: 235 266 10. Plato's Aesthetics: 267 283, end


[5] WITH the world of intellectual production, as with that of organic generation, nature makes no sudden starts. Natura nihil facit per saltum; and in the history of philosophy there are no absolute beginnings. Fix where we may the origin of this or that doctrine or idea, the doctrine of "reminiscence," for instance, or of "the perpetual flux," the theory of "induction," or the philosophic view of things generally, the specialist will still be able to find us some earlier anticipation of that doctrine, that mental tendency. The most elementary act of mental analysis takes time to do; the most rudimentary sort of speculative knowledge, abstractions so simple that we can hardly conceive the human mind without them, must grow, and with difficulty... Continue reading book >>

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