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  • Print publication year: 1967
  • Online publication date: March 2008

Chapter 4 - The Later Academy and Platonism

Speusippus, Xenocrates, Polemo, and Crates were the successive heads of the Academy. It seems that the successor of Crates, Arcesilaus, completely changed its character, teaching a kind of non-dogmatic, Socratic, in some sense of the word, sceptical Platonism. This chapter discusses Plutarch, Calvenus Taurus, Albinus, Apuleius and Herodes Atticus, Disagreement between Plutarch and Taurus exists on the problem of the soul's incarnation. Plutarch was sometimes inclined to take the pessimistic point of view that incarnation is an evil for the soul. Taurus opted for the optimistic interpretation. Albinus and Apuleius represent an almost complete synthesis of Plato with Aristotle. Atticus vigorously objects to Platonists who find Aristotelian doctrines helpful in teaching Platonism. The disagreement of Atticus with the Aristotelian ethics and theology continues in the field of physics. He rejects Aristotle's notion of ether. Atticus, therefore, denies the premise: not everything that has come into being in time will also perish.
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The Cambridge History of Later Greek and Early Medieval Philosophy
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