The most prominent pupils of Plato. The fate of the Platonic...

The most prominent disciples of Plato. The fate of the Platonic doctrines in the Ancient Academy.

Of all the students of Plato, the greatest influence on the development of the scientific picture of the world was made by Eudoxus of Cnidus (about 408 - about 355 BC). He studied ethical problems, medicine and jurisprudence, but Eudox is most known as a mathematician and an astronomer. The authority of Eudoxus was so great that he repeatedly "replaced" Plato on the post of head of the Academy during his trips to Sicily.

Since Eudoxus's writings have not reached us, it is difficult to say whether he really was the ancestor of the integral calculus and the concept of real numbers. However, we can confidently state that Evdoks successfully (for his time) applied elements of mathematical modeling to explain the motion of the celestial spheres. It belongs to him to approach the explanation of apparent irregularities in the motion of the planets, which will be developed in antiquity and will later lead to "Almagesta" Ptolemy. This approach is based on the idea that the position of each of the planets at a particular moment in time is determined by the movements of several spheres associated with this heavenly body.

Evdoks died before Plato, and so, at the end of his life, he passed the school to his nephew Spevsippus (about 410 - 339 BC). We have a lot of information, although fragmentary, about the diverse and diverse scientific activity of this skolarha (the so-called head of the Academy). Apparently, with him, academic studies at the Academy were no less encyclopedic than in the Aristotelian Likey.

As for the philosophical views of Speusippus, he owns a peculiar, dualistic form of interpretation of the teachings of Plato. Judging by the fragments and testimonies preserved by Aristotle and Iamblichus of Chalcis, Spevsipp believed that everything existing consists of two principles - unity and plurality. Different aspects in which existence is given to us, there are different levels of manifestation and mutual registration of these principles. Such levels, arising from the addition of more and more specific qualities, Spevsipp saw five: one and many , geometric objects , soul , and bodies devoid of soul. Relationships between different levels of existence are described by the principle of analogy, so one level (for example, more "primary") can explain the properties of the other. Judging by the surviving fragments, this division of the levels of existence allowed Snesippus to develop an axiomatic-deductive method (ie, to draw the necessary conclusions from axiomatically accepted premises), whose action extended to all manifestations of unity and plurality.

Note also that, apparently, it is Spevsippu who belongs to the introduction to the philosophical vocabulary of the concept of "i matter".

After the death of Speusippus, the head of the Academy is choosing Xenocrates from Chalcedon of Bithypus (396-314 BC) - comrade Aristotle, who will soon return to Athens and create his own school. From the writings of Xenocrates came very few fragments, from which it follows only that he began to allocate in the Platonic heritage Pythagorean elements. Everything that exists, according to his ideas, consists of the indivisible monad and dyad, which he also calls the father and mother of the universe. A huge role in his teaching was played by mathematics - as a research tool and as a philosophical model of the universe. In particular, Xenocrates develops the concept of "eidetic numbers" and ideal mathematical objects as the basis of existence. Even the soul was declared to be a "self-moving number". This doctrine begins to replace the doctrine of ideas, as it is reflected in the dialogues of Plato. Xenocrates draws mythological images to the exposition of its doctrine, than it probably continues the Platonic tradition of philosophical rationalization of mythology.

Thus, the revision of the recorded system Plato, and his doctrine of ideas "is postponed to the table." Dialogues of Plato now become the subject of interpretation, because their content is different from the doctrines developed in the Academy of the last quarter of the IV - beginning of the III century. BC. In particular, Academician Crantor, who lived at this time, wrote the first comment on the dialogue "Timaeus", which for a long time remained (in connection with its "physical" theme) the central text in the Platonic heritage. Even after the Ancient Academy, the skeptical the period in the history of Platonism did not reduce the interest in this text, which saw the top of Plato's creativity.

Also We Can Offer!

Other services that we offer

If you don’t see the necessary subject, paper type, or topic in our list of available services and examples, don’t worry! We have a number of other academic disciplines to suit the needs of anyone who visits this website looking for help.

How to ...

We made your life easier with putting together a big number of articles and guidelines on how to plan and write different types of assignments (Essay, Research Paper, Dissertation etc)