Platonic dating ideas
Xenocrates was also the first, as far as is known, to turn his attention to what continued to be a subject of controversy throughout the history of Platonism, namely whether the account of creation offered in the was to be taken as chronological or merely expository.
He took the latter view, which turned out to be the most favoured one in antiquity; Aristotle was on the other side.
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Something of Platonism, nonetheless, survived in Aristotle’s system in his beliefs that the reality of anything lay in a changeless (though wholly immanent) form or essence comprehensible and definable by reason and that the highest realities were eternal, immaterial, changeless self-sufficient intellects which caused the ordered movement of the universe. Speusippus, in particular, accented the mathematical tendencies of the late Plato and abolished forms in favour of numbers.
The best known of the Middle Platonists is the biographer and essayist ); Atticus; and Numenius of Apamea.
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Atticus was particularly offended by Aristotle’s failure to provide for providence.
The general characteristics of this revised Platonic philosophy (and the closely related the One”; the placing of the Platonic forms in the divine mind; a strongly otherworldly attitude demanding a “flight from the body,” an ascent of the mind to the divine and eternal; and a preoccupation with the problem of evil, attributed either to an evil world soul or to matter.
But these can be read in many different ways, often very selectively, and it may be that all that the various kinds of Platonism can be said to have in common is an intense concern for the quality of human life—always ethical, often religious, and sometimes political, based on a belief in unchanging and eternal realities, which Plato called forms, independent of the changing things of the world perceived by the senses.