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From Plato to Platonism$
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Lloyd P. Gerson

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780801452413

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801452413.001.0001

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Was Plato a Platonist?

Was Plato a Platonist?

(p.3) Chapter 1 Was Plato a Platonist?
From Plato to Platonism

Lloyd P. Gerson

Cornell University Press

This chapter sets out the central theme of this book, by examining how Platonism is related to Plato's philosophy. In so doing the chapter makes a distinction between the terms “Platonism” and “Plato's philosophy,” arguing that the claim that “Plato's philosophy” is just the “sum” of what we find in the Platonic dialogues is fundamentally different from the claim that the dialogues are the best evidence we have for Plato's philosophy. In addition, if Platonism is the philosophical position that Plato expressed, it does not follow that Plato was even the first to express it or that all subsequent expressions come from him—let alone that he expressed it best.

Keywords:   Plato, Platonic dialogues, Platonism, philosophy, Platonists, Ur-Platonism

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