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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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The Old Academy

The Old Academy

(p.133) Chapter 5 The Old Academy
From Plato to Platonism

Lloyd P. Gerson

Cornell University Press

This chapter proposes that the Old Academy after Plato are continuators of the project he had begun. That is, the chapter assumes that they, like Aristotle himself, are adherents of Ur-Platonism (UP) and that the work apparently left undone by Plato at his death was the focus of their efforts. Apparently, this work included the first principles of all, the One and the Indefinite Dyad, and the construction of the intelligible world out of them. Naturally, these are not the only “loose ends” of the Platonic enterprise, as Aristotle would likely have his own contributions to the effort. This chapter, however, will consider Speusippus, Plato's nephew, in particular. He was chosen over Aristotle to succeed Plato as the head of the Academy, and apart from Aristotle, he was the first philosopher we know of to take up the project of explaining the nature of the first principle of all.

Keywords:   Speusippus, first principle, Old Academy, Aristotle, unfinished work, Speusippean knowledge

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