The origin of the division between Middle Platonism and Neoplatonism

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The division of Ancient Platonism into Middle Platonism and Neoplatonism is a fairly new one. The conceptual foundation of this division was cemented in Jacob Brucker’s pioneering Historia critica philosophiae (1742-44). In the 1770s and 1780s, the term ‘Neoplatonism’ was coined on the basis of Brucker’s analysis. Three historiographical concepts were decisive to Brucker: ‘system of philosophy’, ‘eclecticism’ and ‘syncretism’. By means of these concepts, he characterized Middle Platonism and Neoplatonism as opposing philosophical movements, the former being a genuine form of Platonism, the latter a false form. However, the division is untenable and we out to abandon it
Original languageEnglish
JournalApeiron - a Journal for Ancient Philosophy and Science
Volume46
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)166-200
Number of pages35
ISSN0003-6390
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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