Neoplatonism


Neoplatonism
   A school of philosophical thought founded by Plotinus in the sixth century. Inspired by the writings of Plato, Plotinus concluded that it is from the One, Intelligence, and the Soul that all existence emanates. For him, it is through intellectual contemplation that these three can be united as a single, all-encompassing reality. The soul possesses a higher, purer form and a lower corrupt part that causes mundane individuals to give into their passions and vices. Those who are enlightened achieve their soul's ascent to the highest level through contemplation. Neoplatonism greatly influenced Christianity. The three hypostases of the One, Intelligence, and the Soul parallels the doctrine of the Holy Trinity and the concept of attaining greater heights through contemplation translates to the ascent of the soul to heaven as reward for proper Christian behavior through prayer and meditation.
   The recovery of Greek manuscripts in the 13th century from Byzantium by the Crusaders and their systematic translation into Latin in the 15th century occasioned the revival of Neoplatonism. Marsilio Ficino's founding of the Platonic Academy in Florence under the auspices of the Medici and the writings in which he tried to reconcile Neoplatonism and Christianity sparked further interest in the philosophy. Eventually, every aspect of life was touched by Neoplatonism, including art, and theorists such as Giovanni Battista Agucchi and Giovan Pietro Bellori were soon instigating artists to improve upon what they viewed as the imperfect, corrupt nature by rendering it not as they saw it, but as the higher, more perfect version they envisioned. Among the artists whose works have been interpreted along the lines of Neoplatonism are Sandro Botticelli, Michelangelo, Raphael, and Annibale Carracci.

Historical dictionary of Renaissance art. . 2008.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • NEOPLATONISM — NEOPLATONISM, the system elaborated by Plotinus and his pupil Porphyry on the basis of antecedent Middle Platonic and neo Pythagorean developments. The system was modified by their successors, the main post Plotinian currents and schools of late… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • neoplatonism — NEOPLATONÍSM s.n. Doctrină filozofică din sec. III VI ai cărei adepţi reluau filozofia lui Platon, încercând s o concilieze cu concepţiile mistice religioase din Orient. [pr.: ne o ] – Din fr. néo platonisme. Trimis de LauraGellner, 09.06.2004.… …   Dicționar Român

  • Neoplatonism — Ne o*pla to*nism, n. [Neo + Platonism.] A pantheistic eclectic school of philosophy, of which Plotinus was the chief (a. d. 205 270), and which sought to reconcile the Platonic and Aristotelian systems with Oriental theosophy. It tended to… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Neoplatonism — (n.) also Neo platonism, 1827, a philosophical and religious system mixing Platonic ideas and oriental mysticism, originating 3c. at Alexandria, especially in writings of Plotinus, Porphyry, and Proclus. Neoplatonian is attested from 1831.… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Neoplatonism — [nē΄ō plāt′ n iz΄əm] n. a school of philosophy developed by Plotinus in Rome, based on a modified Platonism, and postulating a single source from which all forms of existence emanate and with which the soul seeks mystical union Neoplatonic… …   English World dictionary

  • Neoplatonism — Part of a series on Neoplatonism …   Wikipedia

  • Neoplatonism —    A philosophical movement that developed out of Middle Platonism, Neoplatonism flourished in different schools in the years 250 529 ce. The father of Neoplatonism was Plotinus, and the second most influential Neoplatonist, his disciple, Porphyry …   Christian Philosophy

  • Neoplatonism —    Philosophical system (or group of systems) derived from the ancient Athenian philosopher Plato (428 348 B.C.); it is called Neoplatonism rather than Platonism because it tends to vary consider ably from the actual teachings of Plato and his… …   Historical Dictionary of Renaissance

  • Neoplatonism — (al aflatuniyat al muhdatha)    A creative synthesis of Pythagorian, Platonic, Aristotelian and Stoic philosophy – infused with a religio mystic spirit – Neoplatonism was the final flowering of ancient Greek thought (c. third – sixth century ce) …   Islamic philosophy dictionary

  • Neoplatonism —    The philosophy of Plotinos (q.v.), who sought to transform the dialogues of Plato (ca. 427 347 B.C.) into a philosophy of mysticism. His commentators included Porphyry (q.v.) and Porphyry s pupil Iamblichos (died ca. 325), who was accused of… …   Historical dictionary of Byzantium


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.