<philosophy, philosophical school> The word platonism refers both to the doctrines of Plato (427-347 BC) and to the manner or tradition of philosophizing that he founded. While it can be difficult to pin down what Plato actually believed (he often tried things out as hypotheses and changed or criticized many of his earlier views late in life), the term refers centrally to Platonic idealism and dualism - though it also refers to the more debatable portions of his thought, such as his collectivism or totalitarianism (as revealed in his dialogue The Republic), his rationalism or intellectualism, his distrust of art, and so on. Often, in philosophy, "Platonism" is virtually equivalent to idealism or intrinsicism, since Plato was the first Western philosopher to claim that reality is fundamentally something ideal or abstract and that knowledge largely consists of insight into or perception of the ideal. In common usage, the adjective "Platonic" refers to Platonic love, the idea that the best form of love is non-sexual or non-physical (originally put forth in Plato's dialogue The Symposium).
Based on [The Ism Book]
Edited by Giovanni Benzi
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