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The philosophy of Plato, especially insofar as it asserts ideal forms as an absolute and eternal reality of which the phenomena of the world are an imperfect and transitory reflection.

Pla′to·nist n.
Pla′to·nis′tic adj.


1. (Philosophy) the teachings of Plato and his followers, esp the philosophical theory that the meanings of general words are real existing abstract entities (Forms) and that particular objects have properties in common by virtue of their relationship with these Forms. Compare nominalism, conceptualism, intuitionism
2. (Mathematics) the realist doctrine that mathematical entities have real existence and that mathematical truth is independent of human thought
3. (Philosophy) See Neo-Platonism
ˈPlatonist n


(ˈpleɪt nˌɪz əm)

1. the philosophy or doctrines of Plato or his followers.
2. the belief that physical objects are impermanent representations of unchanging Ideas, and that the Ideas alone give true knowledge as they are known by the mind.
3. (sometimes l.c.) the doctrine or practice of platonic love.
Pla′to•nist, n., adj.


the philosophy of Plato and his followers, especially the doctrine that physical objects are imperfect and impermanent representations of unchanging ideas, and that knowledge is the mental apprehension of these ideas or universals. — Platonist, n., adj.Platonistic, adj.
See also: Philosophy
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.Platonism - (philosophy) the philosophical doctrine that abstract concepts exist independent of their names
philosophy - the rational investigation of questions about existence and knowledge and ethics
philosophical doctrine, philosophical theory - a doctrine accepted by adherents to a philosophy


[ˈpleɪtənɪzəm] Nplatonismo m
References in classic literature ?
But all in vain; those young Platonists have a notion that their vision is imperfect; they are short-sighted; what use, then, to strain the visual nerve?
In English philosophy too, many affinities may be traced, not only in the works of the Cambridge Platonists, but in great original writers like Berkeley or Coleridge, to Plato and his ideas.
The genius of the Platonists is intoxicating to the student, yet how few particulars of it can I detach from all their books.
In morals he was a profest Platonist, and in religion he inclined to be an Aristotelian.
He had read somewhere that every man was born a Platonist, an Aristotelian, a Stoic, or an Epicurean; and the history of George Henry Lewes (besides telling you that philosophy was all moonshine) was there to show that the thought of each philospher was inseparably connected with the man he was.
The former was indeed not a Platonist, nor strictly speaking an Aristotelian - nor did he, like the modern Leibnitz, waste those precious hours which might be employed in the invention of a fricasée or, facili gradu, the analysis of a sensation, in frivolous attempts at reconciling the obstinate oils and waters of ethical discussion.
In attending most closely to sympathy in the writings of Sir Kenelm Digby, Margaret Cavendish, thomas Hobbes, John Milton, the Cambridge Platonists, the third earl of Shaftesbury, David Fordyce, James Thomson, and David Hume, Lobis masterfully unravels the intricate and evolving connections and tensions between the discourses of "universal and magical sympathy" and "interpersonal and moral sympathy" in their works (3).
Among the topics are the continuation of philosophy by other means, polemical arguments about pleasure: the controversy within and around the Academy, the politics of Aristotle's criticism of Plato's Republic, the perfidious strategy: the Platonists against Stoicism, vehementia: a rhetorical basis of polemics in Roman philosophy, and the invisible adversary: anti-Christian polemic in Proclus' Commentary on the Republic of Plato.
This has implications for nominalists and Platonists alike.
Grammars are theories of the structure of sentences, conceived of as abstract objects in the way that Platonists in the philosophy of mathematics conceive of numbers.
The explanation Caluori offers for the discrepancy between this negative view and the positive remarks on rhetoric in the writings of Alexandrian Platonists is that the latter refer to true rhetoric, informed by knowledge of the noetic realm, while the former disparage rhetoric at the beginning of their careers, when it would distract them from accessing the noetic realm.
Sidney to some of the Cambridge Platonists, to mention a few.