(redirected from Platonists)
Also found in: Thesaurus, Encyclopedia.


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?
The genius of the Platonists is intoxicating to the student, yet how few particulars of it can I detach from all their books.
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 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.
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.
In morals he was a profest Platonist, and in religion he inclined to be an Aristotelian.
The result is that the Cambridge Platonists on the whole can be seen as something more than a philosophical curiosity.
of Steubenville) and Dillon (Greek, Trinity College, Dublin) examine the philosophy of Dionysius the Areopagite, influenced by but clearly departed from Hellenic Platonists in his use of an ecclesiastical cosmos rather than the Platonic Timaean, among other distinctions.
From the Christian tradition he knew that his true home is not to be found in creation, and from the Platonists he would have learned that his own individuated existence was the result of some spiritual tolme, for which he had been sent into this current penal condition.
whenever the terms used by the Platonists turn out to be useful and their way of proceeding turns out to be useful, we shall accept them without fear of incurring any just accusation of contradiction.
However the Renaissance proper was sharpened and refined, as Blum's collection justly shows, by the impact of great Platonists like Gemistos Plethon and Cardinal Bessarion, key players in the Unification Council of Ferrara/Florence (1438/39), the failure of which was one of the great misfortunes of European history.
It is not so surprising then to find the Stoics having more in common in important ways with Epicureans than they do with Middle Platonists.