Plato's Academy

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Plato’s Academy


an ancient Greek philosophical school founded by Plato in approximately 387 B.C. in Athens; named for the mythological hero Academus (Akádēmos). The history of Plato’s Academy, which played an important role in the development of the idealism of antiquity, is divided into five stages. The so-called Ancient (first) Academy (Plato, Speusippus, Zenocrates, and others), lasting from the middle of the fourth through the middle of the third century B.C., promoted the development of mathematics and astronomy under the influence of Pythagorism. The Middle (second) Academy (Arcesilaus) and the New (third) Academy (Carneades) developed the ideas of skepticism in the battle against the dogmatism of the Stoics. The fourth and fifth academies were characterized by the attempt to unite the philosophy of Plato with the ideas of Stoicism, Pythagorism, and the Peripatetic school. From the fourth through fifth centuries (Plutarch of Athens) Plato’s Academy was identified with Neo-platonism. In 529, Plato’s Academy was closed by a decree of the Emperor Justinian. During the Renaissance an academy calling itself Platonic existed in Florence (1459–1521); its major representative was Marsilio Ficino.


Istoriia filosofii, vol. 1. Moscow, 1940. Pages 249–58, 306–09.
Seel, O. Die Platonische Akademie. Stuttgart, 1953.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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