CriticaLink | Plato: Phaedrus | Terms


Plato's idealism has had an enormous impact on Western philosophy; the tradition it inspired is called Platonism or Neoplatonism. Plato's concept of a world of perfect Forms, accessible only to the mind--and his corresponding view of the sensible, physical world as an imperfect copy of these Forms--were taken up by later philosophers such as Philo of Alexandria (circa 30 BCE - 45 CE) and Plotinus (205 -270 CE). Plotinus in particular served as a conduit for Plato's ideas into the theology, rhetoric, and hermeneutics of Christianity. The thought of Augustine (354 - 430 CE), for example, was influenced by Plotinus, and Platonic ideas are clearly evident in texts such as "Concerning the Teacher."