Definition of Platonism in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈplātnˌizəm/


1The philosophy of Plato or his followers. See Plato.
Example sentences
  • But to other philosophers and mathematicians Platonism seems extravagant, for reasons that are at least partly epistemological.
  • However, they drew on a wide range of philosophical sources besides Platonism.
  • For Heidegger, the history of metaphysics is ‘the history of being’, a series of answers to the basic question of philosophy that extends from Plato to the inversion of Platonism in Nietzsche.
1.1Any of various revivals of Platonic doctrines or related ideas, especially Neoplatonism and Cambridge Platonism (a 17th-century attempt to reconcile Christianity with humanism and science).
Example sentences
  • Pitting science against Platonism tells only half the story.
  • Their ideas and philosophies helped to depose the remnants of Christian Platonism and an old notion of history as either exhibiting degeneration or of being in some sense cyclical.
  • To our historicist age, Hildegard's Christian Platonism may seem the ultimate heresy.
1.2The theory that numbers or other abstract objects are objective, timeless entities, independent of the physical world and of the symbols used to represent them.
Example sentences
  • Bloodless as these abstractions may appear, Platonism understands these universals as highly causative: individual existents cannot be accounted for in isolation, but only as members of a prior class.
  • Finsler develops his approach to the paradoxes, his attitude towards formalised theories and his defence of Platonism in mathematics.



Pronunciation: /ˈplātnəst/
Example sentences
  • Previous philosophers of history - the Platonists, Spengler, and the compromisers - made three connected mistakes.
  • As a philosopher he was not a pure Platonist; in metaphysics, indeed, he followed Plato and the Neoplatonists, but in natural philosophy the Atomists, and in that of religion Lord Herbert of Cherbury.
  • He may even appear as Platonist or Pythagorean insofar as he considers the viewpoint of logical simplicity as an indispensable and effective tool of his research.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: Pla·to·nism

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