Definition of Neoplatonism in English:


Line breaks: Neo|pla¦ton|ism
Pronunciation: /ˌniːəʊˈpleɪt(ə)nɪz(ə)m


[mass noun]
A philosophical and religious system developed by the followers of Plotinus in the 3rd century ad.
More example sentences
  • Such was the change of climate brought about by centuries of religious thought deeply influenced by Plato and Neoplatonism, with their emphasis on the soul and the spiritual and their denigration of the bodily.
  • Absorbing the principal doctrines of Stoic ethics and, in Porphyry's hands, much Aristotelian logic as well, Neoplatonism became altogether dominant over all other philosophical positions in late antiquity.
  • Drawing on English and German Romanticism, Neoplatonism, Kantianism, and Hinduism, Emerson developed a metaphysics of process, an epistemology of moods, and an ‘existentialist’ ethics of self-improvement.

Neoplatonism combined ideas from Plato, Aristotle, Pythagoras, and the Stoics with oriental mysticism. Predominant in pagan Europe until the early 6th century, it was a major influence on early Christian writers, on later medieval and Renaissance thought, and on Islamic philosophy. It envisages the human soul rising above the imperfect material world through virtue and contemplation towards knowledge of the transcendent One



Pronunciation: /-pləˈtɒnɪk/
More example sentences
  • Given the essentially rational nature of the human soul and the rational nature of the Neoplatonic ontology, there is nonetheless room for optimism.
  • Time was a major topic on the agenda of Neoplatonic philosophers, partly because of Plato's remarks in the Timaeus about eternity, partly because of the paradoxes in the fourth book of Aristotle's Physics showing that time is unreal.
  • Through a number of arguments which draw out the consequences of the Neoplatonic assumptions which Boethius accepts, Philosophy shows that the perfect good and perfect happiness are not merely in God: they are God.


noun& adjective
More example sentences
  • Among the most important writers for the shape of Emerson's philosophy are Plato and the Neoplatonist line extending through Plotinus, Proclus, Iamblichus, and the Cambridge Platonists.
  • He turned his philosophical studies towards Plato, the Platonists and the Neoplatonists becoming a member of the Cambridge Platonists.
  • All these writings, which would be enormously influential in the Middle Ages, drew extensively on the thinking of Greek Neoplatonists such as Porphyry and Iamblichus.

Definition of Neoplatonism in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day bimble
Pronunciation: ˈbimbəl
walk or travel at a leisurely pace