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Speusippus (c.410–339 BC)

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-A111-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved July 07, 2020, from

Article Summary

The Greek philosopher Speusippus was the second head of the Platonic Academy. Succeeding his uncle Plato on the latter’s death, he developed his thought in interesting directions. He pursued further the tendency in the Academy to mathematicize reality that so annoyed Aristotle, postulating a complicated metaphysics, which started from a ‘One’ superior to being and all other qualities, and a material principle, ‘multiplicity’, from the union of which arose, first number, then geometrical entities, and then soul and the material world. In his hands, Plato’s doctrines of first principles, of Forms, and of the union of Forms with matter, suffered transformations of which we have only imperfect reports. His later influence was greater on Neo-Pythagoreanism than on ‘orthodox’ Platonism, until Plotinus.

Citing this article:
Dillon, John. Speusippus (c.410–339 BC), 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-A111-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2020 Routledge.

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