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Speusippus

by test 2 years ago in humanity
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Philosophy

Speusippus was a philosopher of ancient Greek origin. Speusippus was the sibling Potone's nephew to Plato. After Plato's death, c.348 BC, Speusippus inherited the Academy, at the age of 60, and for the next eight years remained its lead. However he handed the chair to Xenocrates following a stroke. Though the Academy successor to Plato, Speusippus also diverged from the teachings of Plato. He dismissed Plato's Theory of Forms, and although Plato had identified the Good with the primary concept, Speusippus believed that the Good was only secondary. He also argued that there is no adequate knowledge of any of these Everything without understanding all the distinctions which distinguish it from everything things. Speusippus was a native of Athens, and he belongs to the deme of Myrrhinus, son of Eurymedon and Potone, Plato's niece. Plato's pseudonymous Thirteenth Letter says Speusippus had his daughter married. We learn little of his life until he accompanied his uncle Plato on his third voyage to Syracuse, where he showed considerable talent and prudence, particularly in his friendly relations with Dion. Even Timon acknowledges his intrinsic worth, although he can only pour the more unsparing criticism on his intelligence. The storey of his sudden fits of rage, vanity, and debauchery is possibly taken from a rather impure source: Athenaeus and Diogenes Laërtius, with the help of Speusippus, can hardly say anything more as legitimacy for them than the violence in some bogus letters of Dionysius the Younger, who was exiled by Dion. Having been chosen as Academy chief by Plato as his successor, he was just eight years at the head of the college. He died, it appears, from a lingering paralytic illness, probably a stroke. He was replaced by Xenocrates as head of education. Diogenes Laërtius provides us a list of some of the names of Speusippus's various dialogues and commentaries, but is of no use in deciding their contents, and the snippets that other authors provide us with only a little extra. Speusippus was interested in putting together the same issues in their metaphysical study, and in deriving and setting down concepts of genera and species: for he was interested in what the various sciences had in common and how they could be related. He thus began the threefold division of philosophy into Dialectics, Ethics, and Physics, for which Plato had laid the foundation, without losing sight of the reciprocal relation between these three divisions of philosophy; For he maintained that no one could arrive at a full definition that didn't know all the discrepancies that divided a thing that was to be described from the others. Moreover, with Plato, he distinguished between the object of thought and the object of sensual experience, the intellect of reason and sensual experience. However, he attempted to demonstrate how experience can be picked up and converted into awareness, by believing an experience that lifts itself to the rank of awareness by involvement in logical reality. By this he seems to have recognised an immediate mode of conception; for, in favour of this understanding, he resorted to the fact that artistic talent is based not on sensual behaviour but on an unerring ability to differentiate between its objects, that is, on their logical vision. Plato's Theory of Forms was dismissed by Speusippus; while Plato differentiated between ideal numbers and mathematical numbers, Speusippus dismissed the ideal numbers and hence the concepts. In distinguishing the forms, he sought to decide the concept of reality more precisely, the difference between which he believed to derive from the difference between the concepts on which they are based. Therefore he separated objects of number, scale, and essence, while Plato had related them to the ideal numbers as distinct entities.

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About the author

test

I am a thrill seeker and am always in the lookout for great trails and peaks that offer breathtaking views. Traveling is a passion and I am grateful to have wandered for so long and meet some amazing people along the way.

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