Pythagorean Number Doctrine in the Academy and Lyceum

Leonid Zhmud

in Pythagoras and the Early Pythagoreans

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199289318
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741371 | DOI:
Pythagorean Number Doctrine in the Academy and Lyceum

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This chapter first considers the estimates of how great the contribution of the Pythagoreans was to Plato's philosophy and how these views diverge substantially, and which vary across the range from ‘decisive’ to ‘insignificant’. It shows that Platonists were characterized by a benevolent attitude to Pythagoras and the Pythagoreans and an interest in their scientific, philosophical, and religious theories. Number doctrine is found in the testimonies of all three Platonists, but there is in them no picture of a Pythagorean philosophy even remotely reminiscent of number doctrine. The Platonists reacted, not to a common Pythagorean doctrine, but to various theories of Pythagoras and his successors: Philolaus, Archytas, Ecphantus and Hicetas, et al. The chapter then considers Aristotle's reports on the Pythagoreans in his surviving works.

Keywords: Pythagoreans; Plato; philosophy; Platonists; Aristotle; number doctrine

Chapter.  18749 words. 

Subjects: Classical Philosophy

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