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WILLIAM FLEMING - 1890 - Table of contents

A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H- I - J - K - L - M - N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W  

Diccionario filosófico
Complete edition

Diccionario de Filosofía
Brief definition of the most important concepts of philosophy.


A Dictionary of English Philosophical Terms Francis Garden


Vocabulary of Philosophy, Psychological, Ethical, Metaphysical
William Fleming

Biografías y semblanzas Biographical references and lives of philosophers

Brief introduction to the thought of Ortega y Gasset

History of Philosophy Summaries

Historia de la Filosofía
Explanation of the thought of the great philosophers; summaries, exercises...

Historia de la Filosofía
Digital edition of the History of Philosophy by Jaime Balmes

Historia de la Filosofía
Digital edition of the History of Philosophy by Zeferino González

Vidas, opiniones y sentencias de los filósofos más ilustres
Complete digital edition of the work of Diogenes Laertius

Compendio de las vidas de los filósofos antiguos

A brief history of Greek Philosophy
B. C. Burt


A Short History of Philosophy





ACADEMY (Ἀκαδήμεια, or Ἀκαδημία)—the name of the gymnasium or garden in which Plato taught; hence his disciples were called "Academics," and the successive schools of Platonists, "The Academies." The garden was a piece of ground left to the inhabitants of Athens by a hero named Academus (or Hecademus) acquired by Plato, and handed down to successive teachers.

The several schools of Platonists are known as the Old, Middle, and New Academies.


The Old Academy consisted mainly of disciples who had been under the teaching of Plato himself. Their first leader was Speusippus, son of Plato's sister; he was succeeded by Xenocrates of Chalcedon, who was held in high estimation among the Athenians. The doctrine of the First Academy was a continuation of Platonic teaching, with some admixture of the Pythagorean philosophy. In all its teaching, prominence was given to Ethics (Zeller's Plato and the Older Academy, Alleyne and Goodwin, p. 553; Uebenveg's History, I. 134).

The Middle Academy developed a sceptical tendency. The two most conspicuous names connected with it are Arcesilas and Carneades. This Academy belonged to the two centuries preceding the Christian era. Arcesilas is described as the "founder of the Middle Academy, and the first who professedly suspended judgment because of the conflict of evidence" (Diog. Lært., IV. 28). This sceptical tendency, sustained by a keen critical spirit, became from the first characteristic of the School, even while owning high admiration of Plato. Carneades advanced in the same course denying the possibility of certainty (Ritter's History, III. 600; Ueberweg's History, I. 136).

The New Academy owed its origin to Philo of Larissa, at a time when the Stoics were exercising great influence, and was a reaction against the scepticism of the Middle Academy, returning upon the Platonic doctrine concerning supersensible existence. Antiochus of Ascalon carried this reaction still further. The teaching of the School dealt largely with Ethics, and involved a discussion of the Peripatetic and Stoic Philosophy. Cicero refers to both Philo and Antiochus as teachers whom he had heard and known (Brutus, p. 89; Tusc, II. 3, 9; Acad. Pr., II. 4; Ueberweg's Hist., p. 136; Ritter's Hist., p. 632; Archer Butler's Lectures on Ancient Philosophy, 4th series, II. 313).

By some, the Middle and New Academies are subdivided, making five academies.



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