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Philosophical discussions on Platonism can have two topics, which are often taught together. Platonism with a capital "P" refers to the teachings of the famous Greek philosopher Plato and his belief that the "Form of the Good" was the origin of the human soul. Pluto's students and adherents later built on these principles. In contrast, platonism with a lowercase "p" refers to a contemporary philosophical school stating that abstract objects such as beauty are real, tangible things in a third plane of existence humans cannot perceive. This belief can trace its history to Pluto's teachings, but it is possible to adhere to one school and not the other. If this discussion feels a bit "out there," Varsity Tutors can refer you to a Platonism tutor who can help you understand it.
Here are some of the philosophical ideas that you may review during Platonism tutoring sessions:
- Plato's Writings
- Platonic Forms and Souls
- Middle Platonism (when stoic elements replaced skepticism as a core tenet)
- Neoplatonism (mystical elements)
- Natural Reason
- Relationship with Christianity
- Contemporary Platonism
One common assignment in Platonism class is to write an essay comparing and contrasting different eras of thought. If you tense up at the thought of written assignments, your platonism tutor may show you how to outline them beforehand. Not only does working from a solid outline ensure that your ideas are presented in a logical manner, it also makes it easier to include all of the supporting details that support your argument.