Platonic idealism is the theory that the substantial reality around us is only a reflection of a higher truth. That truth, Plato argues, is the abstraction. A particular tree, with a branch or two missing, possibly alive, possibly dead, and initials of two lovers carved into its bark, is distinct from the concept of a Tree. A Tree is the ideal that each of holds that allows us to identify the imperfect reflections of trees all around us.
Platonism is an ancient school of philosophy, founded by Plato; this school had an actual, physical existence at a site just outside the walls of Athens called the Academy as well as the intellectual unity of a shared approach to philosophizing.
Platonism is generally divided into three periods:
- Early Platonism
- Middle Platonism