I want to invite people’s ideas about the relationship
between Platonic philosophy and modern philosophical “idealisms.” I’d also be
interested in any comments that people might have about the ramifications of
Platonism and “Idealism” in modern literature, in writers like Blake,
Wordsworth, Shelley, Yeats, Rilke, Woolf, Eliot and so forth.
For purposes of division of labor, much scholarly
investigation of Plato and his successors and of the modern “idealists”
(Berkeley, Kant, Hegel, Bradley, Royce, and so forth) treats the two traditions
separately. But they overlap a great deal in substance, and I think that
considering what they have in common can do a lot to illuminate the doctrines
of each. It might in fact help us to identify a core thought, underlying the
two traditions, that’s not just of historical interest but true.
I regularly put “idealism” in scare quotes because it’s not at all clear what the common thesis of “idealism” as such is supposed to be. We have “subjective ... (read more)