The Ideal in the West
By David Beardsley
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Published: July 11, 2012
Words: 60,824 (approximate)
Plato defined the Ideal as "the universal author of all things beautiful and right." This book traces its history from before Plato through Imperial Rome, the Renaissance, and 19th century America, and its influence on artists such as Michelangelo, Shakespeare and Whitman. In addition it shows how the Ideal's timeless principles can benefit people in the 21st century
The influence of “Idealism” has so penetrated our language and our thinking that we don’t recognize it as perhaps the oldest continuously-operating philosophical system in the West. Although its influence rises and falls, its conception and articulation of “the Good” continues to shape our beliefs and aspirations. This is not good as opposed to evil, but the absolute source of all beneficence, beauty, and justice. This book traces its history and influence through some of the most fascinating people and periods in history--Plato in Classical Athens, Plotinus in Imperial Rome, Marsilio Ficino in the Florentine Renaissance, and Ralph Waldo Emerson in 19th century America. It also shows how these timeless teachings can be put to practical use by overstressed people in the 21st century.
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