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Plato and Pythagoreanism$
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Phillip Sidney Horky

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199898220

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199898220.001.0001

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Exoterism and the History of Pythagorean Politics

Exoterism and the History of Pythagorean Politics

(p.85) 3 Exoterism and the History of Pythagorean Politics
Plato and Pythagoreanism

Phillip Sidney Horky

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the fragmentary evidence derived from Timaeus' history of the city-states of Sicily and Southern Italy, with special attention to the account of a certain Apollonius preserved by Iamblichus in his work On the Pythagorean Way of Life. The analysis introduces the term, “exoteric” Pythagoreans, which appears to correspond with the mathematical Pythagoreans, on the grounds that both were considered heretical for having published/demonstrated the doctrines of Pythagoras—an act that corresponded with the advent of a “democratic” type of Pythagoreanism. A comparative analysis of Timaean and Peripatetic histories of Pythagoreanism yields an account of how the “publication” of the doctrines of Pythagoras corresponds with the “democratization” of philosophical knowledge, an activity that serves as a model for the public use of reason in order to resolve disputes.

Keywords:   Timaeus, Apollonius, exoteric Pythagoreans, democratization, philosophical knowledge, Iamblichus, On the Pythagorean Way of Life

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