ND   JMC : History of Medieval Philosophy / by Maurice De Wulf

Grecian Philosophy.

2. Division of Periods. -- The Philosophy of Greece, embracing the six centuries before and the six centuries after Christ, forms a closed cycle in the history of human thought. Its beginnings coincide with the dawn, its decline with the wane of a civilization. It furnishes a remarkable illustration of the constant, rhythmic evolution of a movement of thought within the civilization of a single race of people. Grecian Philosophy may be divided into four periods on the basis of the great fundamental questions which came up successively for discussion : --

First Period: from Thales of Miletus to Socrates (from the seventh to the fifth century B.C.).

Second Period: Socrates, Plato and Aristotle (fifth and fourth centuries B.C.).

Third Period: From the death of Aristotle to the rise of the Neo-Platonic School (from the end of the fourth century B.C. to the third century of the Christian Era).

Fourth Period: The Neo-Platonic School (from the third century A.D., or, including the systems immediately preceding the Neo-Platonic, from the end of the first century B.C., to the close of the Ancient Grecian Philosophy in the sixth century A.D.).

The distinguishing characteristics of each of those four periods will be respectively outlined in the following four chapters.

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