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Studia Phaenomenologica

Volume 20, 2020

Phenomenology and the History of Platonism

Adolf Reinach, Aurélien DjianOrcid-ID
Pages 25-50

La philosophie de Platon

In these 1910 summer semester lectures, Adolf Reinach uses the concept of arché as a guiding thread to sketch out a history of Platonic philosophy and to trace it back to the Presocratics. More precisely, by means of this philosophical attempt to offer a historical account, Reinach intends to flesh out what he thinks is the main contribution of Plato to philosophy, and which, at the same time, turns out to be the roots of his own philosophy, namely: to consider ideal objects as the arché of philosophy; to use the phenomenological method; and, last but not least, to devote his research to the study of the things themselves, rather than (like Socrates) to the elucidation of the main subjective opinions of his time. Thus, this is Reinach’s Plato that we finally see emerging from a reading of his lectures—a Plato who, in spite of being “non-historical,” “non-true,” appears as the figure who nonetheless motivated him to follow his own philosophical path.