The idea of “platonism” is a little bit weird, because it implies that the world is made up of separate, discrete entities.
In this way, it implies the existence of two distinct, independent worlds.
And in many cases, it makes perfect sense.
But for others, it’s not so clear.
What is Platonist?
Platonists think that all things are made of two fundamental elements: “thought” and “nature.”
The idea is that “thought,” or the act of “imagining” something, is essentially an act of creation.
The “nature” is what makes all things “nature,” and it’s the reason why we think we’re made of “nature”.
And this “nature”—which is not always represented in the physical world—is the core of what we call “the world.”
The word “platonist” comes from a Greek word that means “the opposite of the other.”
Platonizing an idea is an act in which one changes its meanings, making it more or less consistent with a different view of the world.
This is the process by which people who hold other worldviews adopt an idea that they themselves hold to be the opposite of their own.
For example, the Greek philosopher Aristotle believed that there was only one God.
He called this view “theism,” because he believed that the divine is identical with God.
But the term “theistic” came into being by way of the French philosopher René Descartes, who believed that every idea is simply a collection of words and that nothing is outside the realm of the possible.
(There’s a reason for that: He thought that he could describe the world as “theory.”)
Platonistic ideas are not unique to the atheist movement.
As far back as the 1700s, some religious people had a tendency to see the world in terms of a monistic “God,” but that did not prevent the movement from being a “movement for the advancement of knowledge.”
The concept of a “plato,” or universal God, was popularized by German philosopher Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz in the 1520s.
In the 1580s, the English philosopher William Wilberforce used a “praxis” approach to philosophy, and he believed in a single, universal mind.
The concept was then used in the English-speaking world by the 19th-century British thinker John Locke.
And as far as I know, the idea of the “plutonic ideal,” which describes a world in which all things exist in their “platinum” state, was not invented until the 1940s.
Platonistically, the word “Platonist” is not an invention of the atheist or theist movement.
But its use in philosophy is still an important part of the movement’s history.
And it’s also part of what makes it so powerful.