Tatiana Senina (nun Kassia). George Gemistos Plethon’s treatise “De differentiis Platonis et Aristotelis”: its history of composition and significance for the Occident and Byzantium. Vol. 4. No. 1. 2019

Publication Details

George Gemistos Plethon’s treatise “De differentiis Platonis et Aristotelis”: its history of composition and significance for the Occident and Byzantium
Title in the language of publication: Трактат Георгия Гемиста Плифона «О том, чем различаются Аристотель и Платон»: история написания и значение для Запада и Византии
Tatiana Senina (nun Kassia)
PhD in philosophy, research fellow at the Research and Education Center for Religion, Philosophy, and Culture Studies at St. Petersburg State University of Aerospace Instrumentation.
Address: 67A Bolshaya Morskaia str., St. Petersburg 190000, Russia.
P. 350–358.
Language: Russian
Document type: Research Article
DOI https://doi.org/10.31119/essephts.2019.4.1.11


The article constitutes an introduction to the first Russian translation of the treatise “On the difference between Plato and Aristotle” by George Gemistos Plethon. This work was written by Plethon during the Council of Florence for his Italian fellow humanists, who were highly interested in Plato’s heritage and sought to oppose Platonism to Averroes-style antichristian interpretations of Aristotle which circulated in Europe in the XIV–XV centuries. Plethon put Aristotle’s views to severe criticism in many respects, including his ideas of God the creator, of the soul, virtues and the contingent, while citing against them Plato’s doctrine and showing its superiority; he also refuted Aristotle’s critique of the theory of Ideas. This treatise gave rise to the philosophical debate between adherents of Plato and those of Aristotle: first an exchange of polemical treatises between George Plethon and George Scholarios, then a number of works in defense of the views of Aristotle or Plato. The endeavor of a comparative philosophical and historical commentary to Plato’s and Aristotle’s works undertaken by Plethon provoked a wide debate and had much significance for further study of the two crucial Greek thinkers, while Plethon’s ideas and his Platonist disciples’ activity, above all that of cardinal Bessarion and John Arguropoulos had an indisputable influence on the Italian Renaissance.


Plethon, Aristotle, Plato, Platonism, Byzantine philosophy, Byzantine humanism, Italian humanism, Averroism, the Renaissance.


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© Tatiana Senina (nun Kassia), 2019

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