What is Akademia (Academia)? What is the Meaning of Akademia?

What is Akademia (Academia)? What is the Meaning of Akademia?

June 29, 2021 Off By Felso

It is the name of the school of philosophy founded by Plato. We can say that the Academy founded by Plato was the first university. This school got its name from a grove in the northeast of Athens.

The Sophists taught as they did at the Akademia, but they were traveling teachers. They would travel from city to city and gave lessons to those who came across them. However, an organized educational institution emerged with the Academy. In the Academy, which can be considered the first high school, courses were given on various subjects according to a certain plan. Philosophy, dialectics, music and mathematics were taught here.

It was not only Plato who taught at the Academy, other professors who more or less conformed to his views were also participating in the teaching. For the first time, we encounter a school that continues after the death of its founder. The Academy was a foundation established by Plato with his own wealth. After his death, according to his will, his nephew Speusippos took over the administration. After that, the Academy, led by various principals, continued to exist for centuries. Plato remained at the head of the Academy until the age of eighty.

Concepts and Definitions

Akademia, as a term, was used as the name of a philosophy school by Plato in 387 BC. This term pioneers and points to the term “academy”, which is one of the components that make up the concept of “university” today.

As a school, Akademia is a school of philosophy founded by Plato and with the inscription “Those who have not grasped the mathematical, do not enter here! (Ageometertos medeis eisito!)”. This text at the entrance of the school indicates that Akademia is based on a mathematical and rational thought.

Akademia Philosophy, Akademia’s Intellectual Plane

Following in the footsteps of his teacher, Socrates, Plato became the founder of an important school of philosophy that still shapes western philosophy today. This school is also the school of the Academy, which is one of the most prominent schools in the history of philosophy.

Akademia school oriented towards materialist thought during its establishment period. Later, with Archesilaos, the intellectual aspect of the school shifted towards “skepticism”. After this period, Arkesilaos and Karneades came to the fore as the most important thinkers of the “Skeptical Academy”.

Historical Framework of Akademia

Plato, who bought a physical education school in the gardens in the northwest of Athens, established his school, which he named Akademia. Plato also spent the most important periods of his philosophical life in this school. The Academy School, where Plato’s most important works were brought to life, was kept alive by philosophers such as Arkesilaos, Karneades and Philton of Larissa, who were the successors of Plato, and spread Plato’s philosophy to the whole world of thought.

Akademia makes its high-level inclusive influence felt on the world of western philosophy with all its vitality and actuality even today.

According to Plato, the people he raised in the Akademia would be political leaders in the Greek cities in the future and the politics would improve.

Akademia School has had a great importance in the world of thought for a very long time. After Plato’s death, the school began to lose its real effectiveness. Names such as Speussippos, Xenokrates, and Krates, who led the school after Plato, could not add anything additional to Plato’s philosophy. Later, with Archesilaos, the second period of the school, known as the “New Akademia”, began. Archesilaos, saying that it is impossible to know the truth, contradicted Plato’s views and revealed an opposite view.

Akademia is also known as “Akademos”.

The term “academy” that we use today refers to the scientific and artistic communities coming from Akademia.

Prepared by: Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source: Omer YILDIRIM’s Personal Lecture Notes. Atatürk University Sociology Department 1st Year “Introduction to Philosophy” and 2nd, 3rd, 4th Grade “History of Philosophy” Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM); Open Education Philosophy Textbook, Lecture Notes of Ernst von Aster