The empirical science of the Renaissance and the two following centuries was itself a new development of Platonism and Neoplatonism, as opposed to rationalistic dogmatism, with its contempt for experience.
Somewhat apart from current controversies stood the teaching of the school of Chartres, humanistically nourished on the study of the ancients, and important as a revival of Platonism in opposition to the formalism of the Aristotelians.
This deep metaphysical divergence was the prime cause of the transition from Platonism to Aristotelianism.
Alexandria, on the other hand, tended to be unduly speculative and allegorizing even in its scholarship. The antagonism of the two schools governs much of the history of doctrine; and behind it we can trace in part the contrast between Church Platonism and what churchmen called Aristotelianism.
Aristotelianism intervenes between ancient Platonism and modern Idealism, and is the metaphysical doctrine that all things are substances, natural and supernatural and human.
In him too is found the union of Platonism and Aristotelianism expressed in Neo-Platonic terms. Towards the close of the 10th century the presentation of an entire scheme of knowledge, beginning with logic and mathematics, and ascending through the various departments of physical inquiry to the region of religious doctrine, was accomplished by a society which had its chief seat at Basra, the native town of al-Kindi.
Henry Goethals or Henry of Ghent (Henricus Gandavensis, 1 217-1293), surnamed Doctor solennis, occupied on the whole an independent and pre-Thomist position, leaning to an Augustinian Platonism (see Henry of Ghent).
The Eudemian Ethics derives from Platonism a strong theological bias, especially in its conclusion (H 14-15).
The earlier doctors who avail themselves of Aristotle's works, while bowing to his authority implicitly in matters of logic, are generally found defending a Christianized Platonism against the doctrine of the Metaphysics.
In short, More's Platonism appears to be really as hedonistic as Hobbism; only the feeling to which it appeals as ultimate motive is of a kind that only a mind of exceptional moral refinement can habitually feel with the decisive intensity required.