"Episteme" is the word of choice in Plato, generally (although there are a few instances of "Gnosis" here and there)

By contrast, "Gnosis" is far more frequent among Neoplatonists and seems to take center stage, as opposed to "Episteme".

Is this a general trend in Ancient Greek Philosophy? What about other schools?

Take Skepticism, for example. Do they reject Episteme or Gnosis (or both)? Does their target also change from one to the other over time?

Is there a change over time in the use of "Episteme" and "Gnosis" in ancient greek philosophy? There is nearly 1000 years between Plato and the Neoplatonists. Surely things were not exactly the same that far apart.

NB: I am not asking what the difference between "Episteme" and "Gnosis" is in general. Also, my question is not only about the Platonic school. I am just mentioning it as an example. Please don't summarily close my question.

  • 2
    Does this answer your question? In greek philosophy, what is the difference between "gnosis" and "episteme"?
    – Conifold
    Jan 2, 2023 at 21:30
  • 1
    @Conifold No, it doesn't. Please see the NB section above.
    – fi11222
    Jan 10, 2023 at 5:30
  • Did you read the top answer? It describes at least two changes over time: from pre-Socratics to Aristotle, and then from Aristotle to neo-Platonists. The use of "gnosis" increased along with the spread of mysticism in the late Roman empire, which neo-Platonists absorbed.
    – Conifold
    Jan 10, 2023 at 5:35
  • @Conifold, would I be correct if I said gnosis is knowing irrespective of how that knowing was achieved (includes e.g. revelation and the mystical), but episteme is philosophical knowing as in justified, true, belief (JTB theory of knowledge? Jan 10, 2023 at 6:44
  • 1
    @Agent Smith: See above
    – fi11222
    Jan 11, 2023 at 9:35


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