Hello, all - first time poster, here, but a long-time player of the game, since purchasing it back at GenCon/Origins '88 from the Lion Rampant table in the dealer's room. Love it, and kudos to everyone involved for decades of great work.
Anyway, if this topic has been discussed in some depth elsewhere, please let me know (I couldn't find it, but that doesn't mean anything, necessarily). Assuming it hasn't, I was wondering whether those who know more about ancient phil than I do (history of phil leaves me cold, I'm afraid, compared to other pursuits, anyway) have any thoughts on whether Hermetic magic seems particularly Platonic, or Aristotelian, or influenced by some other philosophical system (or some near-variant).
For a while I took Hermetic Magic to be somewhat Platonic in nature, especially with references to Essential Water and such forth floating about. Later, I started to wonder if it wasn't more Aristotelean, particularly as the Forms seemed to recognize the Aristotelian hylomorphic distinction. I've been thinking lately that it must be more Platonic than not (I use this as a shorthand - I am in no way implying that Plato had a hand in developing Hermetic Magic, directly or indirectly, only that their view of the universe bears similarities to his), as it seems that Hermetic magi ought to be realists about universals (I'm probably wrong in believing this to be the most plausible way to cash out the salient elements of Hermetic magic).
And, of course, it would make for nice narrative tension in a campaign which covers the nascent Aristotelian turn in Christian theology, a nice philosophical explanation for (part of) why the Church decided to "crack down" on the magi - while they were all Platonists, the magi were pagans, to be sure, but perhaps only in detail, not in spirit. But with Aquinas, we get the shift in theological positions that suddenly makes the magi downright heretical.
Anyway, if anyone has any thoughts on the subject, I'd love to hear them. For whatever reason, it's dreadfully important to me to know which, if any, of the Ancients would be most appealing, or seem most closely "right" to the Hermetics.