Esotericism

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Esotericism or Esoterism is a term with two basic meanings.

The dictionary defines esoteric as information that is understood by a small group or those specially initiated, or of rare or unusual interest.[2] Esoteric items may be known as esoterica.[3] Esotericism is defined as the holding of secret doctrines, the practice of limiting knowledge to a small group, or an interest in items of a special, rare, novel, or unusual quality.[4]

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Etymology

Plato, in his dialogue Alcibíades (circa 390 BC), uses the expression ta esô meaning "the inner things", and in his dialogue Theaetetus (circa 360 BC) he uses ta exô meaning "the outside things". Aristotle applied this distinction to his own writings. The probable first appearance of the Greek adjective esôterikos is in Lucian of Samosata's "The Auction of Lives", § 26 (also called "The Auction of the Philosophical Schools"), written around AD 166.[5]

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