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Plato's Natural Philosophy: A Study of the Timaeus-Critias by Thomas Kjeller Johansen

By Thomas Kjeller Johansen

The Timaeus-Critias is worried with cosmology and Plato's declare that its principal activity is to articulate the best way the cosmos manifests the values of goodness and sweetness. This ebook examines this crucial discussion in its entirety utilizing present tools of Platonic scholarship. Arguing that Aristotle's physics is way toward the Timaeus than frequently learned, the study's different well-liked findings strengthen the dialogue's primarily ethical message, and make clear its literary personality.

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Whereas Hesiod’s story of the castration of Ouranos is a bad lie, the famous myth of the three metals in Republic iii is a good lie, because it 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 In the Timaeus, in contrast, the same environment is stated as the reason why we should trust the Egyptians’ information about the past (22d). Homer, Od. 288–9 with Od. 15–17 (quoted by F. Meijer and O. van Nijf (1992) 3–14). Fr. 373: deinoª pl”kein toi mhcan‡v A«gÅptioi. Cf. Thesmophoriazousai 921–2, at which the scholiast comments –panourge±te Þv dŸ tän A«gupt©wn panoÅrgwn Àntwn.

34 The status of the Atlantis story Atlantis story. Instead, he was forced to abandon the project in order to attend to political events in Athens and to write poetry as a sideline. The comparison of Solon with Homer is interesting in the light of Republic x 599b–e, where Socrates argues that if Homer had had any knowledge of the subjects he undertook to expound on – warfare, tactics, politics, and human education – there would have been at least one city which attributed political improvements to him,20 in the way, for example, that the Athenians cite Solon.

OÉ mŸn –boulžqhn paracr¦ma e«pe±n (Tim. 25e5–26a1) with –k dŸ toÓ paracr¦ma nÓn leg»mena (Crit. 107d9–e1). Cf. Dover (1980) 10 with the references to the Corinthian war and the King’s Peace at Menex. 244b3–246a4. Cf. Rowe (1998). The use of historiography in the Timaeus-Critias thus raises important wider questions about the status of the Platonic dialogue as fiction, which I cannot attempt to tackle within the confines of this chapter. For some observations on the issue, cf. Rowe (1999). For the sense of akribeia as ‘in conformity with external reality’, cf.

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