About this topic
Summary Plato's reflections on natural science revolve mostly around physics, cosmology (construed broadly enough to include astronomy), and biology. The Timaeus and the Laws, especially the tenth book, are the principal texts in the primary literature.
Key works Johansen 2004 is a great examination of Plato's views on the natural world (and more) in the Timaeus. Lloyd 1968 discusses Plato as a natural scientist. 
Introductions Cornford 1935 is an important and wide-ranging commentary on the Timaeus; it is a great place to begin researching Plato's views on the natural sciences. For the Laws, I recommend Mayhew 2008, whose translation of and commentary on the tenth book is invaluable.
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  1. Optimality and Teleology in Aristotle's Natural Science.Devin Henry - manuscript
    In this paper I examine the role of optimality reasoning in Aristotle’s natural science. By “optimality reasoning” I mean reasoning that appeals to some conception of “what is best” in order to explain why things are the way they are. We are first introduced to this pattern of reasoning in the famous passage at Phaedo 97b8-98a2, where (Plato’s) Socrates invokes “what is best” as a cause (aitia) of things in nature. This passage can be seen as the intellectual ancestor of (...)
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  2. Irrigating Blood: Plato on the Circulatory System, the Cosmos, and Elemental Motion.Douglas Campbell - forthcoming - Journal of the History of Philosophy.
    This article concerns the so-called irrigation system in the Timaeus’ biology (77a-81e), which replenishes our body’s tissues with resources from food delivered as blood. I argue that this system functions mainly by the natural like-to-like motion of the elements and that the circulation of blood is an important case study of Plato’s physics. We are forced to revise the view that the elements attract their like. Instead, similar elements merely tend to coalesce with each other in virtue of their tactile (...)
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  3. Biology in the Timaeus’ Account of Nous and Cognitive Life.Douglas R. Campbell - forthcoming - In Melina G. Mouzala (ed.), Cognition in Ancient Greek Philosophy and its Reception: Intedisciplinary Approaches. Academia Verlag/Nomos. pp. 145-172.
    I develop an account of the role that biology plays in the Timaeus’ view of nous and other aspects of cognitive life. I begin by outlining the biology of human cognition. I then argue that these biological views shine an important light on different aspects of the soul. I then argue that the human body is particularly friendly to nous, paying special attention to the heart and the liver. I next consider the ways that the body fails to protect our (...)
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  4. Beauty of Order and Symmetry in Minerals: Bridging Ancient Greek Philosophy with Modern Science.Chiara Elmi & Dani L. Goodman - forthcoming - Foundations of Science:1-13.
    Scientific observation has led to the discovery of recurring patterns in nature. Symmetry is the property of an object showing regularity in parts on a plane or around an axis. There are several types of symmetries observed in the natural world and the most common are mirror symmetry, radial symmetry, and translational symmetry. Symmetries can be continuous or discrete. A discrete symmetry is a symmetry that describes non-continuous changes in an object. A continuous symmetry is a repetition of an object (...)
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  5. The Failure of Evolution in Antiquity.Devin Henry - forthcoming - In Georgia Irby (ed.), Blackwell Companion to Ancient Science, Medicine and Technology. Wiley-Blackwell.
    The intellectual history of evolutionary theory really does not begin in earnest until the late seventeenth/early eighteenth century. Prior to that, the idea that species might have evolved over time was not a serious possibility for most naturalists and philosophers. There is certainly no substantive debate in antiquity about evolution in the modern sense. There were really only two competing explanations for how living things came to have the parts they do: design or blind chance. Ancient Greek Atomism, for example, (...)
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  6. What Time is Not: εἰκών and ἀριθμός in Plato’s Account of Time in the Timaeus (37d5-7) and the Platonic Tradition.Thomas Seissl - forthcoming - International Journal of the Platonic Tradition:1-28.
    In one of the most famous but equally obscure passages in the Timaeus, Plato describes the generation of time and the heavens. The “moving image of eternity” (37d5) is commonly read as Plato’s most general characterisation of time. Rémi Brague famously challenged the traditional interpretation on linguistic grounds by claiming that Plato actually did not conceive of time as an image (εἰκών) but rather as a number (ἀριθμός). In this paper, I shall claim that this controversy is by no means (...)
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  7. The Suspicious Substrate: Calcidius on Grasping Matter.Nena Bobovnik - 2024 - Apeiron 57 (1):1-24.
    In the Timaeus, Plato famously acknowledges the receptacle as extremely difficult to comprehend. It is neither intelligible (which is reserved exclusively for the Forms) nor sense-perceptible (as it is a principle far too basic). Instead, as Plato proposes, the receptacle can only be apprehended through a “bastard” sort of “reasoning” (νόθος λογισμός, Tim. 52b1-2.). This paper explores an exegesis of Plato’s claim as offered by Calcidius, the 4th century translator of and commentator on the Timaeus. I identify two distinctive methods (...)
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  8. Cosmos and Perception in Plato’s Timaeus: In the Eye of the Cognitive Storm. By Mark Eli Kalderon. [REVIEW]Douglas R. Campbell - 2024 - Ancient Philosophy 44 (1):255-258.
    This is an impressive and important book about perception in Plato’s Timaeus, but most of its readers will probably be researchers who are interested in much broader questions about the dialogue. There is nothing deficient or lacking about this treatment of perception, but this book should be put alongside Thomas Johansen’s Plato’s Natural Philosophy and Sarah Broadie’s Nature and Divinity in the sense that this is, for all intents and purposes, a monograph about the whole Timaeus, even though it is (...)
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  9. Traditional and Cosmic Gods in Later Plato and the Early Academy.Vilius Bartninkas - 2023 - Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    This book sheds new light on Plato's cosmology in relation to Greek religion by examining the contested distinction between the traditional and cosmic gods. A close reading of the later dialogues shows that the two families of gods are routinely deployed to organise and structure Plato's accounts of the origins of the universe and of humanity and its social institutions, and to illuminate the moral and political ideals of philosophical utopias. Vilius Bartninkas argues that the presence of the two kinds (...)
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  10. What Timaeus Can Teach Us: The Importance of Plato’s Timaeus in the 21st Century.Douglas R. Campbell - 2023 - Athena 18:58-73.
    In this article, I make the case for the continued relevance of Plato’s Timaeus. I begin by sketching Allan Bloom’s picture of the natural sciences today in The Closing of the American Mind, according to which the natural sciences are, objectionably, increasingly specialized and have ejected humans qua humans from their purview. I argue that Plato’s Timaeus, despite the falsity of virtually all of its scientific claims, provides a model for how we can pursue scientific questions in a comprehensive way (...)
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  11. Hypothetical Inquiry in Plato's Timaeus.Jonathan Edward Griffiths - 2023 - Ancient Philosophy Today 5 (2):156-177.
    This paper re-constructs Plato's ‘philosophy of geometry’ by arguing that he uses a geometrical method of hypothesis in his account of the cosmos’ generation in the Timaeus. Commentators on Plato's philosophy of mathematics often start from Aristotle's report in the Metaphysics that Plato admitted the existence of mathematical objects in-between ( metaxu) Forms and sensible particulars ( Meta. 1.6, 987b14–18). I argue, however, that Plato's interest in mathematics was centred on its methodological usefulness for philosophical inquiry, rather than on questions (...)
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  12. Cosmos and Perception in Plato's Timaeus.Mark Eli Kalderon - 2023 - New York: Routledge.
    This is an essay on perception and its objects in the Timaeus. Two features of this work are noteworthy. First, the emphasis throughout is on Timaeus' views and not Plato's. Second, I show how broader aspects of Timaeus' cosmology are directly relevant to his philosophy of perception.
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  13. Plato’s Timaeus and the Limits of Natural Science.Ian MacFarlane - 2023 - Apeiron 56 (3):495-517.
    The relationship between mind and necessity is one of the major points of difficulty for the interpretation of Plato’s Timaeus. At times Timaeus seems to say the demiurge is omnipotent in his creation, and at other times seems to say he is limited by pre-existing matter. Most interpretations take one of the two sides, but this paper proposes a novel approach to interpreting this issue which resolves the difficulty. This paper suggests that in his speech Timaeus presents two hypothetical models (...)
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  14. Blood and the Awareness of Perception. From Early Greek Thought to Plato’s Timaeus.Maria Michela Sassi - 2023 - Apeiron 56 (2):163-186.
    In this paper I first address what I consider a central issue in the account of perception in Plato’s Timaeus, namely, how the pathemata pass through the body to reach the soul, and thus become aistheseis. My point in Section 1 is that in tackling this issue Plato aims to provide a firm physiological basis to the notion of perception that starts to emerge in the Theaetetus and the Philebus and is crucial to the late development of his theory of (...)
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  15. Proportionate Atomism: Solving the Problem of Isomorphic Variants in Plato’s Timaeus.Lea Aurelia Schroeder - 2023 - Phronesis 68 (1):31-61.
    The principles governing elemental composition, variation, and change in Plato’s Timaeus appear to be incompatible, which has led commentators to prioritize some of the principles to the exclusion of others. Call this seeming incompatibility the problem of isomorphic variants. In this paper, I develop the theory of proportionate atomism as a solution to this problem. Proportionate atomism retains the advantages of rival interpretations but allows the principles of material composition, variation, and change to combine into an internally coherent and explanatorily (...)
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  16. The Mathematical Anti-atomism of Plato’s Timaeus.Luc Brisson & Salomon Ofman - 2022 - Ancient Philosophy 42 (1):121-145.
    In Plato’s eponymous dialogue, Timaeus, the main character presents the universe as an (almost) perfect sphere filled by tiny, invisible particles having the form of four regular polyhedrons. At first glance, such a construction may seem close to an atomistic theory. However, one does not find any text in Antiquity that links Timaeus’ cosmology to the atomists, while Aristotle opposes clearly Plato to the latter. Nevertheless, Plato is commonly presented in contemporary literature as some sort of atomist, sometimes as supporting (...)
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  17. Located in Space: Plato’s Theory of Psychic Motion.Douglas R. Campbell - 2022 - Ancient Philosophy 42 (2):419-442.
    I argue that Plato thinks that the soul has location, surface, depth, and extension, and that the Timaeus’ composition of the soul out of eight circles is intended literally. A novel contribution is the development of an account of corporeality that denies the entailment that the soul is corporeal. I conclude by examining Aristotle’s objection to the Timaeus’ psychology and then the intellectual history of this reading of Plato.
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  18. Plato's Theory of Reincarnation: Eschatology and Natural Philosophy.Douglas R. Campbell - 2022 - Review of Metaphysics 75 (4):643-665.
    This article concerns the place of Plato’s eschatology in his philosophy. I argue that the theory of reincarnation appeals to Plato due to its power to explain how non-human animals came to be. Further, the outlines of this theory are entailed by other commitments, such as that embodiment disrupts psychic functioning, that virtue is always rewarded and vice punished, and that the soul is immortal. I conclude by arguing that Plato develops a view of reincarnation as the chief tool that (...)
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  19. The Soul’s Tomb: Plato on the Body as the Cause of Psychic Disorders.Douglas R. Campbell - 2022 - Apeiron 55 (1):119-139.
    I argue that, according to Plato, the body is the sole cause of psychic disorders. This view is expressed at Timaeus 86b in an ambiguous sentence that has been widely misunderstood by translators and commentators. The goal of this article is to offer a new understanding of Plato’s text and view. In the first section, I argue that although the body is the result of the gods’ best efforts, their sub-optimal materials meant that the soul is constantly vulnerable to the (...)
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  20. The Soul’s Tool: Plato on the Usefulness of the Body.Douglas R. Campbell - 2022 - Elenchos 43 (1):7-27.
    This paper concerns Plato’s characterization of the body as the soul’s tool. I take perception as an example of the body’s usefulness. I explore the Timaeus’ view that perception provides us with models of orderliness. Then, I argue that perception of confusing sensible objects is necessary for our cognitive development too. Lastly, I consider the instrumentality relationship more generally and its place in Plato’s teleological worldview.
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  21. The World Soul and the Emergence of Human Life.Anna Corrias - 2022 - International Journal of the Platonic Tradition 17 (1):61-82.
    Marsilio Ficino’s view on ensoulment, which can be extrapolated from his critique of natal astrology, relies on the relations of metaphysical proportion between the different levels of life and being which are central to Platonic philosophy. Drawing primarily on Plotinus, Ficino describes the emergence of life in the embryo as a process in which the World Soul is the true agent. For him, the ‘human nature’ that is present in the developing embryo attracts into the mother’s womb the seed of (...)
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  22. Mind and Necessity in Timaeus’ Hepatology.Evan Coulter - 2022 - Ancient Philosophy 42 (1):105-119.
    Analogies between the human and the cosmos run throughout Plato’s Timaeus. Timaeus claims that the cosmos came to be as mind’s “persuasion of necessity.” This paper argues that an anthropological equivalent to this “persuasion” can be found in Timaeus’ suggestive account of the human liver. Mediating between intellect and desire, the organ shows the problem of mind and necessity reflected in the human soul.
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  23. The Role of Sexual Difference in Plato's Timaeus.Mary Cunningham - 2022 - Dissertation, University of Kentucky
    My dissertation is a reading of Plato’s Timaeus that centers sexual difference and in particular femininity. I analyze the role of sexual difference in the framing of the dialogue as well as its accounts of body in the first and second discourse and its account of health in the third discourse. I argue that sexual difference, and, in particular, sexual reproduction, serves as a guiding paradigm of Timaeus’ entire project. I argue in each part of my dissertation that various aspects (...)
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  24. Evil, Demiurgy, and the Taming of Necessity in Plato’s Timaeus.Elizabeth Jelinek & Casey Hall - 2022 - International Philosophical Quarterly 62 (1):5-21.
    Plato’s Timaeus reveals a cosmos governed by Necessity and Intellect; commentators have debated the relationship between them. Non-literalists hold that the demiurge, having carte blanche in taming Necessity, is omnipotent. But this omnipotence, alongside the attributes of benevolence and omniscience, creates problems when non-literalists address the problem of evil. We take the demiurge rather as limited by Necessity. This position is supported by episodes within the text, and by its larger consonance with Plato’s philosophy of evil and responsibility. By recognizing (...)
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  25. L’être et le temps dans le Parménide et dans le Timée de Platon.F. Karfík - 2022 - International Journal of the Platonic Tradition 16 (2):134-151.
    Two of Plato’s dialogues, the Parmenides and the Timaeus, deal explicitly with the relationship between being and time. The former builds on the assumption that whatever is must be temporal, while the latter makes being and time mutually exclusive. This paper begins by examining how the argument develops in the Parmenides, specifically in the corresponding sections 140e1-142a1 and 151e3-155e3 of the first and the second deductions of the dialectical exercise, as well as in the corollary to the second deduction at (...)
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  26. Plato’s Timaeus and the limits of natural science.Ian J. MacFarlane - 2022 - Dissertation, University of Texas at Austin
    The Timaeus is perhaps the most unusual of Plato’s dialogues. In this paper, I attempt to interpret Timaeus’s strange speech, which makes up most of the dialogue. I argue that Timaeus has grasped the grave challenge posed to philosophic reason by men like Hesiod who claim that mysterious gods are the first causes of the world, and therefore one cannot say that there are any true necessities governing this world. If this is true, then philosophy, as the study of nature, (...)
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  27. “This” and “Such” in the Receptacle Passage of Plato’s Timaeus.Takeshi Nakamura - 2022 - Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 104 (2):239-265.
    One short passage on what is called the Receptacle in Plato’s Timaeus has been the subject of much controversy since Cherniss presented an alternative reading of it in 1954. In this paper, I criticize an influential argument presented by Zeyl for a traditional reading, and propose a new interpretation which adopts the alternative reading on important sentences of the passage, but is not accompanied by the defects of Cherniss’ interpretation.
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  28. Two Theories of Change in Plato’s Timaeus.Takeshi Nakamura - 2022 - Ancient Philosophy Today 4 (1):4-29.
    In Plato’s Timaeus, two different theories – the Receptacle theory and the geometrical particle theory – are presented to explain change in the natural world. In this paper, I argue that there is tension between the two theories. After examining several possible solutions for this tension, I conclude that Plato does not present it as something ready to be solved within the dialogue but, rather, as something to be understood in a way that maintains both theories. Finally, I also argue (...)
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  29. Before the Creation of Time in Plato’s Timaeus.Daniel Vázquez - 2022 - In Daniel Vázquez & Alberto Ross (eds.), Time and Cosmology in Plato and the Platonic Tradition. pp. 111–133.
    I defend, against its more recent critics, a literal, factual, and consistent interpretation of Timaeus’ creation of the cosmos and time. My main purpose is to clarify the assumptions under which a literal interpretation of Timaeus’ cosmology becomes philosophically attractive. I propose five exegetical principles that guide my interpretation. Unlike previous literalists, I argue that assuming a “pre-cosmic time” is a mistake. Instead, I challenge the exegetical assumptions scholars impose on the text and argue that for Timaeus, a mere succession (...)
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  30. Self‐Motion and Cognition: Plato's Theory of the Soul.Douglas R. Campbell - 2021 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 59 (4):523-544.
    I argue that Plato believes that the soul must be both the principle of motion and the subject of cognition because it moves things specifically by means of its thoughts. I begin by arguing that the soul moves things by means of such acts as examination and deliberation, and that this view is developed in response to Anaxagoras. I then argue that every kind of soul enjoys a kind of cognition, with even plant souls having a form of Aristotelian discrimination (...)
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  31. Platone e il vegetarianismo nel Timeo - Plato and Vegetarianism in the Timaeus.Federico Casella - 2021 - Plato Journal 21:111-124.
    __. L’articolo analizza la descrizione della natura delle piante e la tacita giustificazione del vegetarianismo fornite da Platone nel _Timeo_. Tale pratica alimentare sembra assumere un’utilità esclusivamente fisiologica: potrebbe darsi che Platone si fosse opposto a quanti professavano il vegetarianismo in qualità di mezzo necessario per purificare l’anima e per raggiungere la felicità, come gli orfici, i pitagorici, Empedocle ma anche il suo discepolo Senocrate. Attraverso il particolare valore attribuito a una dieta vegetariana, Platone priva di validità la pretesa degli (...)
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  32. The Two-Triangle Universe of Plato’s Timaeus and the In(de)finite Diversity of the Universe.Salomon Ofman & Luc Brisson - 2021 - Apeiron 54 (4):493-518.
    In the present article, we consider the question of the primary elements in Plato’s Timaeus, the components of the whole universe reduced, by an extraordinarily elegant construction, to two right triangles. But how does he reconcile such a model with the infinite diversity of the universe? A large part of this study is devoted to Cornford’s explanation in his commentary of the Timaeus and its shortcomings, in order to finally propose a revised one, which we think to be entirely consistent (...)
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  33. From Natural Tendencies to Perceptual Interests and Motivation in Plato’s Timaeus.Pauliina Remes - 2021 - Rhizomata 9 (2):157-178.
    In the Timaeus, human bodies are treated as homeostatic systems, striving to maintain their natural state. This striving constitutes Plato’s explanatory framework for perception: perceptions come about when the equilibrium is shaken, and when it is restored. The article makes two main suggestions: first, that experienced pleasure and pain are grounded in non-experiential departures from and restorations of the natural state. Second, that the striving to maintain the natural state grounds perceptual interests, especially through conscious algesic and hedonic affection. Explanation (...)
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  34. Replenishment and Maintenance of the Human Body.Lea Aurelia Schroeder - 2021 - Apeiron 54 (3):317-346.
    Scholarship on Plato's Timaeus has paid relatively little attention to Tim. 77a–81, a seemingly disjointed passage on topics including plants, respiration, blood circulation, and musical sounds. Despite this comparative neglect, commentators both ancient and modern have levelled a number of serious charges against Timaeus' remarks in the passage, questioning the coherence and explanatory power of what they take to be a theory of respiration. In this paper, I argue that the project of 77a–81e is not to sketch theories of respiration, (...)
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  35. A Platonic Trope Bundle Theory.Christopher Buckels - 2020 - Ancient Philosophy Today 2 (2):91-112.
    This paper provides a rational reconstruction of a Platonic trope bundle theory that is a live alternative to contemporary bundle theories. According to the theory, Platonic particulars are composed of what Plato calls images of Forms; contemporary metaphysicians call these tropes. Tropes are dependent on Forms and the Receptacle, while trope bundles are structured by natural kinds using the Phaedo's principles of inclusion and exclusion and the Timaeus’ geometrised elements, as well as by co-location in the Receptacle. Key elements of (...)
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  36. Cohesive Causes in Ancient Greek Philosophy and Medicine.Sean Coughlin - 2020 - In Chiara Thumiger (ed.), Holism in Ancient Medicine and Its Reception. Leiden: pp. 237-267.
    This paper is about the history of a question in ancient Greek philosophy and medicine: what holds the parts of a whole together? The idea that there is a single cause responsible for cohesion is usually associated with the Stoics. They refer to it as the synectic cause (αἴτιον συνεκτικόν), a term variously translated as ‘cohesive cause,’ ‘containing cause’ or ‘sustaining cause.’ The Stoics, however, are neither the first nor the only thinkers to raise this question or to propose a (...)
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  37. References to women in Plato’s Timaeus.Pia De Simone - 2020 - Archai: Revista de Estudos Sobre as Origens Do Pensamento Ocidental 30:03035-03035.
    This work aims to investigate the occurrences of the female lexicon, in particular γυνή and μήτηρ, in the Timaeus, to bring out Plato's position regarding women that can be deduced from the hermeneutics of the examined passages. It is necessary to consider all the problems related to Plato's writings, including the argumentative structures used and the complexity of some concepts. The occurrences in the Timaeus, although not numerically conspicuous, are significant in terms of content, given the very nature of this (...)
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  38. Early theoretical chemistry: Plato’s chemistry in Timaeus.Francesco Di Giacomo - 2020 - Foundations of Chemistry 23 (1):17-30.
    The Timaeus is the dialogue that was for many centuries the most influential of Plato’s works. Among its readers we find Descartes, Boyle, Kepler and Heisenberg. In the first division of Timaeus Plato deals with the theory of celestial motion, in the second he presents us with the first mathematical theory of the structure of matter. Here, in a gigantic step forward with respect to the preceding Democritean atomistic theory with its unalterable micro-entities, he introduces the intertransformability of elementary corpuscles (...)
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  39. Returning to the Heavens: Plato’s Socrates on Anaxagoras and Natural Philosophy.Samuel Ortencio Flores - 2020 - Apeiron 53 (2):123-146.
    Readers of Plato since antiquity have generally taken Socrates’ intellectual autobiography in the Phaedo as a signal of his turn away from the study of natural philosophy. They have turned instead to characters such as Timaeus for evidence of Plato’s pursuit of physics. This article argues that Plato’s Socrates himself developed a philosophy of nature in his criticism of Anaxagoras and his subsequent philosophic pursuits. Socrates’ autobiography places the study of nature in a foundational position within the development of his (...)
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  40. Theophrastus on Plato’s Theory of Vision.Katerina Ierodiakonou - 2020 - Rhizomata 7 (2):249-268.
    In paragraphs 5 and 86 of the De sensibus Theophrastus gives a brief report of Plato’s views on the sense of vision and its object, i. e. colour, based on the Timaeus. Interestingly enough, he presents the Platonic doctrine as a third alternative to the extramission and intromission theories put forward by other ancient philosophers. In this article I examine whether or not Theophrastus’ account is impartial. I argue that at least some of his distortive departures from the Platonic dialogue (...)
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  41. Hippocrates at phaedrus 270c.Elizabeth Jelinek & Nickolas Pappas - 2020 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 101 (3):409-430.
    At Plato’s Phaedrus 270c, Socrates asks whether one can know souls without knowing ‘the whole.’ Phaedrus answers that ‘according to Hippocrates’ the same demand on knowing the whole applies to bodies. What parallel is intended between soul-knowledge and body-knowledge and which medical passages illustrate the analogy have been much debated. Three dominant interpretations read ‘the whole’ as respectively (1) environment, (2) kosmos, and (3) individual soul or body; and adduce supporting Hippocratic passages. But none of these interpretations accounts for the (...)
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  42. From Craft to Nature: The Emergence of Natural Teleology.Thomas Johansen - 2020 - In Liba Taub (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Ancient Greek and Roman Science. Cambridge University Press. pp. 102-120.
    A teleological explanation is an explanation in terms of an end or a purpose. So saying that ‘X came about for the sake of Y’ is a teleological account of X. It is a striking feature of ancient Greek philosophy that many thinkers accepted that the world should be explained in this way. However, before Aristotle, teleological explanations of the cosmos were generally based on the idea that it had been created by a divine intelligence. If an intelligent power made (...)
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  43. The Concept of Motion in Ancient Greek Thought: Foundations in Logic, Method, and Mathematics.Barbara M. Sattler - 2020 - New York, NY, USA: Cambridge University Press.
    This book examines the birth of the scientific understanding of motion. It investigates which logical tools and methodological principles had to be in place to give a consistent account of motion, and which mathematical notions were introduced to gain control over conceptual problems of motion. It shows how the idea of motion raised two fundamental problems in the 5th and 4th century BCE: bringing together being and non-being, and bringing together time and space. The first problem leads to the exclusion (...)
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  44. Teleology, Causation and the Atlas Motif in Plato's Phaedo.Daniel Vazquez - 2020 - Schole 14 (1):82-103.
    In this paper, I propose a new reading of Phaedo 99b6-d2. My main thesis is that in 99c6-9, Socrates does not refer to the teleological αἰτία but to the αἰτία that will be provided by a stronger ‘Atlas’ (99c4-5). This means that the passage offers no evidence that Socrates abandons teleology or modifies his views about it. He acknowledges, instead, that he could not find or learn any αἰτία stronger than the teleological one. This, I suggest, allows an interpretation of (...)
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  45. Can One Speak of Teleology in Plato?Luc Brisson - 2019 - Les Cahiers Philosophiques de Strasbourg 45:117-138.
    Chez les interprètes récents du Timée de Platon, le terme « téléologie », inventé au xviiie siècle, a pris une place déterminante. Mais l’usage de ce terme trahit une interprétation aristotélicienne de la figure du démiurge qu’il s’agit d’assimiler au premier moteur, dans le contexte de la cause finale. On s’interrogera ici sur l’origine de ce terme, et sur la pertinence de son usage pour comprendre le rôle que joue le démiurge dans le Timée.
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  46. Plato's Natural Philosophy and Metaphysics.Luc Brisson - 2018 - In Sean D. Kirkland & Eric Sanday (eds.), A Companion to Ancient Philosophy. Evanston, Illinois: Northwestern University Press. pp. 212–231.
    This chapter contains sections titled: Going Beyond Nature in Order to Explain it Technē, epistēmē and alēthēs doxa Mathematics, pure and applied Observation and Experimental Verification Bibliography.
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  47. Os Princípios Explicativos no Timeu de Platão.Luciana Valesca Fabião Chachá - 2018 - Dissertation, Ufrj, Brazil
  48. Plato and the Invention of Life.Michael Naas - 2018 - New York: Fordham University Press.
    Beginning with a reading of Plato's Statesman, this work interrogates the relationship between life and being in Plato's thought. It argues that in his later dialogues Plato discovers--or invents--a form of true or real life that transcends all merely biological life and everything that is commonly called life.
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  49. Between biography and biology: bios and self-knowledge in Platoʹs Phaedrus.B. Sara - 2018 - In James M. Ambury & Andy R. German (eds.), Knowledge and Ignorance of Self in Platonic Philosophy. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
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  50. How natural is a unified notion of time? Temporal experience in early Greek thought.Barbara Michaela Sattler - 2017 - In Ian Phillips (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Temporal Experience: Routledge Handbooks in Philosophy. New York: Routledge.
    Whatever our metaphysics of time, today we usually work with the assumption that we have one unified temporal framework, which allows for situating all events, processes, and happenings in the sense that we can put them all in a temporal relation to each other; they are all either before, after, or simultaneous with each other. In this paper, I show that for the early Greeks, by contrast, the very idea of such a unified notion of time would be foreign; instead, (...)
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