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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. The Soul's Tool: Plato on the Usefulness of the Body.Douglas R. Campbell - forthcoming - Elenchos.
    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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  3. 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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  4. Plato on Natural Kinds: The Promethean Method of the Philebus.John Proios - forthcoming - Apeiron: A Journal for Ancient Philosophy and Science.
    Plato’s invention of the metaphor of carving the world by the joints (Phaedrus 265d-66c) gives him a privileged place in the history of natural kind theory in philosophy and science; he is often understood to present a paradigmatic but antiquated view of natural kinds as possessing eternal, immutable, necessary essences. Yet, I highlight that, as a point of distinction from contemporary views about natural kinds, Plato subscribes to an intelligent-design, teleological framework, in which the natural world is the product of (...)
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  5. Plato's Theory of Reincarnation: Eschatology and Natural Philosophy.Douglas R. Campbell - 2022 - Review of Metaphysics 75 (4):643-665.
    This paper 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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  6. 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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  7. Making the World Body Whole and Complete: Plato's Timaeus, 32c5-33b1.Brad Berman - 2016 - International Journal of the Platonic Tradition 10 (2):168-192.
    Plato’s demiurge makes a series of questionable decisions in creating the world. Most notoriously, he endeavors to replicate, to the extent possible, some of the features that his model possesses just insofar as it is a Form. This has provoked the colorful complaint that the demiurge is as raving mad as a general contractor who constructs a house of vellum to better realize the architect’s vellum plans (Keyt 1971). The present paper considers the sanity of the demiurge’s reasoning in light (...)
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  8. One Book, the Whole Universe: Plato’s Timaeus Today, Eds. Richard D. Mohr and Barbara M. Sattler. [REVIEW]Jason W. Carter - 2012 - American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 86 (1):170-173.
  9. The Order Question: Climbing the Ladder of Love in Plato’s Symposium.Richard Foley - 2010 - Ancient Philosophy 30 (1):57-72.
  10. Tale, Theology, and Teleology in the Phaedo.Gabor Betegh - 2008 - In Catalin Partenie (ed.), Plato's Myths. Cambridge University Press.
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  11. Plato’s Natural Philosophy. [REVIEW]John Dillon - 2006 - Ancient Philosophy 26 (2):408 - 411.
  12. Technique and Teleology in Plato's Rhetoric.Doug Al-Maini - 2005 - The European Legacy 10 (4):283-298.
    This paper is an investigation of the place of rhetoric in Plato's judgement that philosophers must rule. The possibility that rhetoric could facilitate the rule of philosophy raises the question of whether rhetoric could also be used to undermine the governance of philosophy. It is my thesis that Plato argues for understanding rhetoric as limited in its ability to function at cross-purposes to those of philosophy because of a basic and direct relationship between the effectiveness of rhetoric and its ability (...)
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  13. "Technē" and Teleology in Plato's "Gorgias".Lee Franklin - 2005 - Apeiron 38 (4):229-256.
  14. Plato's Natural Philosophy: A Study of the Timaeus-Critias.Thomas Kjeller Johansen - 2004 - Cambridge University Press.
    Plato's dialogue the Timaeus-Critias presents two connected accounts, that of the story of Atlantis and its defeat by ancient Athens and that of the creation of the cosmos by a divine craftsman. This book offers a unified reading of the dialogue. It tackles a wide range of interpretative and philosophical issues. Topics discussed include the function of the famous Atlantis story, the notion of cosmology as 'myth' and as 'likely', and the role of God in Platonic cosmology. Other areas commented (...)
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  15. Plato and the Environment.Gabriela Roxana Carone - 1998 - Environmental Ethics 20 (2):115-133.
    In this paper, I set out to refute several charges that have recently been raised against Plato’s attitude toward the environment and to present him under a new light of relevance for the contemporary environmental debate. For this purpose, I assess the meaning of Plato’s metaphysical dualism, his notion of nature and teleology, and the kind of value that he attributes to animals, plants, and the land in general. I thus show how Plato’s organicist view of the universe endows it (...)
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  16. Teleology and Evil in "Laws" 10.Gabriela Roxana Carone - 1994 - Review of Metaphysics 48 (2):275 - 298.
    THE TENTH BOOK OF THE LAWS, which contains Plato's last word on cosmology and theology, has often been considered as presenting Plato's views in a more exoteric way in contrast with the more esoteric style of the Timaeus. And there are good reasons to think that this view is correct. Whereas the Timaeus stresses that "to find the maker and father of this All is difficult, and, having found it, it is impossible to communicate it to the crowd", Plato is (...)
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  17. Plato's Vision of Chaos.Jerry S. Clegg - 1976 - Classical Quarterly 26 (01):52-.
    In the creation myth of the Timaeus Plato describes God as wishing that all things should be good so far as is possible. Wherefore, finding the whole visible sphere of the world not at rest, but moving in an irregular fashion, out of disorder He brought order, thinking that this was in every way an improvement. To achieve His end He placed intelligence in soul and soul in body, reflecting that nothing unintelligent could ever be better than something intelligent . (...)
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  18. Zur Geschichte der Teleologischen Naturbetrachtung Bis Auf Aristoteles. By Willy Theiler. Pp. Ix + 104. Zürich: Füssli, 1925. Fr. 6 (M. 4.80). [REVIEW]J. L. Stocks - 1925 - The Classical Review 39 (7-8):210-210.
  19. Principal Doctrines of Epicurus.Irfan Ajvazi - manuscript
    Epicurean philosophy, as Epicurus's teachings became known, was used as the basis for how the community lived and worked. At the time, founding a school and teaching a community of students was the main way philosophical ideas were developed and transmitted. Greek philosopher Aristotle (384–322 BCE), for instance, founded a school in Athens called the Lyceum. Epicurus and his disciples believed either there were no gods or, if there were, the gods were so remote from humans that they were not (...)
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