After the Ascent: Plato on Becoming Like God

Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 26:171-183 (2004)
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Plato is associated with the idea that the body holds us back from knowing ultimate reality and so we should try to distance ourselves from its influence. This sentiment appears is several of his dialogues including Theaetetus where the flight from the physical world is compared to becoming like God. In some major dialogues of Plato's later career such as Philebus and Laws, however, the idea of becoming like God takes a different turn. God is an intelligent force that tries to create order in the physical world. I argue that likeness to God in these dialogues involves imitating God's effort by trying to order our bodies, souls, and societies as intelligence directs. Becoming like Plato's God is not to abandon the world. It is to improve it.



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John M. Armstrong
Southern Virginia University

Citations of this work

Socrates on Cookery and Rhetoric.Freya Möbus - forthcoming - Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie.
Seneca on Surpassing God.Scott Aikin - 2017 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 3 (1):22-31.
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References found in this work

Plato's Cretan city: a historical interpretation of the Laws.Glenn R. Morrow - 1960 - Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.
Plato.Lane Cooper - 1939 - Philosophical Review 48 (6):650-651.
Aristotle and Plato on God as Nous and as the Good.Stephen Menn - 1992 - Review of Metaphysics 45 (3):543 - 573.
Plato's Theism.R. Hackforth - 1936 - Classical Quarterly 30 (01):4-.

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