The Two-Triangle Universe of Plato’s Timaeus and the In(de)finite Diversity of the Universe

Apeiron 54 (4):493-518 (2021)
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Abstract

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 with Plato’s text. This analysis is an essential step for the understanding of the connection between the sensible world and the mathematical principles that underlies Timaeus’ cosmological account.

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