Classical Quarterly 42 (01):87- (1992)
At 47e–53c of the Timaeus Plato presents his most detailed metaphysical analysis of particulars. We are told about the construction of the physical universe, the ways we can and cannot talk about the phenomena produced, and about the two causes – Necessity and Intelligence – which govern the processes and results of production. It seems to me that we are told too much and too little: too much, because we have two accounts of the generation of phenomenal particulars – one, the ‘formal account’, which makes use of the receptacle, Forms and form-copies, and a second, the ‘geometrical account’, which appeals to geometrical shapes, the Demiurge and, apparently, matter; too little, because there is insufficient guidance as to how to relate the two accounts
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