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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractPlato’s Timaeus introduces a number of features unique in Plato’s corpus, including the Demiurge, the Receptacle, and a partially-mortal conception of soul. These same features were appropriated and revised by the Stoics. Because these features are used in naturalistic explanations, because they are themselves obscure, and because they were adopted by the materialist Stoics, many have wondered whether they represent a substantial change in Plato’s metaphysics. In fact, Timaeus’ innovations represent a continuation of Plato’s “middle” metaphysics even as they serve to render that metaphysics consistent with apparent natural phenomena. Insofar as Timaeus pursues a sort of naturalism, Stoic appropriation of its insights were a natural sort of radicalization. Nevertheless, Timaeus is a richer dialogue when read as properly Platonic.
Degree ProgramGraduate College