Example Of Plato’s Timaeus: Literature Review
The world’s philosophy has been integrated to our civilization. In the ancient times philosophers introduce values as to what they have understood. These thoughts are results of deep meditation of what is happening in the world that time. One of the most appreciated thinkers of the ancient world is Plato. Evidently, all of his ideas were still studied up to these days.
As for this report, I the proponent will review one of his dialogue called Timaeus. It was a dialogue not only by Plato but also with other great thinkers at that time specifically Socrates. Additionally a philosopher named Timaeus joined the dialogue. This report aims to review the dialogue and dissect the ideas presented by it.
First we need to define the ideas presented in the dialogue. The ideas presented were; The Universe’s Purpose, The Nature of the Physical world, the entities in the Universe, the soul and the elements.
The Nature of the Physical World
The dialogue was started by Timaeus.
“Let me tell you then why the creator made this world of generation. He was good, and the good can never have any jealousy of anything. And being free from jealousy, he desired that all things should be as like himself as they could be. This is in the truest sense the origin of creation and of the world, as we shall do well in believing on the testimony of wise men: God desired that all things should be good and nothing bad, so far as this was attainable.”
Here it was stated by Timaues the nature of the physical world. He assumed that a divine being has created the world and that all things are good. It was also added by him that all that are in this physical world perishes. And the superior or eternal one is the only being that does not change. The physical world as emphasize by the entrance of Timaues was only a temporary set up for the human beings. It was also explained that our world was only a template of the ideal and was made out of disorder.
“The physical one is the world which changes and perishes: therefore it is the object of opinion and unreasoned sensation. The eternal one never changes: therefore it is apprehended by reason.”
The Universe’s Purpose
The purpose why the universe is created is to reflect the goodness of its creator.
“God desired that all things should be good and nothing bad, so far as this was attainable.”
And the elements of the universe were created to preserve its goodness. The circular movement of the universe is the order given by a Divine Being.
“Now God did not make the soul after the body, although we are speaking of them in this order; for having brought them together he would never have allowed that the elder should be ruled by the younger; but this is a random manner of speaking which we have, because somehow we ourselves too are very much under the dominion of chance. Whereas he made the soul in origin and excellence prior to and older than the body, to be the ruler and mistress, of whom the body was to be the subject.”
The soul was not an existence before the body; instead it was an entity that is inherent to the universe. The soul is the conscience of the body. The soul is the core of the body that governs all of its functions. Additionally, it was stated in the dialogue that the soul was created first, and the status quo of an older entity governing the younger one was established.
It was stated the universe has only four elements; fire, air, water and earth. It was proposed that they each have geometrical shapes. The elements govern the nature of the universe. It was also noted that God created the universe in a spherical shape, moving all of the four elements in a circular manner.
The Entities of the Universe and the Golden Ratio
"Wherefore, using the language of probability, we may say that the world became a living creature truly endowed with soul and intelligence by the providence of God"
Truly the universe is a living thing. It is governed by a Superior being that wanted to spread his goodness to the universe. The difference of the humans on other creatures that did not have the intelligence is the soul that was made for higher beings. The four elements are created to be of balance with each other. Thus, the properties of fire, water, air and earth are the core properties that the planet has been endowed.
"For whenever in any three numbers, whether cube or square, there is a mean, which is to the last term what the first term is to it; and again, when the mean is to the first term as the last term is to the mean—then the mean becoming first and last, and the first and last both becoming means, they will all of them of necessity come to be the same, and having become the same with one another will be all one"
This emphasizes the golden ratio that all things were made in a balanced ratio.
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