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Plato's Universe (Anglais) Broché – 1 janvier 2005

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.5 étoiles sur 5 4 commentaires
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Cosmos, physis, celestial motions, and a model of matter 26 décembre 2014
Par Jordan Bell - Publié sur
Format: Broché
In his Introduction, Vlastos writes about early Greek thinkers that "Though it was not given to them - nor, for that matter, to Plato or to Aristotle after them - to grasp the essential genius of the scientific method, they did discover something else which may still be reckoned one of the triumphs of the rational imagination: the conception of the cosmos that is presupposed by the idea of natural science and by its practice." The first chapter explains the Greek word "cosmos": "what kosmos denotes is a crafted, composed, beauty-enhancing order." Vlastos honors Heraclitus for developing a cosmology without a cosmogony: "It would show him how the world could be everlasting, birthless and deathless as a whole, because birth and death keep balancing out within its parts." This is unlike the earlier philosophers Thales, Anaximander, and Anaximines who asked "What is the source and origin of our world?". The first chapter also explains the Greek word "physis". Vlastos says for Herodotus, "In his prose the physis of any given thing is that cluster of stable characteristics by which we can recognize that thing and can anticipate the limits within which it can act upon other things or be acted upon by them."

The second chapter tells us what Plato wrote about celestial motions. I want to know what Plato said about motion and time, and found some passages cited in this chapter from works I wouldn't have thought to look in, like the "Phaedrus": "Self-motion is said to be 'the essence and definition' of soul in Phaedrus 245C-E; soul is 'the thing that is self-moved' in Timaeus 37B5." Vlastos quotes from Timaeus 37D5 that time is "a moving image of eternity". The periods of celestial motions is a rich vein to mine for ideas about time, because time is measured by periodic motion. "Because of the invariant periodicity of their motions the stars provide visible measures of time: they are celestial chronometers." Vlastos cites Meton's Great Year of 19 years and Oenopides' Great Year of 59 years (DK 41A9). The Timaeus is Plato's great cosmological work, but Vlastos presents passages from works to which one might not look for astronomical assertions, like the Republic, Laws, and Epinomis (Hermes keeps pace with Venus and the Sun, 987B).

The third chapter explains Plato's theory of matter, as presented in the Timaeus. Plato's model of matter involves surfaces of Platonic solids (a special class of polyhedra), and Vlastos reproduces some figures from Paul Friedländer's "Plato". Vlastos writes, "Plato denies action at a distance and reduces all physical interactions to operations involving contact - ultimately pushing, cutting, and crushing." Plato asserts that his theory of matter is not knowledge but is a "likely story". Although what we say about the physical world is not knowledge, it is common to enjoy thinking about the world and we can "find intellectual satisfaction in figuring out systematically what the world would be like if it were cosmos - if it were rational through and through, every event in it indefeasibly governed by natural regularities."
10 internautes sur 11 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Gregory Vlastos' Plato's Universe 10 avril 2007
Par Anait Keuchguerian - Publié sur
Format: Broché
The comments I'm about to make come from p.xiv of the Introduction of the book:"Recalling that many important things have come to us from the Greeks--democracy, tragedy, the Olympic Games, mathematics, logic, philosophy--Vlastos wonders... if the Greeks really discovered what we now mean by 'science'. ...Even if they were not able to 'grasp the essential genius of the scientific method', they did 'discover the notion of a cosmos 'that is presupposed by the idea of natural science and by its practice.' In fact, the early Greeks had 'the perception of a rational universe'." Similar to the Greeks, Vlastos accomplishes a logical and impartial description and interpretation of Plato's thought, that so many previous commentators have missed. I recommend this book to anyone that has deep interest in Greek thought in general and Plato in particular.

Anait Keuchguerian
10 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The Birth of "Cosmos" 21 mars 2007
Par Allen Stairs - Publié sur
Format: Broché
In this absolutely splendid book, Vlastos traces the origins of the idea of the cosmos and, indeed, of nature itself as a subject for intellectual inquiry. He also helps the reader make more sense of Plato's Timaeus than a casual first reading might ever suggest is possible. The book is a perfect melding of scholarship with Vlastos's gift for conveying big ideas to a broad audience.
0 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Four Stars 4 septembre 2014
Par Jeffrey Barnouw - Publié sur
Format: Relié
fine work
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