The Hypostasis of the Archons: Platonic Forms as Angels

Religions 14 (1):1-17 (2023)
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The thesis of this paper is that Platonic Forms are angels. I make this identification by claiming that Platonic Forms have the characteristics of angels, in particular, that Platonic Forms are alive. I offer four arguments for this claim. First, it seems that engaging in self-directed action is a sufficient condition for being alive. The Forms are, as teleological activities, self-directed actions. Second, bodies receive their being from their Forms, and some bodies are essentially alive. Third, in the Good, all the types of goodness, including life, are identical. The Forms are appearances of the Good. Fourth, since the Good imparts as much goodness as it can, the Forms are alive unless there is some bar to their being alive. There are good reasons to think that there is no such bar. I then show that ethical vices do not give body to human form, but give body to other forms—those that are evil angels. Lastly, I provide a survey of the relationships that various religious traditions posit between ethical vice and the demonic.

Author's Profile

Marcus Hunt
Concordia University Chicago


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