Pre-Cosmic Necessity in Plato's Timaeus

Apeiron 44 (3):287-305 (2011)
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Abstract

One aim of this paper is to bring to the surface the problems with the traditional, non-literal interpretation of the pre-cosmos in the Timaeus. Contrary to this traditional interpretation, I show that Necessity is an ateleological cause capable of bringing about the events in the pre-cosmos, and that Intelligence is a teleological cause that produces effects only for the sake of maximizing the good. I conclude that there are no grounds for supposing that Intelligence is a causal force operating in the pre-cosmos, and that the account of the pre-cosmos should be taken literally: it is an account of the works of Necessity alone.

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Elizabeth Jelinek
Christopher Newport University

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