A time for learning and for counting – Egyptians, Greeks and empirical processes in Plato’s Timaeus

In Richard Mohr & Barbara M. Sattler (eds.), One Book, the Whole Universe: Plato’s Timaeus Today. Parmenides Press. pp. 249-266 (2010)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
This paper argues that processes in the sensible realm can be in accord with reason in the Timaeus, since rationality is understood here as being based on regularity, which is conferred onto processes by time. Plato uses two different temporal structures in the Timaeus, associated with the contrast there drawn between Greek and Egyptian approaches to history. The linear order of before and after marks natural processes as rational and underlies the Greek treatment of history. By contrast, a bidirectional temporal structure is the basis for the Egyptian approach to historical processes: present actions are not only determined by preceding ones in the past, but can also be influenced by the future (plans, aims). This latter temporal structure is shown to be necessary for learning from history, which makes human actions more regular.
PhilPapers/Archive ID
Revision history
Archival date: 2016-04-28
View upload history
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Added to PP index

Total views
95 ( #33,907 of 50,072 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
20 ( #29,133 of 50,072 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.