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Plato’s Timaeus and the Missing Fourth Guest

Finding the Harmony of the Spheres

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Donna M. Altimari Adler

In Plato's Timaeus and the Missing Fourth Guest, Donna M. Altimari Adler proposes a new Timaeus scale structure. She finds the harmonic cosmos in Plato's text, mathematically, regarding it as a number generator. Plato's primary number sequence, she argues, yields a matrix defining a sophisticated harmony of the spheres. She stresses the Decad as the pattern governing both human perception and the generation of all things, in the text, including the World Soul and musical scale symbolizing it. She precisely identifies Plato's "fabric" and its locus of severance and solves other thorny problems of interpretation, e.g., properly naming the sets of three and four bands, born of splitting the band of difference, and explaining their differing motions and speeds.

The School of Doubt

Skepticism, History and Politics in Cicero's Academica

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Orazio Cappello

The School of Doubt conducts a close philological and philosophical reading of Cicero’s Academica, a fragmentary work on sense-perception and Academic history written in the wake of Caesar’s victory in the civil wars (45 BCE). Focusing in turn on the author’s letters discussing the process of composition, the historiographical treatment of the Platonic tradition and the critical exploration of philosophical doubt, this volume presents Cicero as an original and sophisticated historian of philosophy and a radical figure in Western skeptical thought. Widely misconstrued as a technical treatise and a mere chronicle of the Greek debates on which it draws, the Academica here emerges as a key work in the evolution of Ciceronian philosophy and of ancient skepticism – and one that responds directly to the disintegration of Republican Rome.