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In: Time and Cosmology in Plato and the Platonic Tradition
In: Time and Cosmology in Plato and the Platonic Tradition


This paper examines the possible sources of the theories introduced in Phaedo 99b2-c6. It argues that Plato is primarily alluding to Aristophanes’ Clouds and views held by Diogenes of Apollonia and Archelaus of Athens. But the passage, I also suggest, could serve another rhetorical function. By inviting us to reflect on whether and to what extent other natural philosophers fit the description of these theories, the text emphasises the gulf between Socrates and his predecessors. The paper concludes by discussing the implications of identifying these references for our understanding of the autobiographical passage in the Phaedo.

In: Mnemosyne
Volume Editors: and
The way Plato discusses time and its relation to the cosmos has puzzled and divided his readers from the very beginning. This originated rich and diverse readings that shaped and contributed to the cosmological discussion of the Hellenistic and Late Antiquity periods. Modern scholars too, have offered many and often opposed views on the matter.
This book assembles an international team of scholars to move forward the study of Plato’s conception of time, to find fresh insights for interpreting his cosmology, and to reimagine the ancient Platonic tradition.

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