God and Forms in Plato: And Other Essays in Plato's Metaphysics

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9781930972018: God and Forms in Plato: And Other Essays in Plato's Metaphysics
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This book is a collection of dovetailing essays which together interpret and assess the chief arguments and texts which make up Plato's cosmology. Arguments in the Timaeus, Sophist, Statesman, Philebus, and Laws X are analyzed with an eye to problems which affect the wider understanding of Plato's metaphysics, theology, epistemology, psychology, and physics. New interpretations are given to Plato's views on the role and characteristics of his craftsman God, the nature and status of Forms, the nature of time and eternity, the status and nature of space and the phenomenal realm, and the nature of and relations between reason, souls, bodies, and motion. The book is critically sympathetic to the Platonic project, at least to the extent that it argues that many (though not all) features of the Platonic cosmology are more intelligible and coherent than usually supposed by critics. It defends the view that for Plato God makes the world in the way that a carpenter cuts a board to be exactly a yard long - by applying a yard stick to the board and removing the excess wood. This view of a making requires that there be standards or measures that exist independently both of the agent who creates and the world on which he works. These standards are Plato's Forms. Transcendent Forms cannot be excised from the Platonic metaphysics as many modern critics have been trying to do in an attempt to make Plato respectable by today's criteria of philosophical decency. This work presents a revised and updated edition of the author's 1985 book The Platonic Cosmology (E.J. Brill, Leiden) together with four revised and updated essays by the author on Plato's metaphysics, and a wholly new essay, ""Extensions,"" which expands the themes of the book into wider philosophical contexts.

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Review:

Mohr's collection of essays has remained over the years one of the standard reference books for Timaeus . . . . [he] was and remains right to insist on the importance of Timaeus to a number of central Platonic issues. . . I continue to applaud his insistence that we take Timaeus literally"". - Heythrop Journal

About the Author:

Richard D. Mohr is Retired Professor of Philosophy and of the Classics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA. He is the author of a series of works on social issues - Gays/Justice: A Study of Ethics, Society, and Law (1988); Gay Ideas: Outing and Other Controversies (1992); A More Perfect Union (1994); Pottery, Politics, Art: George Ohr and the Brothers Kirkpatrick (2003); The Long Arc of Justice: Lesbian and Gay Marriage, Equality, and Rights (2005).

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