Reason and Necessity. Essays on Plato's Timaeus
edited by M.R. Wright
ISBN-13: 978-0-7156-3057-0 ISBN-10: 0-7156-3057-1, hardback, xvi+191 pp., 2000, GB £45.00
 

The editor: M.R. Wright has published numerous papers on ancient philosophy. Her principal books are Empedocles: the Extant Fragments; Cicero: On Stoic Good and Evil; and Cosmology in Antiquity. 

Plato's Timaeus contains a powerful and influential myth, of the construction of the universe by a divine craftsman. A god imposes reason on necessity, to bring order from a primeval 'receptacle' of disordered matter. There results the 'child' that is the cosmos - a copy of an eternally-existing perfect model. Here eight new essays from a distinguished international cast, explore aspects of this challenging work: the principles of the mythical narrative, how the world soul and human body are formed, implications for illness - mental and physical, the importance of music and harmonious proportion. Later developments are also treated: Aristotle's theory of generation, the commentary of Proclus and elements of modern evolutionary theory.

 

CONTENTS
Preface
Introduction
Outline of topics in Plato's Timaeus xvi
1. Myth, science and reason in the Timaeus - M.R. Wright
2. How to build a world soul: a practical guide - Sergio Zedda
3. How to build a human body: an idealist's guide - Scott Burgess
4. The body's fault? Plato's Timaeus on psychic illness - Christopher Gill
5. Timaeus on music and the liver - Andrew Barker
6. Aristotle's understanding of Plato's Receptacle - Lesley Dean-Jones
7. Proclus on demiurgy and procession in the Timaeus - Jan Opsomer
8. Zoogony and evolution in Plato's Timaeus, the Presocratics, Lucretius and Darwin - Gordon Campbell
Bibliography of main editions
Index locorum
General index