Timaeus Outline

Philosophy 201, Fall 1996

Dr. Cynthia Freeland

743-2993, CFreeland@UH.edu

I. Introductory Conversation 17a-27b

Characters: Timaeus, Critias, Hermocrates, Socrates

True morality is based on the order and harmony of the macrocosm, as revealed to the soul before birth. Plans for a trilogy by Plato.

II. Timaeus' Prelude: The nature and scope of physics 27c-29d Being and becoming; causes; design; a "likely story" (eikos muthos)

III. The Works of Reason (Intellect) 29d-47e

IV. The Works of Necessity 47e-69a

V. The two woven together (69a-92c)

Part III, further analyzed

1. The creation and creator (Demiurge) 29d-31b

His motives (29d-30c) and model (30c-31a); one world, not many

2. The body of the world 31b-34b Four primary bodies (31b-c), wholeness (32b-c), sphere (33b-34a), central soul (34b)

3. The World-Soul 35a-39e

Composition: being, becoming, same, different (35a); division into harmonic intervals (35b-36b); circles of the Same and the Different, and planetary circles and motions (36b-d); Time=the moving image of eternity (37c-38c); planets as instruments of time (38c-39e).

4. Further broad details 39e-40d

The four kinds of living creature (39e-40b): heavenly gods, winged things, water creatures, creatures of the land; the earth's rotation (40b-c); other heavenly bodies too complicated to describe here (40c-d).

5. Human soul 40d-44d

The traditional gods, their creation and destruction (40d-41a); the Demiurge instructs the gods to make lesser creatures (mortals) (41a-d); composition of human souls (41d-42d), with each soul assigned to a star; destiny, incarnation, and reincarnation (42d-44d)

6. Human body (44d-47e)

Head given limbs (44d-45b); eyes and the mechanism of vision (45b-46a); mirror images; the purposes of seeing and hearing (46c-47e)

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