This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
1 The meaning of this sentence is certain, but the expression will no more bear a matter-of-fact logical analysis than that of Phaedo 69 A-B, or Rep. 365 C, or many other subtle passages in Plato. No material object perfectly embodies the ideal and abstract mathematical relation. These mathematical ideas are designated as the true,ἀληθινῶν, and the real,ὄν. As in the Timaeus(38 C, 40 A-B, 36 D-E) the abstract and ideal has the primacy and by a reversal of the ordinary point of view is said to contain or convey the concrete. The visible stars are in and are carried by their invisible mathematical orbits. By this way of speaking Plato, it is true, disregards the apparent difficulty that the movement of the visible stars then ought to be mathematically perfect. But this interpretation is, I think, more probable for Plato than Adam's attempt to secure rigid consistency by taking τὸ ὂν τάχος etc., to represent invisible and ideal planets, and τὰ ἐνόντα to be the perfect mathematical realities, which are in them. ἐνόντα would hardly retain the metaphysical meaning of ὄντα. For the interpretation of 529 D cf. also my “Platonism and the History of Science,”Am. Philos. Soc, Proc. lxvi. p. 172.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.