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1 Cf. also Phileb. 59 A, Aristot.Met. 997 b 35οὐδὲ περὶ τὸν οὐρανὸν ἡ ἀστρολογία τόνδε. This intentional Ruskinian boutade has given great scandal. The Platonist, we are told ad nauseam, deduces the world from his inner consciousness. This is of course not true (Cf. Unity of Plato's Thought, p. 45). But Plato, like some lesser writers, loves to emphasize his thought by paradox and surprise, and his postulation and of a mathematical astronomy required emphasis. Cf. my Platonism and the History of Science, pp. 171-174. This and similar passages cannot be used to prove that Plato was unscientific, as many hostile or thoughtless critics have attempted to do. Cf. e.g. the severe strictures of Arthur Platt, Nine Essays,Cambridge Univ. Press, 1921, pp. 12-16, especially p. 16: “Plato being first and foremost a metaphysician with a sort of religious system would not have us study anything but metaphysics and a kind of mystic religion.” Woodbridge Riley, From Myth to Reason, p. 47: “ . . . Plato...was largely responsible for turning back the clock of scientific progress. To explain the wonders of the world he preferred imagination to observation.” Cf. also Benn, Greek Philosophers, vol. i. pp. 173 and 327, Herrick, The Thinking Machine, p. 335, f. C. s. Schiller, Plato and he Predecessors, p. 81: “ . . . that Plato's anti-empirical bias renders him profoundly anti-scientific, and that his influence has always, openly or subtly, counteracted and thwarted the scientific impulse, or at least diverted it into unprofitable channels.” Dampier-Whetham, A History of Science, pp. 27-28: “Plato was a great philosopher but in the history of experimental science he must be counted a disaster.” Such statements disregard the entire context of the Platonic passages they exploit, and take no account of Plato's purpose or of other passages which counteract his seemingly unscientific remarks. Equally unfair is the practice of comparing Plato unfavorably with Aristotle in this respect, as Grote e.g. frequently does (Cf. Aristotle, p. 233). Plato was an artist and Aristotle an encyclopaedist; but Plato as a whole is far nearer the point of view of recent science than Aristotle. Cf. my Platonism and the History of Science, p. 163; also 532 A and on 529 A, p. 180, note a and What Plato Said, p. 236.
3 Plato here generalizes motion as a subject of science.
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