By George S. Claghorn
The function of this learn is to figure out Aristotle's perspective towards the content material and approach to Plato's typical technological know-how. Plato and Aristotle have frequently been considered as on contrary aspects of a philosophic 'Great Divide'. nevertheless, those that have came across that the 2 males have been in contract have occasionally pointed out purely scattered circumstances of that contract. there's desire for a brand new comparability of the 2 thinker- one that is proscribed in scope, according to the first texts, and that's systematic and thorough in process. If winning, the sort of comparability may convey into sharp concentration one part of Aristotle's reviews on Plato. Our try and meet this want is Aristotle's feedback of Plato's TIMAEUS. In pursuing this learn, it's been essential to reject a couple of uncritically-accepted interpre tations of the Timaeus. opposite to the view of many, we have now concluded that Aristotle principally agreed with Plato, either within the ideas and presuppositions of his traditional technology. a few implications stem from this examine. there's, for instance, the oft-questioned demeanour within which Aristotle taken care of Plato's philosophy. within the nice majority of circumstances, Aristotle stands forth as a competent reporter and a talented critic. additionally, the learn sheds mild on that old riddle: even if Plato and Aristotle are primarily akin or at odds of their basic philosophies.
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Extra info for Aristotle’s Criticism of Plato’s ‘Timaeus’
33za5-z7, b6-333aI5, 3zoa3-6). Since the simple bodies cannot come to be out of each other in the sense that they include each other (as a wall comes to be out of bricks), none of them can be called 'eternal' (De Gen. et Corr. 334az3-b8, De Caelo 304bz6--8). The four simple bodies found on earth are each differentiated by a contrariety of tangible qualities (De Gen. et Corr. 3z9bII-3, 330a3o-b3). Basically, the qualities are also four in number hot and cold (power to act), and dry and moist (power to be acted upon).
329a22-3). Aristotle plainly says that Plato makes the planes the primary reals (1tPW't'1X U1tclpxov't'lX) in the Timaeus, and these are considered indivisible magnitudes (De Gen. et Corr. 315b28-33). Aristotle has subsidiary arguments of his own to the effect that planes are not divisible. He regarded mathematical figures as indivisible, insofar as they were thoughts (430b6-14). This is from a late work, De Anima, and might indicate that Aristotle came to realize this in old age. But in view of the other references, it is more likely that he believed it all along.
A third criticism is Aristotle's objection to the alteration of simple bodies. The Timaeus had emphasized that all the simple bodies can be transformed into each other except earth (54b-d). Aristotle correctly reports this distinction, though he disagrees with it (De Gen. et Corr. 33zaz8-30, De Caeta 306aI-6). He says that if this were true, earth alone would be entitled to the name, 'element' . •• Burnet, Early Greek Philosophy (ed. 4; London, 1948), pp. 290-1. He notes that Zeller differs. Cf.