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Plato's Philosophy of Science - Andrew Gregory

Plato's Philosophy of Science

Hardcover Published: 31st May 2001
ISBN: 9780715629871
Number Of Pages: 256

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Seeking to reassess Plato's views on how we might investigate and explain the natural world, this book argues that many of the common charges against Plato (disinterest, ignorance, dismissal of observation) are unfounded, and that Plato had a series of important and cogent criticisms of the early atomists and other physiologoi. His views on science, and on astronomy and cosmology in particular, develop in interesting ways. It also argues that Plato can best be seen as someone who is struggling with the foundations of scientific realism, and that he has interesting epistemological, cosmological and nomological reasons for his teleological approach.

Introductionp. 1
Cosmology, Cosmogony and Teleologyp. 17
Plato and modern cosmologyp. 17
The chaos of the elementsp. 22
Chaos and cosmogonyp. 24
Atomists, physiologoi and cosmoip. 26
Recurring cosmological problemsp. 30
Biology and zoogonyp. 34
Empedoclesp. 37
The shapes and sizes of atomsp. 39
A teleological cosmos vs. multiple entitiesp. 42
Cosmological reasons for teleologyp. 45
Astronomy, Observation and Experimentp. 48
Two worlds and investigationp. 49
The dynamics of investigationp. 51
Vlastos on investigationp. 53
Doing astronomy and teaching astronomyp. 55
'Real' astronomyp. 58
The Republic and other worksp. 61
Celestial motion in the Republicp. 64
Timaeus 68b-dp. 67
Plato and experimentp. 70
Memo's Paradox and Underdeterminationp. 74
The modern underdetermination problemp. 75
The Duhem-Quine thesisp. 78
Meno's paradoxp. 80
Socrates' autobiographyp. 82
Teleology and the Phaedop. 85
Healthy hypothesesp. 87
Teleology and epistemologyp. 90
Duhem and instrumentalismp. 93
Seving the phenomenap. 97
Celestial Motion in the Timaeusp. 101
Disorderly and degenerating cosmologiesp. 101
The myth of the Politicusp. 103
Celestial motion in the Timaeusp. 105
Celestial motion in later Platop. 109
The Politicus myth and the Timaeusp. 111
Reason and necessityp. 113
Implications for causationp. 115
Political, social and moral declinep. 118
The implications of a stable cosmologyp. 121
Plato and the Development of Greek Astronomyp. 124
The Republic and the myth of Erp. 125
The Timaeus modelp. 128
Retrogression and deviation in latitudep. 131
Venus, Mercury and the contrary powerp. 136
Eclipses and occlusionsp. 139
Variations in planetary velocity and distancep. 145
Prototype or finished article?p. 148
The astronomical and cosmological traditionsp. 153
Plato and Eudoxusp. 155
Meno's paradox and astronomyp. 157
Plato and the Development of Greek Cosmologyp. 159
Plato and the Presocraticsp. 160
Plato and geocentrismp. 162
The Greeks and geocentrismp. 164
The animate heavensp. 167
Nomological realismp. 170
Civil law and physical lawp. 173
Analogues for physical processesp. 175
Plato and subsequent astronomyp. 178
Plato and subsequent cosmologyp. 183
Geometrical Atomism - Flux and Languagep. 187
The receptacle and languagep. 188
Some paradoxesp. 191
Geometrical atomismp. 194
Letters, syllables and trianglesp. 196
The evidence of Aristotlep. 200
The ageing processp. 203
The gold examplep. 205
Geometrical atomism and Socrates' dreamp. 208
Geometrical atomism and languagep. 210
Geometrical Atomism - Matter and Spacep. 214
The receptacle and metaphorsp. 215
The Timaeus and empty spacep. 217
Material metaphorsp. 218
Spatial metaphorsp. 221
The receptacle and qualitiesp. 223
Perception in the Timaeus and Theaetetusp. 227
The evidence of Aristotlep. 229
Plato, Democritus and Descartesp. 231
Teleology and bondingp. 235
The significance of geometrical atomismp. 238
Epistemology in the Timaeus and Philebusp. 241
World soul and human soulsp. 242
Souls and common conceptsp. 245
Souls and epistemologyp. 247
Timaeus 27c-29d and two worlds (TW) theoryp. 250
Two worlds and stabilityp. 253
Writing and paidiap. 255
Plato and mythp. 258
Interpreting the Timaeusp. 259
The Philebus and divine cosmologyp. 262
Conclusionp. 265
The role of empirical workp. 265
Plato as a scientific (proto-)realistp. 266
Reasons for teleologyp. 267
The aims of the investigation of naturep. 269
Plato's developing philosophy of sciencep. 270
Criticisms of the atomists and physiologoip. 271
Plato relative to the atomists and physiologoip. 273
Plato's philosophy of sciencep. 274
Notesp. 275
Bibliographyp. 307
Index Locorump. 325
Index of Namesp. 330
General Indexp. 332
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780715629871
ISBN-10: 0715629875
Audience: BAC
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 256
Published: 31st May 2001
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.24  x 3.18
Weight (kg): 0.66
Edition Number: 1