Dr. Kostelecky - Philosophy 249 - 9

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University of Alberta
Matthew Kostelecky

PHILOSOPHY 249 is Augustine a Platonist? Plato's Timeaus Aristotle quotes this more than anything else by Plato. How does Plato construe time in the Timeaus. Augustine's similarities to Plato - the forms are selfsame (never changing, sui generis), augustine replaces forms with god: god is selfsame and ever-present eternally TIMEAUS contradicts the assumption that augustine is a complete platonist. - the point of the republic is 'what is justice?' A: the individual is just in relation to the city being just, there's a relationship between the justice of the individual and the justice of the state. the justice of the individual seems to be what is at stake because the state is made up of individuals. so the individual has a tripartiteness to himself as does the state. (forget what the tripartite is) TIMEAUS is supposed to be the conversation had the day after the republic. socrates is tired from yesterday. he turns it over to timeaus to feast us on the nature of justice. TIMEAUS expands the conversation to talk about inter-state/international relations. if you have a properly ordered international you are good to go. then he expands that to the cosmos. the cosmos have to fit moral order! imagine that in a modern astronomy class. to give an account of the cosmos is held to be a moral science in the pursuit of justice. cosmos ^^^^^^^^ international ^^^^^^^^ state ^^^^^^^^ individual it cannot be conceived that cosmos ordering is not just in the timeaus there is the DEMIURGE DEMIURGE is not omnipotent or omniscient. doesn't know about you and doesn't care. very powerful being who looks to forms, takes preexisting goo (called recepticle, like what arisototle calls matter) and he takes the forms and sticks it into the recepticle. FORMS DEMIURGE RECEPTICLE THE COSMOS results. it is a circle. everything in it is said to be ordered according to what is best. in there you get this notion of a moving-image-of-eternity... what that means who knows. contrast that to augustine GOD JUST MAKES THE WORLD OUT OF NOTHING - this is the distinctive judaic notion that creation is EX NIHILO IN ARISTOTLE'S PHYSICS, material is perpetual, always. he says how does the demiurge do what it does and why when it does instead of a different time etc. aristotle also tries to define time. aristotle and plato are both unified in the principle that FROM NOTHING COMES NOTHING, which conflicts with augustine and the judaic tradition. CREATIO EX NIHILO vs FROM NOTHING COMES NOTHING SO IN THIS SENSE AUGUSTINE IS NOT A PLATONIST as he believes that creation was ex nihilo and all the ancient thinkers believed that you can't have nothing from out of nothing. the confessions take up this disconnect. TIME AS A MOVING IMAGE OF ETERNITY - plato's formulation - time is in relation to those things that are self same. Augustine is a platonist in this respect for he agrees with this part in TIMEAUS, TIME IS THE MEASURE OF MOTION WHAT IS MOTION? MOTION / CHANGE IS GOING FROM A STATE OF POTENTIALITY TO ACTUALITY different kinds of motion: locomotion is not alone. generation and corruption. TIME IS THE MEASURE OF GOING FROM POTENTIALITY TO ACTUALITY that's certainly rolling around in the back of augustine's mind as he holds forth AUGUSTINE SAYS THAT THE MOVEMENT OF ALL BODIES ARE TIME. BUT AUGUSTINE WANTS TO SHOW THAT YOU CAN HAVE SOMETHING COME FROM NOTHING. SO WHAT IS TIME? IS GOD TIME? no. he is before time. he is eternally present. augustine does not give a cosmological arguement for god's existe
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