Plato and Pythagoreanism

Oxford University Press USA (2013)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Was Plato a Pythagorean? Plato's students and earliest critics thought so, but scholars since the nineteenth century have been more skeptical. With this probing study, Phillip Sidney Horky argues that a specific type of Pythagorean philosophy, called "mathematical" Pythagoreanism, exercised a decisive influence on fundamental aspects of Plato's philosophy. The progenitor of mathematical Pythagoreanism was the infamous Pythagorean heretic and political revolutionary Hippasus of Metapontum, a student of Pythagoras who is credited with experiments in harmonics that led to innovations in mathematics. The innovations of Hippasus and other mathematical Pythagoreans, including Empedocles of Agrigentum, Epicharmus of Syracuse, Philolaus of Croton, and Archytas of Tarentum, presented philosophers like Plato with novel ways to reconcile empirical knowledge with abstract mathematical theories. Plato and Pythagoreanism demonstrates how mathematical Pythagoreanism established many of the fundamental philosophical questions Plato dealt with in his central dialogues, including Cratylus, Phaedo, Republic, Timaeus, and Philebus. In the process, it also illuminates the historical significance of the mathematical Pythagoreans, a group whose influence on the development of philosophical and scientific methods has been obscured since late antiquity. The picture that results is one in which Plato inherits mathematical Pythagorean method only to transform it into a powerful philosophical argument about the essential relationships between the cosmos and the human being.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 92,323

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Plato and Pythagoreanism by Phillip Sidney Horky.Federico M. Petrucci - 2014 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 52 (4):837-838.
Plato and Pythagoreanism by Phillip Horky. [REVIEW]Eugenio Benitez - 2014 - Review of Metaphysics 68 (2):429-431.
Pythagoras and the Pythagoreans. A Brief History. [REVIEW]Theodor Ebert - 2002 - Zeitschrift für Philosophische Forschung 56 (3).
Phillip Sidney Horky. Plato and Pythagoreanism. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013. Pp. 320. £47.99. [REVIEW]Joseph G. Miller - 2014 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 4 (2):391-393.
A Cardboard Pythagorean Teaching Aid.David Socher - 2005 - Teaching Philosophy 28 (2):155-161.

Analytics

Added to PP
2013-08-05

Downloads
136 (#136,856)

6 months
15 (#172,329)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Phillip Sidney Horky
Durham University

Citations of this work

'Italic Pythagoreanism in the Hellenistic Age'.Phillip Horky - 2022 - In David Konstan, Myrto Garani & Gretchen Reydams-Schils (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Roman Philosophy. New York: Oxford University Press, Usa. pp. 3-26.
Is the Idea of the Good Beyond Being? Plato's "epekeina tês ousias" Revisited.Rafael Ferber & Gregor Damschen - 2015 - In Debra Nails, Harold Tarrant, Mika Kajava & Eero Salmenkivi (eds.), SECOND SAILING: Alternative Perspectives on Plato. Wellprint Oy. pp. 197-203.
A Horse Is a Horse, of Course, of Course, but What about Horseness?Necip Fikri Alican - 2015 - In Debra Nails & Harold Tarrant (eds.), Second Sailing: Alternative Perspectives on Plato. Helsinki: Societas Scientiarum Fennica. pp. 307–324.

View all 19 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references