The Forms vs - precisely, what an artist would have to be...

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The Forms vs. the Cosmos The world of Forms 1. The world of being; everything in this world “always is,” “has no becoming,” and “does not change”(28a). 2. It is apprehended by the understanding, not by the senses. The physical world (= the Cosmos) 1. The world of becoming; everything in this world “comes to be and passes away, but never really is” (28a). 2. It is grasped by opinion and sense-perception. 3. The cosmos itself came into being, created using as its model the world of Forms. The Demiurge (Creator) Literally, “craftsman.” The creator of Plato’s physical world is not a divine intelligence or a personal ruler, but (as it were) a manual laborer. Cf. Vlastos, Plato s Universe (pp. 26-27): That the supreme god of Plato’s cosmos should wear the mask of a manual worker is a triumph of the philosophical imagination over ingrained social prejudice. . .. But this divine mechanic is not a drudge. He is an artist or, more
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Unformatted text preview: precisely, what an artist would have to be in Plato’s conception of art: not the inventor of new form, but the imposer of pre-existing form on as yet formless material. The Elements • The physical world must have bodily form; it must be visible and tangible (31b). • Hence, its ingredients must include fire and earth. • Since fire and earth will have to be combined, there must be at least one other ingredient that serves to combine them. • But since fire and earth are solids , we require two intermediates to combine them. • Hence, the demiurge created air and water , and arranged all four elements proportionally: as fire is to air, air is to water; as air is to water, water is to earth. • As we will see below, we have not reached the bottom with these four elements: there are (geometrical) atoms of which these elements are composed....
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This note was uploaded on 11/14/2011 for the course PHI PHI2010 taught by Professor Jorgerigol during the Fall '09 term at Broward College.

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