Abstract detail

Title Teleology and Triangles in Plato’s Timaeus

Unimpressed with the materialistic and mechanistic arguments for the origin of the universe and the origin of species by early thinkers, Plato argues that it is rational intelligence, personified by the demiourgos or divine craftsman that brought order to the chaos; he formed the kosmos and all living creatures from the primary elements of fire, earth, air and water. Underlying the primary elements is the fundamental principle of the triangle not a substance but a geometric form. It is by grounding his teleological explanation in geometry and mathematics that Plato enables an a priori understanding of the kosmos. Just as Einstein’s notion of space is a curved geometric structure, so it is that both Plato and Einstein use geometry to describe space as that in which the physical universe comes in and out of being.

Primary author
Suzanne Roux