Plato and Pythagoreanism by Phillip Sidney HorkyPlato and Pythagoreanism by Phillip Sidney Horky

Plato and Pythagoreanism

byPhillip Sidney Horky

Paperback | March 15, 2016

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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 adecisive 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 inmathematics. 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 mathematicaltheories. 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 ofthe 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 philosophicalargument about the essential relationships between the cosmos and the human being.
Phillip Sidney Horky is Lecturer in Classics at Durham University.
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Title:Plato and PythagoreanismFormat:PaperbackDimensions:330 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.68 inPublished:March 15, 2016Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0190465700

ISBN - 13:9780190465704

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Table of Contents

AcknowledgementsAbbreviationsPreface1. Aristotle on Mathematical Pythagoreanism in the 4th Century BCE2. Hippasus of Metapontum and Mathematical Pythagoreanism3. Exoterism and the History of Pythagorean Politics4. Mathematical Pythagoreanism and Plato's Cratylus5. What is Wisest? Mathematical Pythagoreanism and Plato's Phaedo6. The Method of the Gods: Mathematical Pythagoreanism and DiscoveryAfterwordIndex LocorumBibliographyGeneral Index

Editorial Reviews

"Philip S. Horky's Plato and Pythagoreanism is both deeply insightful and actually pleasant to read ... it is a great success." -- Archai Journal: On the Origins of Western Thought