15 December 2020 - 3pm

Celso Vieira - (RUB)

On line seminar


In Timaeus 38c we read that the Model of Eternity exists through eternity. The implication is that the Form of Eternity is Eternal. Put in this way, it becomes easy to see another occurrence of a construction recurrent in Plato that became known as self-predication. We find occurrences of self-predication such as the Justice is Just (Protagoras 330c) and Beauty is beautiful (Phaedo 100c). Read in the usual ways we understand a predication these statements are either trivial if they make a claim of identity or false if they function as an ordinary attribution of a property. It follows an attempt in the literature to make sense of them in an alternative quasi-technical way. Despite the profuse treatment of the subject, the Timaeus is mostly cited en passant. However, it presents a promising case study due to its unique context. While most of the other examples occur in an epistemological discussion, in the Timeaus we find the only applied version of a self-predication with the focus on the cosmogonical role of a Form and its imitations. In this presentation, I want to examine what the cosmogonical application of the property of being eternal to the Form of Eternity might reveal about Plato’s conception of both ordinary and self-predications that the other interpretations might have missed.