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Plato, Souls, and Motions

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Title: Plato, Souls, and Motions
Author: Prince, Brian
Advisor: Donald R. Morrison
Degree: Doctor of Philosophy thesis
Abstract: Plato’s late works contain an unexpectedly consistent treatment of the physics and metaphysics of souls. In the course of showing this, I argue that: (1) the mid- dle period dialogues Phaedo and Republic assume, but do not mention, a Form of Soul; (2) the Timaeus contains a physical theory according to which all changes of every kind are forms of spatial motion; (3) Plato’s view of souls as self-movers is identifiable in more of his late dialogues than is usually recognized (namely, in the Statesman as well as in the Phaedrus, Timaeus, and Laws); (4) in the definition of souls as self-movers, “motion” should be read as “spatial motion” rather than “change” in general, and (5) neither the Phaedrus nor the Timaeus contains the claim that human souls are immortal, while both dialogues contain a concept of “soul-stuff,” a material from which individual souls are manufactured.
Citation: Prince, Brian. (2011) "Plato, Souls, and Motions." Doctoral Thesis, Rice University. http://hdl.handle.net/1911/62286.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1911/62286
Date: 2011

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