Platonism and the Tools of God

O'Brien, Carl (2007) Platonism and the Tools of God. Trinity College Dublin Journal of Postgraduate Research Volume, 6. pp. 60-72.

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In the biblical accounts of creation (Gen. 1:1 -2:4a and Gen. 2:4bff), it is enough for God to will something to be created for this to happen. The second account may refer to God as a potter or builder, but it still differs significantly from Plato’s Timaeus, where the world is generated by the Demiurge (Greek = Craftsman) who has to literally toil at the task of ordering the cosmos; an image which was something of an embarrassment for generations of later Platonists. As the Epicurean of ND I. 19 mockingly states: “What power of mental vision allowed your master Plato to envisage the vast and elaborate architectural process adopted by God in constructing the world? What method of engineering was employed? What iron tools and levers and cranes?” (trans. LCL modified).

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Platonism;
Academic Unit: Faculty of Arts,Celtic Studies and Philosophy > Ancient Classics
Item ID: 2395
Depositing User: Carl O'Brien
Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2011 15:16
Journal or Publication Title: Trinity College Dublin Journal of Postgraduate Research Volume
Publisher: Trinity College Dublin
Refereed: Yes

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