transcendence / immanence


In the Timaeus, Plato pictured the natural world as the product of a divine craftsman who looked to the world of eternal being for his model of the good and then created a natural order that was as good as it possibly could be. ("Teleology", by James C. Lennox, in Keller and Lloyd, eds. Keywords in Evolutionary Biology ) This model is the origin of what is sometimes referred to as "external teleology." The "externality" is twofold: the agent whose goal is being acheived is external to the object, and the value is the agent's value, not the object's. (This is much closer to the idea of the machine

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Socrates first discovered the concept, or eidos as the relation between the particular and the general and as a germ of a new meaning of the general question concerning being. This meaning emerged in its full purity when the Socratic eidos went on to unfold into the (transcendental) Platonic "Idea." (see also essence) The eidos is absolutely and eternally real, but in respect to each single realization, it is the possible, its potentiality.

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Plato and Euclid developed an indissoluble partnership between geometrical and philosophical ideas of truth. The Platonic concept of the theory of ideas was possible only because Plato had continually in mind the static shapes discovered by Greek mathematics. On the other hand, Greek gemetry did not achieve completion as a real system until it adopted Plato's manner of thinking. (see Ernst Cassirer, The Problem of Knowledge.) The concepts and propositions that Euclid placed at the apex of his system were a prototype and pattern for what Plato called the process of synopsis in idea. What is grasped in such synopsis is not the peculiar, fortuitous, or unstable; it possesses universal necessary and eternal truth. (see transcendence / immanence) This is the space of universal truth that differs from the spaces of a kind of truth that funtions only in the context of local pockets, a truth that is always local, distributed haphazardly in a plurality of spaces, with regional epistemologies.

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