12. Plato's Natural Philosophy and Metaphysics

  1. Mary Louise Gill1 and
  2. Pierre Pellegrin2
  1. Luc Brisson

Published Online: 8 MAY 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781444305845.ch12

A Companion to Ancient Philosophy

A Companion to Ancient Philosophy

How to Cite

Brisson, L. (2012) Plato's Natural Philosophy and Metaphysics, in A Companion to Ancient Philosophy (eds M. L. Gill and P. Pellegrin), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444305845.ch12

Editor Information

  1. 1

    Brown University, USA

  2. 2

    National Center for Scientific Research (Paris), France

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 8 MAY 2012
  2. Published Print: 2 MAY 2012

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780631210610

Online ISBN: 9781444305845



  • Plato's natural philosophy and metaphysics;
  • Plato's position on the knowledge of nature, subject of divergent evaluations;
  • Plato's, going beyond nature in explaining the phenomenon;
  • Plato's approach to the knowledge of sensible things, model of access in the technai;
  • pure mathematics, the soul tearing itself from the sensible, as in Greek practice;
  • essential role of mathematics, between the sensible and the intelligible;
  • geometry and higher education, reaching results abstract and universal;
  • mathematical relations, as used in music, being at the level of the world soul;
  • mechanical movements of the sensible world, the soul displaying a mathematical structure;
  • heavenly bodies' and regularity, leading beings to regard them as divine


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Going Beyond Nature in Order to Explain it

  • Technē, epistēmē and alēthēs doxa

  • Mathematics, pure and applied

  • Observation and Experimental Verification

  • Bibliography