This paper will focus on Plato’s thought-provoking depiction of the 'Soul of the Whole' as an all-embracing kind of musical harmonia that epitomises the best possible arrangement of the naturally conflicting elements which give rise to the kosmos. Harmonic language informs the process throughout – starting from the definition of the very essence of the Soul of the Whole, which the Demiurge creates by ‘harmonising together’ (synarmottōn) the nature of the Different and that of the Same, up to its complex harmonic organisation.
After offering a detailed discussion of the harmonic structure outlined at Tim. 35b–36e, I will show how Plato exploited distinctive features of traditional Greek lyre harmoniai and their philosophical interpretation (esp. Philolaus fr. 6a Huffman, Heracl. fr. 8 DK) to give shape to his innovative understanding of the structure of the soul and the harmonious, but not strifeless, relationship between its individual components.
If you would like to join the speaker for dinner after the seminar, please email the chair by Tuesday 12th Feburary.
Workshop in Ancient Philosophy Convenors: Prof Ursula Coope, Dr Karen Margrethe Nielsen, and Dr Luca Castagnoli