AWARDS: AHRC Research Preparation Masters Award; AHRC doctoral studentship.
SUPERVISED BY: Prof. George Boys-Stones
TITLE: Craftsmanship and Teleology in Plato.
This project starts from an inquiry into the mythological language in which Plato sets out his teleological account of the world in the Timaeus. Philosophically, this account is central to his project; thematically it resonates with earlier traditions of cosmogony stretching back through the Presocratics to Pherecydes and Hesiod. So the first stage of the project involves a collation of themes, images, and language through which the Timaeus might appear to be reaching out to the earlier tradition. Obvious examples are images found in Presocratic philosophers for divine thought or craftsmanship - at least some of which we know for sure Plato had in mind when he put ‘reason' and ‘demiurgy' at the heart of his creation narrative (cf. Phaedo 97b ff). On the back of this work, it will be possible to develop concrete conclusions about the way in which Plato read the earlier tradition, and how he located himself in relation to it.