Winter 1980 • Vol. II No. 1 Nonfiction |

Out of Plato’s Cave: The Natural History of Time

The Project Platonic theory of knowledge, represented by the metaphor of the cave, is probably the most significant contribution of Antiquity to the Renaissance birth and subsequent growth of Western science. Plato's dichotomy between timeless forms and the temporal world of the senses is implicit in the character of scientific law. However, with the advance of evolutionary biology, psychology, and social science increasingly more doubt has been cast on the validity of any theory of knowledge which sees the world as divided into the temporal and the timeless. Such a division cannot accommodate the post-Darwinian, post-Freudian, and post-Einsteinian understanding of matter, life, and man. In this essay I wish to outline a new theory of time and knowledge, one which is consistent with the evolutionary view of the world. In Plato's Timaeus we find a creation story which depicts time as an impoverished image of the eternally revolving and hence timeless heavens. The nature

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A Fine, a Private Place

By Diane Ackerman

The Project Platonic theory of knowledge, represented by the metaphor of the cave, is probably the most significant contribution of Antiquity to the Renaissance birth and subsequent growth of Western […]

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