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Extra resources for A Philosophical Dictionary: From the French of M. De Voltaire ...
Which bears a striking resemblance to an argument against the knowability of the visible realm offered by Socrates in Rep. v. 21 Cornford (1937), ix–xi. 18 19 20 24 Times new and old Plato’s general cosmogonic view is that of a divine craftsman (dêmiourgos) imposing order on raw materials standing in a chaotic condition; and as we shall see, this is true of his account of the genesis of time specifically. However, there is an initial stumbling block that stands in the way of understanding what looks to be Plato’s official definition of time, because his statement of it is syntactically ambiguous.
This concept accounts for the fact that one finds regularly recurring patterns in time. g. days, seasons, and years). Now the concept of periodicity seems to be less basic than extension and passage, but it is not entirely clear to which of them it is subservient. There is some reason for thinking that it belongs to both of them. That there are regularly recurring patterns, or periods, in time is possible only in virtue of certain features of temporal extension; however, periodicity is as remarkable as it is to us because we experience it serially.
39 By taking the “discordant and disorderly” movements of the pre-temporal chaos and working them into the numerically regimented revolutions of the celestial spheres, the demiurge quite literally synchronizes the movements, producing a harmonious whole. The result of this act of synchronization is a uniquely present instant, and consequently a genuine distinction between future and past. While it may have been true that each of the disorderly movements lurched along according to its own peculiar “temporal continuum,” the lot of them didn’t fit together in any rational way.
A Philosophical Dictionary: From the French of M. De Voltaire ... by Voltaire