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Plato's Theory of Explanation
A Study of the Cosmological Account in the Timaeus
Plato's Theory of Explanation
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Anne F. Ashbaugh - Author
SUNY Series in Philosophy
Price: $55.50 
Hardcover - 208 pages
Release Date: March 1988
ISBN10: 0-88706-607-0
ISBN13: 978-0-88706-607-8

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Price: $25.95 
Paperback - 208 pages
Release Date: March 1988
ISBN10: 0-88706-608-9
ISBN13: 978-0-88706-608-5

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Summary

"The central thesis regarding the development of 'verisimilar' explanation and its relation to 'true' explanation is thought-provoking, generally well-developed and should prove controversial in the best sense of the word." -- Drew A. Hyland, Trinity College

Here is the question: what constitutes a good explanation of phenomena? Whereas true being (forms) can be known through dialectic, concrete phenomena can only be explained. An explanation is verisimilar of dialectical knowledge as concrete things are images of eternal ones. Ashbaugh shows how Plato subtly develops the notion of imaging and explaining, accounting for how physical things can be different from forms and how they are connected to forms.

"In contrast to this discussion, the contemporary arguments about mind mirroring nature are hopelessly crude."-- Robert Cummings Neville, Boston University


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Table of Contents

Preface

Introduction

I. The Nature and Function of Verisimilar Explanations

How Plato Reasoned to Identify the Need for a Verisimilar Account of Phenomena
The Explanatory Power of Verisimilar Accounts
The Correctness of Verisimilar Accounts

II. The Teleological Features of Verisimilar Explanations

Plato's Causal Scheme
The Agency of Mind (Nous)
The End (Telos) of Verisimilar Explanations

III. The Structure of Verisimilar Explanations

The Completeness of the Account
The Most Verisimilar Account
A True Account of Spatiality

IV. Conclusion: Spatiality is the Basis of Verisimilar Accounts

Bibliography

Index



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