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Volume 15/16, 2017/2018

Le Principe du Bien: Platon, Aristote et leur postérité

Salvatore Lavecchia
Pages 445-456
DOI: 10.5840/chora2017/201815/1622

La luce del Bene : l’essere e la coscienza, la materia e lo spirito. Su ciò che Platone tralascia nell’analogia fra il Bene e il sole

In Resp. 509c7 and 9 Socrates declares that he has omitted many things in the exposition of the analogy between the supreme Good and the sun. In fact Socrates’ exposition leaves some questions open which are seminal with regard to the interpretation of the aforesaid analogy : 1) Why Plato designates the sun as analogon of the Good ? 2) Why the original manifestation of the Good consists in a plurality of intelligible beings ? 3) Why the original manifestation of the Good consists not only in a purely objective intelligible being (νοητόν), but also in an intellect (νοῦς), that is in a form of consciousness ? 4) How can be explained the fact that Plato perceives the Good as origin not only of intelligible, but also of physical reality ? While the first question can be simply answered by referring to the infinite manifestativity of the Good, the other three questions require a significant effort in the field of speculation. Basing on some clues given by Plato in the exposition of the analogy between the Good and the sun, this article attempts to answer these questions by conjecturing that Plato could have presupposed the image of an infinite sphere consisting in intelligible light. This image, which could have already been presupposed by Parmenides, would offer a conceptual background capable of explaining on the one hand the unity of intelligibility (being) and intellect (consciousness) characterizing the original manifestation of the Good, on the other hand why in Plato’s perspective the Good can be perceived as origin not only of intelligible, but also of physical light.

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