Math geniuses, a philosophical mystery.

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posted on Aug, 10 2008 @ 12:50 PM
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Plato is my favorite philosopher. And I love science, am serviceable in maths, logic etc., however I have no earthly idea what Plato is doing in this passage.

To my knowledge, no one does. I have looked all over hoping someone has done something to unravel this mystery a bit, as I cannot make heads nor tales of it.

There are many really brilliant members on this website, who specialize in sacred geometry, physics, etc. so I am hoping that tossing this out into the ring will allow someone to perhaps give a little insight into what the heck Plato is talking about here, and if it holds any treasures.


I apologize for the long quote, it is intended to save readers the problem of reading the entire text of Timaeus to find this particular passage. Every bit of it is relevant to the question.

From Timaeus; should more context be needed to examine the idea;

classics.mit.edu...



And he proceeded to divide after this manner:-First of all, he took away one part of the whole [1], and then he separated a second part which was double the first [2], and then he took away a third part which was half as much again as the second and three times as much as the first [3], and then he took a fourth part which was twice as much as the second [4], and a fifth part which was three times the third [9], and a sixth part which was eight times the first [8], and a seventh part which was twenty-seven times the first [27]. After this he filled up the double intervals [i.e. between 1, 2, 4, 8] and the triple [i.e. between 1, 3, 9, 27] cutting off yet other portions from the mixture and placing them in the intervals, so that in each interval there were two kinds of means, the one exceeding and exceeded by equal parts of its extremes [as for example 1, 4/3, 2, in which the mean 4/3 is one-third of 1 more than 1, and one-third of 2 less than 2], the other being that kind of mean which exceeds and is exceeded by an equal number. Where there were intervals of 3/2 and of 4/3 and of 9/8, made by the connecting terms in the former intervals, he filled up all the intervals of 4/3 with the interval of 9/8, leaving a fraction over; and the interval which this fraction expressed was in the ratio of 256 to 243. And thus the whole mixture out of which he cut these portions was all exhausted by him. This entire compound he divided lengthways into two parts, which he joined to one another at the centre like the letter X, and bent them into a circular form, connecting them with themselves and each other at the point opposite to their original meeting-point; and, comprehending them in a uniform revolution upon the same axis, he made the one the outer and the other the inner circle. Now the motion of the outer circle he called the motion of the same, and the motion of the inner circle the motion of the other or diverse. The motion of the same he carried round by the side to the right, and the motion of the diverse diagonally to the left. And he gave dominion to the motion of the same and like, for that he left single and undivided; but the inner motion he divided in six places and made seven unequal circles having their intervals in ratios of two-and three, three of each, and bade the orbits proceed in a direction opposite to one another; and three [Sun, Mercury, Venus] he made to move with equal swiftness, and the remaining four [Moon, Saturn, Mars, Jupiter] to move with unequal swiftness to the three and to one another, but in due proportion.


I really hope someone out there has some idea. Even if you are not totally confident, throw it out there. I am truly intrigued and stymied.




posted on Aug, 10 2008 @ 02:13 PM
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This is all beyond me really, but could it have something to do with the ratios of gears?

Good luck on your quest.



posted on Aug, 10 2008 @ 06:31 PM
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Not a math genius, but here's a thought without getting too overly complicated.

This is actually Timaeus explaining to Socrates a theory of eveolution (how God created everything) and how it relates to people, creation, and movement. It is a bit easier to follow if you read everything around the brackets (i.e. [1]). By dividing the substance, and dividing, and dividing, it is is all still a part of the same whole. He shows this also by reference to the sun and planets.

That's all I have for now...I will read the entire link later to maybe provide a better coorelation.



posted on Aug, 11 2008 @ 04:48 PM
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Thats a very good point, and well taken. It would definitely be consistent with what I perceive his overall beliefs system to be.

He is just so precise in the ratios that I was wondering if they have any other meaning. I know nothing about sacred geometry, and next to nothing about astrology, and was hoping someone could also either say "yes" there is some similarity, or "nope, nothing there."

I appreciate you adding your thoughts.
I am glad you pointed out that aspect of it.





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