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The Two Supreme Principles of Plato’s Cosmos—the One and the Indefinite Dyad—the Division of a Straight Line into Extreme and Mean Ratio, and Pingala’s Mātrāmeru

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Salamone, Maria Antonietta (2019) The Two Supreme Principles of Plato’s Cosmos—the One and the Indefinite Dyad—the Division of a Straight Line into Extreme and Mean Ratio, and Pingala’s Mātrāmeru. Symmetry, 11 (1). p. 13. ISSN 2073-8994

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Official URL: https://www.mdpi.com/2073-8994/11/1/98



Abstract

The objective of this paper is to propose a mathematical interpretation of the continuous geometric proportion (Timaeus, 32a) with which Plato accomplishes the goal to unify, harmonically and symmetrically, the Two Opposite Elements of Timaeus Cosmos—Fire and Earth—through the Mean Ratio. As we know, from the algebraic point of view, it is possible to compose a continuous geometric proportion just starting from two different quantities a (Fire) and b (Earth); their sum would be the third term, so that we would obtain the continuous geometric proportion par excellence, which carries out the agreement of opposites most perfectly: (a + b)/a = a/b. This equal proportion, applied to linear geometry, corresponds to what Euclid called the Division into Extreme and Mean Ratio (DEMR) or The Golden Proportion. In fact, according to my mathematical interpretation, in the Timaeus 32b and in the Epinomis 991 a–b, Plato uses Pingala’s Mātrāmeru or The First Analogy of the Double to mould the body of the Cosmos as a whole, to the pont of identifying the two supreme principles of the Cosmos—the One (1) and the Indefinite Dyad (Φ and1/Φ)—with the DEMR. In effect, Fire and Earth are joined not by a single Mean Ratio but by two (namely, Air and Water). Moreover, using the Platonic approach to analyse the geometric properties of the shape of the Cosmos as a whole, I think that Timaeus constructed the 12 pentagonal faces of Dodecahedron by means of elementary Golden Triangles (a/b = Φ) and the Mātrāmeru sequence. And, this would prove that my mathematical interpretation of the platonic texts is at least plausible.


Item Type:Article
Subjects:Humanities > Philosophy > Philosophy of science
Humanities > Philosophy > Philosophy of nature
Humanities > Philosophy > Logic, symbolic and mathematical
Humanities > Philosophy > Ontology
Humanities > Philosophy > Theory of knowledge
Humanities > Philology > Greek philology
ID Code:50891
Deposited On:29 Jan 2019 10:54
Last Modified:07 Feb 2019 10:36

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