Receptacle In Plato's Timaeus

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What is your interpretation of the nature of the Receptacle in the Timaeus? Is it supposed to be something like ‘prime matter’? Is it supposed to be space? Or neither or (somehow) both? Support your argument for your interpretation throughout with textual evidence. Plato suggests that there are three principles to explain the cosmos. The first two basic principles are: the changeless and intelligible model of the forms and secondly, the visible imitation of the forms, the physical cosmos and its components. The third principle that he postulates is the receptacle of becoming. In this paper, I shall analyze Plato’s account of the receptacle of becoming and offer my own interpretation of what its nature is. Plato argues that the third principle,…show more content…
Some argue that the receptacle is matter which physical objects are composed of. On the other hand, some commentators suggest that the receptacle is space. However, I believe that the receptacle should be taken as both matter and space. The receptacle can be seen as matter because of the analogies that Plato uses. In the analogies, the receptacle can clearly be seen to constitute the “stuff” that gets characterized. For example, in the gold analogy, Plato states that if “you were molding gold into every shape there is… If someone then were to point at one of them and ask you, “What is it?,” your safest answer by far, with respect to truth, would be to say, “gold””. The gold analogy, therefore, demonstrates that the receptacle appears to be the matter which physical objects are composed of. However, the receptacle can also clearly be seen as space because Plato actually uses the term “space” to describe the receptacle. He states that “[the receptacle] is space, which exists always and cannot be destroyed. It provides a fixed site for all things that come to be”. The receptacle can, therefore, be understood as providing a spatial location for the elements that enter it and disappear from

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