Authors: Jong Hwan Lee
In this paper, I will argue that the Fourfold distinction passage in the Philebus 23b, ff. is not mainly about Plato’s metaphysics but primarily concerned with ethics, which is grounded upon Plato’s metaphysics and ontology, especially the theory of the Forms in the middle dialogue. It is important, therefore, to read the Philebus in light of the Timaeus, since they present similar stories. The latter, on the one hand, is about the Demiurge’s composition of the Universe, but the former, on the other hand, is about man’s restoration of all sensible things and especially human actions to the original and best state. The Timaeus describes the Demiurge’s initial realization of the Forms in the perceivable world; the Philebus describes how a man could ultimately restore the universe, and especially, human actions, back to the original best state initially composed by the Demiurge.
Keywords: Plato, Forms, Philebus, Timaeus, Restoration