David Kolb

Ancient Greek Philosophy

Pythagoras Bound: Limit and Unlimited in Plato’s Philebus

Though Plato favors physical atoms in his Timaeus, they are not ultimate; he generates them from a formless energy-space plus mathematical patterns. On the other hand, most interpreters read the Platonic Forms as ultimate intellectual atoms. I suggest that Plato refuses atomism on all levels, and the Forms themselves should be seen as generated from a combination of limit and unlimited, as we are told in the Philebus and as is hinted at in the reports on the “unwritten doctrines.”

Why Plato Thinks Democracy Leads to Tyranny

I delivered a talk on Plato’s worries about democracy. I looked into Plato’s reasons, discussed the differences between Athenian democracy and our own, and asked whether we should still be afraid. (Spoiler alert: Yes!)