Breaking news about 2.5K-year-old-texts.
Given all the time we spend talking about Platonism around here, I thought it would be a good idea to link to this Guardian article about a new analysis of Plato’s texts. Through an attempt to reconstruct the original Greek line-breaks of our copies of Plato’s texts, Jay Kennedy of Machester University thinks he’s uncovered an underlying structure in Plato’s dialogues:
“Believing that this pattern corresponds to the 12-note musical scale widely used by Pythagoreans, Kennedy divided the texts into equal 12ths and found that ‘significant concepts and narrative turns’ within the dialogues are generally located at their junctures. Positive concepts are lodged at the harmonious third, fourth, sixth, eight and ninth ‘notes’, which were considered to be most harmonious with the 12th; while negative concepts are found at the more dissonant fifth, seventh, 10th and 11th.”
While the article’s breathless tone (“Plato is revealed to be a Pythagorean who understood the basic structure of the universe to be mathematical, anticipating the scientific revolution of Galileo and Newton by 2,000 years”) doesn’t really encourage a serious assessment of Kennedy’s work, there are plenty of resources on Kennedy’s website, and I’m planning to do a little digging over the holiday weekend.