Edited by Burkhard Mojsisch, Olaf Pluta and Rudolf Rehn
[Bochumer Philosophisches Jahrbuch für Antike und Mittelalter 10] 2005
► pp. 1–20
ἰδέα τοῦ ἀγαϑοῦ – ἀγαϑὸν ἐπέκεινα τῆς οὐσίας
Überlegungen zu einer Platonischen Antinomie
In Plato’s Republic the prime cause of all things, the Good, is presented both as transcending every form of being (509b9 f.) and as the supreme Idea, that is to say as the supreme being. The inconsistency between these two characterizations seems to point to the paradoxical relation subsisting between the absolutely transcendent Good and its supreme self-revelation (the Idea of the Good): by revealing itself, the ἀγαϑὸν ἐπέκεινα τῆς οὐσίας constitutes the highest being and therefore has to be considered to be identical with the ἰδέα τοῦ ἀγαϑοῦ; on the other hand its absolute transcendence implies a clear supereminence in regard to the Idea of the Good. This article tries to highlight and illustrate these antinomic aspects of Plato’s notion of the Good with the help of both the so-called ἄγραφα δόγματα and the representation of the Demiurge in Plato’s work.