Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Hahn, Robert


I argue the science of medicine and medical analogy in Plato provides the grounds for Plato’s formulation of his metaphysics, epistemology, psychology, and ethics. The metaphysics of the Forms, as known by the argument from the sciences, can be derived from medical analogy when accompanied by knowledge of ancient Greek medicine. Plato’s realism regarding non-spatiotemporal objects and his understanding of them as explanations for identities, functions, and ends are thoughts obtainable to one who reflects on the contemporaneous science of medicine. Similarly, Plato’s psychology, namely his parts of the soul doctrine, psychological egoism, and nonrationalism, can all be explained economically by light of medical analogy. Thus, if one traces the motivation for these arguments in medical analogy back to their source in the science of medicine, one gets the result that Plato’s big ideas stand on the science of medicine as his intellectual forbearer. Plato, just like the rest of us, thinks by means of the technologies of his day. This situates Plato’s philosophy in the technologies and sciences that surround him in a way previously unexplored.




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