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The Universe of Platonic Thought
Универсум платоновской мысли

27th International Conferecne  ·  XXVII Международная конференция
28 June 2019   St Petersburg, Russia  ·  28 июня 2019   Санкт-Петербург, Россия

Igor Tantlevskij, St Petersburg State University, Institute of Philosophy, Chairman of the Department of Jewish Culture, Professor, DSc in Philosophy

Possible Terminological Correlations in the Description of Cosmogenesis in the Timaeus and in Creationist and Emanational-Emergent Theologico-Philosophical Systems of Medieval Jewish Thinkers*

Analyzing the cosmogonic ideas reflected in “Timaeus”, the speaker mainly focuses on the concept of the universe as an “imprint” (ἐκμαγεῖον, also: “impress”; Plato uses the term ἐκτύπωμα, “(embossed) print”, as well), “imprinted” by god-demiurge according to “the prototype” (τὸ παράδειγμα; lit. “the model”) (see, e. g.: Pl. Ti. 39е–40а, 50c–51b, 92с, etc.). This Plato’s metaphor could influence in certain aspects the formation of a number of creationist and emanational-emergent theologico-philosophical systems of some medieval Jewish thinkers. In particular, the repeatedly occurring correlation of the verb ṭāḇaʿ (to “make an imprint”, “impress”, “mint”) and the cognate noun ṭeḇaʿ (originally: “coinage on the coin”; something formed: “element”, “creature”, but also the “matter”, “substance” itself; later: “nature”) is attested in the Jewish medieval philosophical literature. In many contexts, the term ṭeḇaʿ, used in the meaning of “nature”, implicitly reveals its root meaning — “imprint”. As a result, the notion ṭeḇaʿ was interpreted — the world as an “imprint”, resp. the universe in the process of its “imprinting” by God. The verb ṭāḇaʿ was used by medieval Jewish philosophers not only in active, but also in passive stem forms, in particular, in combination with the noun ṭeḇaʿ — with the meaning “nature imprinted”.

*«Исследование выполнено за счет гранта Российского научного фонда (проект№ 17-18-01295)»; Санкт-Петербургский государственный университет.
This research was carried out thanks to the funding of the Russian Science Foundation (project № 17-18-01295); Saint-Petersburg State University.

© Платоновское общество, 2019 г.