1 February 2017 – 31 January 2018
Bio: Viktor Ilievski obtained his PhD degree at the Central European University, Budapest, in 2015. He is a historian of philosophy, primarily working in the field of Ancient Greek philosophy, but also glancing occasionally upon some of the fundamental texts of what we know nowadays as Hindu philosophy, i.e. the Bhāgavad-gītā and the Vedānta-sūtra. His main research focus has been placed on Plato and Platonism, initially attempting to understand Plato’s stance on the connection between language and knowledge, but later shifting to the issue of Plato’s theodicy and the Platonic theories of the origin of evil. His most recent publications are the papers “Lot-casting, Divine Interference and Chance in the Myth of Er” (Apeiron), and “Plato’s Theodicy in the Timaeus” (Rhizomata). For a more comprehensive list of publications and a short CV, please visit https://unibuc.academia.edu/ViktorIlievski
Project title: Free Agency and Causation in Plato
Project Description: Within the frames of this project, the issue of free agency in Plato will be observed through the prism of his theodicy. The research efforts will be focused on a problem that arises in the Republic’s myth of Er, but goes way beyond it. One of the main purposes of the myth is to absolve god from liability to blame for the embodied beings’ misfortunes. Its compressed theodicy rests upon the attestation of the soul’s moral responsibility, which is put in action through the act of supposedly free choice of the future embodiments. The biggest issue here is to show that the soul is indeed the chooser, and that its choice is not meddled with in any significant way, i.e., that it is factually free. The research outcome will be a paper which demonstrates that it is indeed so. As far as the Causation part of the project is concerned, it will be dedicated to the unresolved issue of the causal power of the Forms in Plato, but also to the question of the soul’s causal powers, and its status as a universal cause. In other words, the aim of this segment of the project will be to determine whether the Forms exert any causal influence, what kind of causes (with regard to the Aristotelian taxonomy) the Forms are, as well as how the soul’s causal efficacy in its role of a prime mover is reflected on the disorderly motion of the Timaean primordial chaos. It should result in at least one paper, dealing with either of the two subthemes of the project segment.