Thomas Nagel on Cosmic Reconciliation
This reply is formally correct, but it fails to acknowledge the significant element of yearning for cosmic reconciliation that has been part of the philosophical impulse from the beginning. Its greatest example is Plato, who had what I would call a profoundly religious temperament — displayed not in what he said about religion, but in his philosophy.
I am using the term "religious temperament" in a way that may seem illegitimate to those who are genuinely religious. Yet I think it is the appropriate name for a disposition to seek a view of the world that can play a certain role in the inner life — a role that for some people is occupied by religion.
Whether anything like this was part of the religion of fourth-century Athens I do not know. But Plato was clearly concerned not only with the state of his soul, but also with his relation to the universe at the deepest level. Plato's metaphysics was not intended to produce merely a detached understanding of reality. His motivation in philosophy was in part to achieve a kind of understanding that would connect him (and therefore every human being) to the whole of reality — intelligibly and, if possible, satisfyingly.