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In his chapter on Plato, Russell says "He was sufficiently Pythagorean to think that without mathematics no true wisdom is possible. This implies an oligarchy." and I can't follow the argument behind that implication. Where does it come from and is it tied to Russell's own time period?

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    It implies oligarchy in the sense that true wisdom is the exclusive domain of mathematicians.
    – nwr
    Commented Aug 30, 2021 at 21:00
  • wouldnt the mathmatics required for "wisdom" be considered basics by today's standards and thereby enabling almost everyone to govern wisely?
    – LarsHuth
    Commented Aug 30, 2021 at 21:48
  • I wonder if he is talking not about earthly governments, but rather the ruling of truth by ways of thinking. Where only the paradigms that include mathematics can govern truth. Just a speculation. Otherwise how would one form of wisdom imply more or less numbers of capable rulers? Just the opposite makes sense (as your response comment suggests): democratizing wisdom by the spread of mathematics
    – Al Brown
    Commented Aug 30, 2021 at 22:42
  • Ask an average citizen today to demonstrate the Pythagorean theorem. More saliently, "the typical citizen drops down to a lower level of mental performance as soon as he enters the political field. He argues and analyzes in a way which he would readily recognize as infantile within the sphere of his real interests", Schumpeter. See Voter ignorance and the democratic ideal. Nonetheless, Plato's "rule of the wise" still proved to be worse historically.
    – Conifold
    Commented Aug 31, 2021 at 8:57

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